23 Tips for Presenting Your Project
By: David Carroll. This was posted Friday, March 12th, 2010
In my reading online, I came across a great list of points for improving business plans and applications to banks when your company is seeking funding. The original comes from Vitaly Michka of Concord Capital www.concordcapitalonline.com) and you should look the site over, it’s got some useful information.
I have added a few thoughts of my own. While the basic advice is directed to businesses making a pitch to banks, the insights are equally applicable to entrepreneurs who are sending out business plans for prospective investors, or the seller of a business who is preparing a memo for presentation to potential buyers in the M&A context. Let me know if you agree or even have additional points of your own. David Carroll
23 Tips on Presenting your Project
Vitaly Michka, Concord Capital
1. Be very specific in all aspects. Do not add fluff! This is a red flag to a banker.
2. Make all important information available in an executive summary, and have the summary in the very beginning of the presentation. You should be able to communicate the essence of your plan in three or four pages at most.
3. Have a very basic table of contents with page numbers and follow it.
4. Say what you need and support it with facts, numbers, pictures and charts, not the other way around.
5. Try to keep history, philosophy and personal feelings out of the presentation, unless they are a center point of your business plan.
6. Include information on the management team – education, experience and special achievements and why the team is particularly well suited for the business.
7. Have the document available in pdf or Word format and all calculations in Excel format available for the bankers or buyers to work with, not on the internet. The bank wants all documents presented to them directly. This is your job. The bank will not seek out your information.
8. Make all electronic pictures or other media elements of appropriate size, so they don’t make the document bloated or cumbersome to transmit.
9. Make sure the document is smaller than 10 megabytes, so it will be possible to email. If necessary, break it into smaller pieces.
10. Video presentations – do not stream or vend over the internet – send by Express Mail on a DVD or USB jump drive in the several formats – NTSC and PAL at least; especially for international transactions. You don’t know what format the target audience may use.
11. Try to have as many references as you can for the data you provide in your presentation, in the form of footnotes or endnotes. Don’t take it for granted that just because you state a fact or opinion the reader will believe it.
12. DO NOT send data in zip files.
13. DO NOT make bankers look-up stuff up on the internet.
14. DO NOT send documents that you and your people do not fully understand.
15. DO NOT send any documents that have not been read carefully by you and the people in charge of the project.
16. DO NOT send projects with unverified numbers – triple-check all numbers and calculations; the bank will verify your numbers.
17. DO NOT save money on translation of the documents into English for international deals. Use good translators, familiar with technical and financial terms in your document. Have a native English-speaking person read the documents to make sure that the translations are correct.
18. DO NOT send any information that is assumed, everything must be based on facts: if you do not have a permit for construction – do not tell people that you have one until you have it your hands!
19. DO NOT underestimate the depth of due diligence – all information, including your resume, will be verified.
20. Remember the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) — you have to present potential problems or weaknesses or you will lose credibility.
21. DO NOT TRY TO SAVE MONEY ON THIS PRESENTATION! Well deserved projects must be presented properly.
22. Prepare your business plan as though PricewaterhouseCoopers will be doing the due diligence on your plan; because, they may very well be.
23. Have several copies of entire presentation printed and bound and be ready to send it via FedEx to the Bankers.