How should I present my business plan?
From using common language to avoiding paragraphs, here are answers to the question, “What’s your best tip for presenting a business plan?”
- Avoid Paragraphs
- Use Common Language
- Keep It Simple
- Practice, Practice, Practice
- Doing a Competitor Analysis
- Avoid Hyperbole and Support Claims With Data
- Use Stories
- Prepare Counterarguments
- Use Visuals
- Weave a Compelling Tale that Drives Action
- Be Ready for Rejection
Avoid paragraphs in presentations and consider paraphrasing. No one is going to read a large block of text; they want to be enticed through visuals or data, not words. Try your best to write an outline of talking points for each slide and speak to that instead of reading directly off the screen. This will make the presentation more efficient and visually pleasing.
Keep It Simple
One important tip for presenting a business plan is to make sure it is clear, concise, and visually engaging. The business plan should be easy for the audience to follow and understand, and should be presented in a logical and organized manner.
Tailor your presentation to your audience. Consider what information they need to know and what level of detail is appropriate for them. Use data and evidence to support your claims. This can help to build credibility and demonstrate that you have thoroughly researched your market and your business idea.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Practicing your presentation is important because it helps you become more comfortable and confident with your material. It allows you to iron out any kinks in your delivery and helps you become more comfortable speaking in front of an audience. It also gives you the opportunity to rehearse your responses to potential questions or concerns that may come up during the presentation.
Overall, practicing will help you present your business plan in a more polished and professional manner, which can increase the likelihood of your audience being convinced by your pitch.
Doing a Competitor Analysis
The sole purpose of doing a business plan presentation is to showcase the company’s position, where you want it to be, and how you will get there. By having research data on your most important competitors, you can indicate your strengths, weaknesses, and influence on the market against specific threats from the competitors and how to counter them.
Product and service, pricing recommendations, and marketing strategies should be at the core of the business plan presentation. You can always conclude by calling your audience to action.
Avoid Hyperbole and Support Claims With Data
One thing that kills business plans and even pitches is too much hyperbole. The moment your audience starts to think that whatever they are hearing or reading is too good to be true, you will lose their interest almost immediately. For this reason, avoid making grand claims in your business plan.
Just focus on the specifics of your business and if you have to make any claims whatsoever, make sure they are supported by concrete, recent, and authoritative data. Also, try to focus more on a demonstrable track record and not just the things you intend to do. Sharing your vision about the business and what needs to be done to get to the next level is okay. But at least show your audience that you actually have a history of executing strategy and successfully achieving business objectives.
Tell stories first, then provide the supporting data. Bring information about customer experiences and rival strategies to the presentation. Your clients are much more interested in what similar companies have done and how their rivals are improving over time. Clients expect valuable data, but they also have a realistic understanding of what the data can and cannot reveal. Instead of using statistics to make your point, use stories.
They aren’t really interested in the most recent research paper, but you can use one to back up your arguments and give weight to anecdotes. They have seen numerous projects succeed despite the encouraging study findings and numerous ventures fail due to a lack of supporting data.
The best way to ensure your business plan is airtight is to try and poke holes in it yourself. Do your best to look at the plan from different angles and points of view to find any weak spots before you present it. It’s a bit of a cliché, but try to expect the unexpected and foresee potential obstacles ahead of time.
Rest assured that others will try to dismantle your plan, be they partners, investors, or executives, so beat them to it and prepare counterarguments. That way, you will prove you’ve done your research and given your business plan the consideration it deserves.
The Use of Visuals
When presenting a business plan, I recommend you use visuals as often and effectively as you can. These visuals can be presented in a number of different ways, but when used correctly, all can be quite effective in getting your point across.
A few different visuals are:
- Graphs and charts: Show data and analytics you have to prove a point. They are much more effective in explaining something, and showing versus telling is even better.
- An actual product: If you have something, then why not show it!
- Videos: Another great way to get a point across. You can hire an expert to help you create an excellent video that will stick in the minds of your viewers for a while.
- Sub-headers: Even as you talk, it can be effective to show sub-headers of topics and statements to get your point across more clearly. A simple slideshow with sub-headers to go along with what you’re saying is a good idea.
All of these visuals will push your presentation along and help you create your desired end goal!
Weave a Compelling Tale that Drives Action
Injecting a bit of storytelling into your presentation will make it more engaging. Keep in mind that investors and lenders sit through numerous presentations a year, making it vital to make yours memorable. And casting your audience as the hero of your story engages them directly, connects with their emotions, and drives action.
As British entrepreneur Richard Branson once said, “Entrepreneurs who make a difference are, in effect, professional storytellers.” And sharing a compelling story will make people care enough about your company to take you up on your offer.
Be Ready for Rejection
Be ready for people to criticize, object, and voice their concerns during your presentation. Don’t worry; that is typical. Take questions and objections as an indication that your audience is interested, because if they don’t, they probably aren’t. I suggest preparing to address everything, from common misconceptions about your sector to “stronger” competitors on the market.
Invite some friends to play the devil’s advocate so you can practice for this section of the presentation. Ask them to come up with inquiries and criticisms of your company’s ideas and strategies. I believe that this will provide a list of the challenging questions you can anticipate. Then, you can formulate responses to these inquiries beforehand, enabling you to arrive at your business plan meeting prepared.
Submit Your Answer
Would you like to submit an alternate answer to the question, “What’s your best tip for presenting a business plan?”