Make Your Business Plan Slides A Success

There are two major types of angel investors in this world: the ones that would read your business plan and the ones that would rather question you about its contents without actually reading the document. But when you are actually invited to the meeting with serious investors, you are expected to prepare a short PowerPoint presentation to visualise your business ideas. And here the top 5 most useful tips to turn your PowerPoint business plan into real success.

1. Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule

This is probably the wisest thing ever suggested about PowerPoint business plan template:

  • First of all, strictly limit yourself to 10 slides as most investors you’ll address with your business plan are extremely tight on time and attention. So if you expect them to remember your points simply decrease the number of facts and ideas you communicate.
  • Next, if you are performing live (and not just sharing your slides via email), make it within 20 minutes. People hate wasting time at overextended presentations and business meetings and would appreciate your respect to their business schedules. After all, it is in your best interest to finish telling your story before they finish listening to it.
  • And finally, use 30 pt font as there is nothing worse than killing one’s eye-sight over the tiny-sized bullet points. If you cannot compress all your ideas written with 30 pt font into a single slide, than either break them into two slides, or decrease the number of ideas.

2. Illustrate your Executive summary

What to include into PowerPoint business plan presentation is probably the question that many entrepreneurs puzzle over. But if you already have your business plan, you know the answer: build your presentation on the basis of your Executive summary. I would suggest your Executive Summary answers the following questions:

  • Brief information about your company, your team and yourself as the project lead.
  • Comprehensive project description: what actually you plan doing, what is your product or service, what are your major competitive advantages.
  • Who needs your product or service and how will it make a difference.
  • How much investment does the project require? What is the funding structure: your own capital, direct investment, bank loans, start up grants etc?
  • Payback period

3. Proper visualisation

You’ll be surprised how much your choice of PowerPoint theme can tell about you. And be sure that experienced investors can all read between the slides. So do avoid colourful themes, pseudo-artistic features and animations. Make your presentation look like an expensive business suite and use only high-quality photographs or graphic designs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be creative in your slides. But make sure that graphic elements communicate the same ideas and values as your bullet points.

4. Being boastful is not the key

When you follow the recommendations above, you’ll discover that slide space is money. And since every word counts, all your points should be as informative as possible. So normally there will be no place left for boastful adjectives in your presentation. Remember, that phrases like “market killing” and “game-changing” are like buzzwords for investors: they lose interest and attention the moment they hear them.

5. Call to action

The final slide should be about what you expect to happen after the presentation and what action you wish your audience to take. Remember, that you have to understand your goals clearly in order to achieve them. And if you don’t prepare your own scenario, you will only be playing the role that others define for you. Of course, people rarely issue checks after the 10-slides presentations (though such success stories are being written from time to time). But the idea is to model a sequence of actions that lead towards having your business project funded.

This post has originally appeared in Invest Engine Blog