Investor Presentation Tips

Writing an investor presentation is one of the most demanding parts of investor relations. It is where you can easily differentiate success and failure and can achieve or lose credibility. A single investor deck mistake can ruin everything. Follow these investor presentation tips: 11 steps to writing an effective investor deck to build and maintain credibility with investors.

What is the point of your investor presentation?

Do you want your audience to know something, to feel something or to do something?

There are three types of presentations:

  • Informative (Know something)
  • Emotive (Feel something)
  • Persuasive (Do something)

Is one of these more valuable than the other? John F. Kennedy beautifully summed up public speaking when he said (as quoted by Nancy Duarte in her book Resonate):

The only reason to give a speech is to change the world

John F Kennedy

That’s why any presentation has a purpose of causing action.

Informative Presentations

An informative investor presentation may educate your audience to some aspect of your business, but what does it do for your business? When a management team just presents information on an earnings call, road show or investor day and assumes the audience will know what to do with it they make a big mistake!

The real danger with “Know” presentations is twofold:

  • The presenter doesn’t know how much information to include
  • The audience can’t tell what the point is

On the other hand, presenters who persuade the audience to do something can better judge whether each prospective piece of content helps the cause of action or not.

Emotive Presentations

Similar to informative presentations, the same is true for presentations that focus on emotion. There’s no point in getting your audience to feel something unless they act as a result.

Why do TED talks often use emotion and inspirational elements? To get people to act, so that we change the status quo.

Emotion is really the best way to stir people out of inaction. As Kevin Daley (founder of Communispond Inc.) once said:

If you want someone to decide to do something, emotion’s the key – backed up by solid facts to underpin your case.

Kevin Daley

Persuasive Presentations

In my view, every effective presentation is a persuasive presentation – it gets the audience to do something. An ineffective presentation let the audience know something, or get them to feel something – without causing them to do anything as a result.

I’d say the vast majority of investor presentations are ineffective. That’s because they are full of information but they have no clear call to action. So the audience is unclear what to do with all the words, numbers and diagrams.

At the other end of the spectrum are poorly planned emotive presentations. Those make the audience all fired up in the moment, but they’re typically devoid of hard facts. Afterward the audience realizes that there was no clear call to action.

Get the Balance Right

Rather than dividing presentations into informative, emotive or persuasive types, it’s more useful to treat each piece of content as having two dimensions: informative and emotive.

For example, a photo of a child in distress is highly emotive but not informative. In contrast, raw data in a table or spreadsheet is highly informative but not emotive. An effective, persuasive presentation uses content from diverse points on both the informative and emotive dimensions.

So don’t content yourself with just informing people, like most investor presentations do. And don’t be like a bad motivational speaker either – emotive but equally ineffective. Instead, get people to do something – and you and your business can change the world!

Fact, Impact, Takeaway

Another element of balance is an even mix of (1) facts, (2) impacts and (3) takeaways:

  1. Fact: Any tangible element of your business that is meaningful and indisputable; usually data, a number or metric.
  2. Impact: How this fact impacts every other fact in your business; information, often financial in nature.
  3. Takeaway: What is your opinion of the value of the fact?

Following this format will help you balance your investor presentation and clearly present a call to action for your audience.

An investor presentation is not just a document, it is that influential tool that should help you to woo your prospective investor. Whether you are raising seed money for your startup or you work for a large publicly traded company, follow these investor relations tips to give investors a reason to back you.

Losing an investor is a common frustration for investor relations professionals. Sometimes it is because of elements out of your control, but there is one thing that you can control.

And that’s “QUALITY”.


Put yourself in the investor’s shoes for a moment.

You have just received an investor presentation from someone with whom you are planning to close the deal and this is a significant piece of information that will help you make your final decision.

What is that thing you will notice about the investor presentation? What are all the elements you look for?

What’s the goal of an effective investor presentation? To convert. From interest to support.

How do you convert? With an amazing investor presentation. Check out our investor presentation template. Visit our blog and our Investor Relations forum to learn more about effective investor presentation tips.

Investors are backing your ability to create transferable value over the long haul. You are expected to build sustainable revenue growth and quality of earnings, which you can see impacts the Business Valuation Spectrum.

Private or Public

Whether it’s your privately held company, or you represent a publicly traded company, you need to periodically check in and update investors with your story. Investors will have different levels of interest in the details of your company and it’s story. Regardless, you need to be prepared to share openly, accurately and consistently all of the relevant facts.

