A common mistake made in investor pitches

I’ve seen dozens of investor presentations over the years and one of the most common mistakes is to confuse documents meant to be used for presentations, be they PowerPoint, KeyNote, .pdf or whatever, with documents meant as “leave-behinds” – documents you have printed out and give to the investors and/or email to them AFTER your presentation. (The last thing you want is investors reading your stuff while you are trying to present to them!)

These are two very different types of documents. Presentation documents are meant as audio-visual aids to reinforce your talk – watch a few excellent Ted talks, like this one from Rachel Botsman to see how visuals reinforce her talk. And I highly recommend you read The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. See my post about this highly useful book.

No presentation document is meant to standalone – it is a supplement to your talk – after all you want people to pay attention to you. Otherwise, why not just hand out your presentation to your audience and let them read it!

Leave-behind documents are by nature meant to standalone, you won’t be there to flesh them out or answer question, so they need to be complete and free-standing. And each page can be and probably should be far more detailed than your presentation slides.

So the best strategy is to do both: have a great audio-visual presentation with graphics, animations and even audio and video that illustrate and reinforce the points you make in your presentation AND have a handout that you can email, post on your site or otherwise disseminate that’s meant to be read or at least perused at the audience’s leisure.

Of course, if you have a TED-quality professional video of your presentation you can kill two birds with one stone by just providing a link to a post of that video.

In any case DON’T FORGET to include your contact information in your documents!



Author: Mentorphile

Mentor, coach, and advisor to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. General manager with significant experience in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Focus on media and information. On founding team of four venture-backed companies. Currently Chairman of Popsleuth, Inc., maker of the Endorfyn app for keeping fans updated on new stuff from their favorite artists.

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