Financial projections are, on the surface, a futile exercise. Nobody believes them. Studies prove that 98% of the actual business results of start-up companies, compared to estimates in the business plan, fall significantly short of projections and take twice the time.
Yet investors insist on seeing financials and complain if you leave a summary out of your presentation. Why? Because financial projections serve two essential roles.
It’s important to understand the difference between a presentation deck and a send-ahead deck. You increase your chances of raising money if you honor the distinction and create two separate decks.
If you ignore the distinction, if you consciously or unconsciously write slides to do double duty as slides to both send out and project during an investor meeting, both will suffer. As my grandfather used to say, “Chase two rabbits at the same time, you won’t catch neither.”
Cluttered slides are the first cause of a trainwreck investor presentation. But there are things you can do to reduce clutter without taking away from your main message or “dumbing down” your ideas. And some quick fixes you can apply literally overnight.
Investor presentations are unlike any other type of presentation. They’re more demanding than the corporate, technical, or academic presentations you're used to.
How well you perform in the first few minutes of an investor pitch could determine whether you get funded, or not. This is why you can’t afford to skimp. If you aren’t convinced, then consider these five reasons why you can’t just “wing it,” why you can’t throw it together the night before and hope to charm your way through the meeting.