Investor Relations Tips
Investor Relations Tips

This is the reason to follow effective investor presentation tips.

The first question about this statement? What exactly does ‘effective’ mean? Can ‘effective’ be quantified?

Essentially, yes. Literally, no. The point of an effective investor presentation is to convey facts and be clear on objectives and key results (OKRs). When you do this effectively, potential investors can make informed decisions. Here are investor presentation tips to help investor understand your vision. They will know what you do, like the way you do it and trust you will succeed with it.

Facts are critical

Facts are important for plenty of reasons. Most importantly, we can all agree on facts. We don’t all necessarily agree on anything else. But facts are facts. The biggest challenge you have isn’t managing or explaining facts, it’s leveraging the facts to create a new future, a new reality. To create something that, before you and your team made it, simply didn’t exist.

This is the nature of differentiation. You can provide the people that need your solution access to it in exchange for revenue.

First you have to build it, and that takes investment. So we’re back to the point where you will be interacting with investors to tell them your story. To make them believers that you and your team are the right group to leverage the facts and create something that currently doesn’t exist. Yes, make them believe.

If you believe

My three favorite words when it comes to investor relations tips are “If you believe.” Why? Because the entire point of telling investors what you will do with their capital is to get their support. This makes telling your story critical. How are you going to tell them your story? This is important. The more memorable your purpose, the more memorable your solution to a big problem is, the more likely they will believe. These investor presentation tips will help you wow investors.

How are you going to tell a memorable story? In writing. In your investor presentation.

Every investor relations program needs to have a written investor deck. Whether it’s to attract new investors or to update existing investors to the progress you are making, an effective investor deck is vital to build credibility. It’s the only way to tell others how you want them to view your company. But, how do you write an effective investor presentation? This is one of many investor presentation tips: It’s a matter of who writes your investor deck.

Investor Presentation Tips

So before you assemble it, make sure you use this investor presentation outline:

  1. Company, Purpose, Mission and History
  2. Problem, Pain or Aspiration
  3. Technology and Product Solution
  4. Competition and Substitutes Currently Used
  5. Market Opportunity and Strategy
  6. Business and Revenue Model
  7. Product Development and Regulatory Pathway
  8. Intellectual Property and Secret Sauce
  9. Leadership & Team
  10. Financials
  11. Risks and How They Will Be Mitigated

Remember you are telling your company’s story based upon the most relevant facts. The most important milestones, events and successes that power your team’s efforts to solve a problem.

Your Objective

You have an objective: establish common ground. Investors will back you if they believe in you.

However, getting started may be difficult. First you have to know what the objective of your investor presentation is. Next you have to know what information you have to present in your investor presentation.

There are many times you communicate with investors. You either want them and you want to, or you have them and you have to. Either way, it’s an opportunity.

You want to build a reputation for credibility for sharing what matters. The best way to do this is to write an effective investor presentation that accurately tells the story of your business. A story that builds confidence in your efforts and your vision of success, for instance.

Related: Is Inbound Investor Relations Right for You

Whether you are raising money or already have, writing an effective investor presentation is paramount to attracting and maintaining credibility. Credibility is paramount to earning investor support. No matter your situation, effective communication is the only investor relations strategy for you.

Let’s dive in to these investor presentation tips.

1.Company, Purpose, Mission and History

Well, keep in mind that this is the opportunity to convey the feeling that you are the expert to all who view the investor presentation. This section must showcase your experience, skillset and most importantly your value to your customer markets.

  • Are you the right choice to solve your customers’ problems?
  • Why should they choose you?

You need to differentiate your product or service and process from the competition. Include success stories, customer testimonials and other relevant achievements to win investors’ attention.

Here is a good place to detail your approach to providing a better solution to your customers’ problem. But make sure the details are only about the approach and not about the solution.

  • Define how you plan to meet the objective
  • Provide a rough sketch about the method you will use for execution

Be ultra-careful about not going into details, but also reveal the means by which you will fulfill your commitments.

2.Problem, Pain or Aspiration

Understanding the pain points of your customers is one of the most profitable pieces of information in business. It can help you not only retain the current customers but also opens the door for new customers.

Most people write an investor presentation focusing entirely on the deliverables that they offer to customers. But what about your audience, what the investor wants to know?

Take a moment and answer the following questions:

  • What are your customer’s pain points that have not been solved?
  • How will my business help to solve that point better than other competitors?

Another word for “problem” is a pain point. So instead of focusing on what you are offering, your investor presentation should focus on key problems your customer market is trying to solve.

