What change does a leader/entrepreneur have to make in preparing and delivering a presentation during difficult financial times- like the slowdown (recession?) that we’re experiencing?
After over 30 years of experience in helping over 5000 presenters develop and deliver presentations – in good times and bad times – the answer is simple. First, pay attention to conventional wisdom: during economic recessions it is harder to raise money for deals, because investors often aren’t liquid (e.g., their money is tied up in other assets which can’t be accessed easily) and are more risk-averse.
Second, create and share truly excellent presentations because with fewer deals available, smart investors are looking for excellent companies based on powerful presentations that address both emotional and logical concerns. Some of the well-known companies founded during recessions include: Microsoft (1975), Electronic Arts (1982), iRobot (1990), Airbnb (2008), and in 2009 Slack, WhatsApp, and Square.
Recently, I read an article The Seven Ps of Raising Money from Investors which details the process by which you can create winning presentations. The seven Ps are:
- Preparation – First, understand the value proposition for an investor; then, determine how to craft a message which communicates the substantial-value at-reasonable-risk for investors (e.g., large business opportunity, special technology-value, thought-out growth plan, solid financial plan and management team to execute). The presentation needs to be designed so it’s easy for investors to understand and communicate the key messages to other members of the investor team in order to get their buy-in.
- Plan – what’s the strategy for raising capital
- Pitch desk – how informative, attractive, engaging, and succinct is it? Remember, all audiences have shorter attention spans today, especially after sitting through thousands of Zoom presentations!
- Platform — for keeping track of the sales process
- People – does the team have the expertise, networks and contacts to execute a successful plan
- Process – who is doing what to market and selling the fundraising plan
- Performance Indicators – How will you measure progress toward success in terms of the sales funnel and time to completion?
Focusing on these “Ps” will provide valuable guidance as you go through the process of raising money, designing and delivering the presentation, and then following through on the promises made. Engage experts in the different components to maximize impact and execute on time, because delays in fundraising with a worsening economy makes everything more difficult. Good luck!