Having watched and helped develop biotech company presentations for many years, I can recommend some basic rules of play that can help make your presentation the one that stands out. Every company has a different story to tell but mostly the presentations are in the same format, in the same room, and to the same people. So how can you be the one who stands out in the crowd?
If you don’t believe in your company why would anyone else? Be confident enough in your presentation to be able to present naturally and deal with any unforeseen technical issues.
I watched a CEO present to a packed room of potential investors in New York. The projector started smoking at slide 3 and blew up at slide 5 - the CEO stepped forward as the projector was wheeled off stage right and continued unfazed.
A memorable performance
This CEO knew his pitch so well and was so focused on delivering to his audience that even a flaming projector didn’t stop him!
What is the value? What is the opportunity? What’s different from the last 10 presentations and the next 10 that follow?
We’ve all been in the room when two out of three people are focused on their blackberries, the catering staff are setting up next door, and the presenter is talking to himself as he failed to grab the audience’s attention at the beginning. You’ve got 15 minutes! Make sure to engage the room as soon as you start and keep them engaged long enough to want to know more. Remember you don’t have to tell them everything; you have to tell them just enough for them to want to talk in more detail later.
Who is in the room?
Make sure you speak directly to your audience. The 15 data slides you have may be fascinating during a scientific meeting but will not be compelling in a 15-minute investor presentation. Show up outside the room early and take note of who is arriving to hear you present. Bring your entourage and make sure that they are “on message” and can engage before and after on the key points of your presentation.
Stop making changes the night before!
Every CEO I know loves to stay up until 2:00 a.m. the night before making changes to the presentation. Don’t throw yourself off - editing is fine but don’t make any major changes to the order or content the night before or you will trip yourself up the day of your pitch. Instead, lock down the content and spend the night before working on your delivery - how are you going to articulate the company’s value and present yourself as the winner who can execute on the potential. The slides are your back up but the people in the room should be listening to you.
Put on a quality show
There is no excuse for illegible slides, out-of-date content, ugly graphics or God forbid typos! Brand the company, develop succinct content, create meaningful graphics and add some personality…