In simple words, the beginning portion of your investor deck should address the challenges your customer wants to overcome. This will effectively turn your investor presentation into a rationale for your business and revenue model.

3.Technology and Product Solution

Describe how your product or technology solves this big problem.

Show data, results, prototype testing and evidence that the technology or product works, will work or has a very high likelihood of success.

Demonstrate to the audience that your data supports the likelihood of product success, or show its significance in leading to product success.

Describe the mechanism-of-action (non-confidential version), how it works (if you know). You don’t need to reveal trade secrets or confidential information here.

This is where you go into detail about timeline. I know it can be tricky to estimate the timeline. Remember, investors that back you do expect a profit at some point in the future. Explain the scope of your commitments. Describe what you will do and the time-frame for delivery or completion of key milestones.

Be aggressive, but realistic. This is not the time to make false promises on which you can’t deliver. Investors want someone they can trust.

Timing can make or break your value proposition. Consider carefully what you commit to. You will have to answer for it.

Related: How to Prepare Realistic Budgets and Forecasts

4.Competition and Substitutes Currently Used

Summarize the competitors and list any products or substitutes. Describe products that may be coming out in the future and from whom.

Discuss the willingness of users to change from the current status quo.

Elaborate on your product’s points-of-differentiation and discuss the significance of your advantages.

Address why you believe no one has fixed this problem yet.

5.Market Opportunity and Strategy

Estimate the market size and be prepared to describe how it is calculated or provide sources (use credible sources only).

Describe your Target Market (Persona) and your secondary market – describe how you will reach your customers.

The amount of detail here depends on the industry sector and the problem you are targeting (some market sizes are well-understood).

Explain why the timing is right for your product.

6.Business and Revenue Model

Show how you are going to (1) generate revenue and (2) make money. Revenue is key here. Plenty of very highly valued startups and ongoing businesses lose a ton of money, but they have addressed a pain point with a viable solution and are gaining user and revenue traction. If you can achieve sustainable revenue growth, all the other problems can be solved later. Investors will support you like they did with Amazon, Facebook and Uber.

Describe the partnerships that are needed in order to be successful.

Discuss any distribution channels needed and the status of these relationships.

7.Product Development and Regulatory Pathway

Describe your current product development status and the progress made to date.

List your next product development milestones and the estimated timeframe to reach these.

Describe your regulatory route, timing, and issues you face and how they will be mitigated.

Briefly discuss any potential follow-on products supported by this technology.

8.Intellectual Property and Secret Sauce

Share what patents are filed or issued and indicate whether or not you have trade secrets.

If available, discuss findings from your Freedom to Operate opinion.

Share your technology license terms, royalties and milestone fees (if any).

9.Leadership & Team

Discuss your senior management team and their relevant experience and their past successes.

Describe the background of your Advisors/Consultants/Board Members if formed.

Candidly discuss whether or not your team is complete and who else is needed and with what backgrounds.

Describe any key partnerships formed or those in progress.


How to present financial information is possibly the most important of all investor presentation tips. This is a very important topic because it is a precise form of measurement of actual results. This is where you will decide to provide forward looking guidance or not. Remember, accounting is about the past. Finance is about the future.

Related: How to Make the Most of Your Resources with Financial Planning & Analysis

Pick your financial metrics and stick with them. Explain why you selected your preferred metrics.

Ideally, prepare a three-year financial projection of future revenue (if relevant – generally not needed for therapeutics), share your assumptions and be sure to build with “bottom-up” rather than “top-down” calculations.

Describe the total funds raised to date, and what these funds were used to accomplish, describe grant funding if awarded.

Share your estimates for future funding needs to reach commercialization, and estimate the number of additional financing rounds.

Show your generalized Use-of-Proceeds for this fund raise.

You will likely be asked about financial projections. There is a range of expectations from wanting to see huge numbers on one end to “conservative” estimates on the other. You can’t be all things to all people, so prepare financial projections that work for your organization and operations. Check out our post How to Prepare Financial Projections.

11.Risks and How They Will Be Mitigated

This slide is not always necessary, but risk mitigation issues must be addressed during the presentation or during the Q&A.

Alternatively, risk mitigation information can be incorporated within each topic as it is addressed or they can be placed in the summary slide depending on the investor audience and time allotted.

Investors know that you cannot manage a risk that you have not identified.

Investor presentation outline

Investor presentation template

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Pitch deck presentation template

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Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

Investor Presentation Tips

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