As you have probably guessed, while your written executive summary and business plan may serve to grant you entry into a funder’s consideration, to seal the deal you will most likely need to make an in-person presentation. Funders want to meet the founders of companies to see if their intuition from reading the plan is borne out by the founder in person. Online courses in business administration can help you put together an effective presentation, and will definitely help you implement any resulting plans.
Answer these questions to better prepare your business plan presentation.
Who Are You Presenting To?
One member of the funder’s team may have read the plan initially, the purpose of the presentation may be to introduce additional members to the business plan. Therefore, find out who and how many individuals you are presenting to. Knowing a bit about their background and expertise will give you a better sense of how to focus your presentation and what type of questions they may come up with.
What Presentation Media Can You Use?
Find out if you will have a projector for PowerPoint slides to use. If not, you can still print your slides, but make adjustments to be sure they still look the best they can when printed, and create handout packets. If presenting on a screen, use handouts sparingly. If your audience is reading what is in their hands while you present, they are neither listening fully to you nor looking at the screen.
How Much Time Do You Have?
Ask for how much time you have for the entire presentation and if there is a preference for how much time is left for questions and answers. Try to get key information like this in writing (by email for example) so there is no question about the time you are given. Next, practice your presentation thoroughly under conditions close to what you expect in the presentation room in order to come in as close to your given time as possible, while staying under it. You may be cut off if you run too long, as funders need their questions answered before they move on to other business. If you run too short, however, you lose valuable time to better explain certain elements of the business plan which could strengthen your arguments and answer questions before they are asked.
Finally, your presentation will be greatly improved if you've taken the time to complete a formal business plan. If you're struggling to finish your plan, you may consider using a business plan template.
Remember to stay one step ahead of the competition by enrolling in online business classes - you'll keep your skills sharp, and may even find out about innovations in your field before your colleagues.