After months of hard work researching and drafting the business plan for your new enterprise, you have finally sent it to the potential investors. Once they peruse your business proposal, it may prompt them to invite you to present it to them live. If this happens to you, then you will need to prepare much more. Since the investors will be taking time out from their busy schedules to hear what you have to say, you need to make the opportunity count. For this event, you will need to create a flawless presentation of your business plan that will make the investors believe in your business venture. Your funding will depend on it.
- Know your audience. When the investor or his secretary gives you notice of the schedule of your presentation, make sure to ask for the names of the people attending the presentation. You will need to create your presentation to suit the different personalities that will be viewing your presentation. Get their names and conduct some background investigations on the personalities that will be attending. The Internet is the best way to get some background info of these people. Find out their strengths. If the investor is a numbers guy, then you will need to focus a lot more on the numbers. If a marketing expert will be attending, then beef up your marketing analysis, data, and strategies.
- Create a presentation outline. In creating the outline for your presentation, you can use practically the same outline you made when you wrote the business plan. However, since the investor has read your business plan, you may want to edit the outline to focus on what you think the investor will be looking for. If you did your research on the personalities attending the presentation, then it will be a good idea to base your outline on satisfying what they will be looking for in your business proposal.
- Use PowerPoint. Microsoft PowerPoint is the most popular presentation software that provides visuals to assist your oral presentation. Plot the outline you organized on PowerPoint. Create a presentation that is clear and concise but has enough meat to satisfy the hunger of the investors. 10 to 15 slides will do. More slides may make the presentation too long and boring. Make sure to include the financial projections in your slides. If there is information that you cannot fit in the slides, do not worry. You can always have the investors look at the info on the business plan for reference. Make sure to only have 4-6 lines of text on each slide. This will make it easier to read.
- Prepare a script and practice. Write down what you are going to say on index cards. If you want your oral presentation appear natural and conversational, then use bullet points and reminders on your business card. If you are not as confident as you would want, you can write a script word for word. Either way, you will need to practice your whole oral presentation. Stuttering and faltering can be fatal errors so make sure that you can carry the presentation.
Aside from these preparations, you must anticipate some of the questions and critiques that will be thrown at your business plan. Have some of your friends read you business plan and write down the questions they would think of if they were in the shoes of the investor. This way, you will be prepared to answer any question to solidify your business plan.