7 tips for presenting your business idea
What you don’t like, you won’t eat! Same goes for business ideas; what you don’t like, you don’t want to be a part of it. Hence, is very important to put forth your business ideas in the best possible manner for your intended audience. Presenting your ideas in the right way encourages the other to give it a chance. Show them a glimpse of your dream, your vision, and the story that moved you to be here. You might have a very brief window to convince your audience, be it a client or a potential investor. Here are a few tips to help you make your business presentation better and more marketable.
1. Cut to the chase & get to the point
When presenting a proposal it’s important to remember that your clients are busy. Time is their most precious asset. So don’t waste their time by arriving late, fumbling with the projector, or making long introductions. They have other meetings to attend and problems to solve.
Start a business proposal presentation by getting to the point, preferably in the first minute. There’s a good chance that your client will interrupt you so get to the point before they ask you to and your presentation gets disrupted. The last thing you want is potential investors to get bored or lose interest as you conduct your presentation.
And that’s why it’s essential to have a pitch deck because it forces you to stick to the point and move through your presentation quickly.
If people are unclear about your idea from the second you start talking, you’ll have difficulty keeping their attention.
To stay on track, we suggest Guy Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 rule for presentations. Kawasaki is a venture capitalist who, after hearing hundreds of pitches from entrepreneurs, suggested a simple, new approach to capture investors’ interest:
- 10 slides total
- Less than 20 minutes
- No smaller than 30 size font
Sticking to this rule creates a direct, concise, eye-clean presentation, enabling your potential client to get a full scope of your business. You can avoid losing them by sticking to the 10-20-30 rule!
2. Sell the vision
It is a bad idea to walk into the meeting and immediately start talking about yourself or your company or your products. If you do this, your client will immediately focus on cost and product features, often ending the meeting before you’ve had a chance to finish. Instead, focus on selling a vision first. Your clients want to know how they can beat their competitors, reach new customers, retain existing customers, and increase profit margins.
So, paint a vision for how you’re going to help them in these areas. A story moves people more than numbers and cold hard data. So, instead of leading with digits, tell a compelling story that moves them emotionally. Inspire them with your dream or vision. They’ve seen many projects fail despite the glowing research results and they’ve seen projects succeed despite the lack of any data to back it up. So come to the presentation with customer experiences and competitor moves. Your clients are far more interested in what their customers are saying and what their competitors are doing than they are in the latest research study.
3. Pause and ask questions
After you’ve spoken for a few minutes, stop and ask your client a question. This is a great way to stay in control of the meeting while allowing your client to interact with the sales presentation. Attention spans are short in the virtual world. When it comes to slides, less is more. Avoid a wall of written text that just distracts from your message. It is the combination of visuals and voice that delivers a powerful pitch.
It takes more effort to deliver a pitch with energy and passion in a virtual setting, as is the requirement in the present scenario. In person it is easier to convey your personality, but over a virtual format it is easy to revert to a monotone delivery. Dial it up. It may help to speak from a standing position. Good eye contact helps make a connection. Though it is tempting to maintain eye contact with the image of the person on the screen, the correct way to maintain eye contact is to look directly at your camera.
Asking questions keeps them engaged and attentive to you presentation, such as if they understand it, if they are with you, if it is clear so far etc.
4. Have a clear agenda
Your presentation must also have a clear and compelling agenda. It should begin with compelling reasons to consider your proposal and conclude with a straight forward request for the business. Some points that may help are:
- Opportunity. Begin your presentation by illustrating the opportunity or challenge that your client is overlooking.
- Benefits. Discuss the benefits that your client will achieve by adopting your solution. Use a customer case study or testimonial to support your point.
- Plan. Present your plan or options to resolve the client’s challenge/opportunity.
- Company. Briefly share your company’s background, including who your company helps with these issues. You’ve led with your background, highlighted a consumer problem, and now it’s time for you to share your solution. At this point, you’re presenting your business model and the essence of it.
- Recommend. Before closing your presentation, be sure to ask for the business. You might close by asking the client, “Do you want our help? Or would you like to be a part of this opportunity?”
5. Look professional
This one seems so obvious, but it is one I have had to mention to several clients. If you were presenting to a potential investor face to face, it is unlikely you would turn up in casual attire. Why is it different in a virtual setting? Be professional and dress like you mean business at least from the waist up for a virtual meeting.
Especially for a virtual meeting keep in mind your lighting and what your audience sees behind you. The best approach is to have natural light in front of you. Rehearse beforehand and test the technology. Observe your voice and hand movements; practice your pitch over and over until it absolutely flows. Leave nothing to chance.
Clutter, untidiness distracts your audience and gives a negative impression.
6. Outline your financial needs
You’ve worked hard to generate interest, outline your business proposition, and secure funding from investors. Now it’s time to ask for investment capital.
Anytime you’re asking for funding, you should confidently present your needs and be specific. In other words, cut straight to the point.
- Explain the business’s projected revenue and provide estimated dates for these projections.
- Do you have existing investors? Include the current capital you’ve garnered, which shows investors that others are already supporting your venture.
- Ask for an exact amount. Get down to the nuts and bolts, and deliver a legitimate figure for them to grasp.
- Tell them how you plan to return their investment. How much will you pay investors back? Will it be an IPO (initial public offering), or will they get their investment back plus interest or profit?
- Answer all of their questions: Bottom line: investors are pros at this, and they’ll know what to ask. They have more experience investing, so be prepared to answer all of their logistical questions.
7. Leave a parting gift to remember you by
Your business is your baby, but investors get pitched to all the time. Chances are, they may forget about your company a few days after your pitch. Don’t take it personally; instead, create a strategy to stay fresh in their minds. Gift them a brochure or a creative souvenir of your business which reflects your ingenuity and reminds them of why you are different!
It can be sufficient need not be adequate; a small gesture rather than an expensive disbursement. This gesture may seem small but will go a long way if presented in an appropriate manner, as a remembrance of your presentation. Let us help you shine through your presentation with expert opinion at startup.pk.
- Scaling Up