Investor Meetings are now online, a massive shift that needs entrepreneurs to gain a new skill set.
We are sharing 11 Ways to improve your online presentation and your chance of getting funding from Julien Uhlig.
Julien Uhlig is the host of EX Venture, a global Capital and Innovator Matching Plattform accelerating Impact Companies in the world of the new Normal. Julien has managed over 40 German Government Funded Projects globally while building two technology companies, raising and consolidating over 150 Mil. USD in Venture and Project Funding.
The work of EX Venture supports the next generation of start-up founders.
Julien is living and working as an Executive Digital Nomad from Bali, Indonesia. The work of EX Venture supports the next generation of start-up founders to raise the capital needed to execute their vision of bringing technologies to market. These Innovations will improve society overall and lead us to a sustainable, circular, and just society.
We are experiencing a time of real disruption. Everything about a globalized world I appreciated seems to be shifting. Travel restrictions are limiting business travel unimaginable only a few months ago. For over a decade, I have been traveling almost daily. Building relationships with partners and investors over the globe. One day BBQ Los Angeles, next day Lunch in Tokyo and on to Paris at night. No problems, still costly, but flying budget airlines still within reach.
For the longest time, I was proud to build personal relationships, which become your business’s fabric, especially in tough times. In easy times, everyone can get along. It is the challenging moments that define a relationship. It is precisely two years ago that I attempted to participate in my board meeting online. I had a perfect Internet connection, and my presence was flawless. It saved my 24 hours of flight times and probably 5000 USD, plus the jetlag and additional time I could now work on the business instead of just surviving on a massive sleep deficit.
Still, it has been regarded as a lack of respect. This one decision set steps into motion that ultimately destroy the entire valuation of the company I had built.
“The IPO market is booming without any face to face roadshows.”
Three years later, the world looks different. At EX Venture, we have presented about 100 Technology companies online only from my backyard in Bali. We are reaching a dedicated and growing global audience. When I asked Steven Berkenfeld, a true New York Investment Legend, if he sees the online Investor Roadshow as the future, he denied! It is happening now! The IPO market is booming without any face to face roadshows. It is happening now, says Steven. The reaction to Covid 19 has accelerated the adoption of online meetings by about ten years.
What needs to catch up next is the necessary skill set to present successfully online. While it is a lot easier now to get a chance to show your company, it has also become a lot easier to zoom out of the call and start answering emails. With the experience of moderating the first 100 online investor pitches, we think that the following steps are a must to benefit from online investor meetings.
Make sure you have a “great” Internet connection.
You are just saving thousands of USD on doing a meeting in person. At least spend some money to find a place with a reliable high-speed internet connection. We need high upload speeds, remember that. Nothing is more frustrating than if we cannot hear you.
Buy a 50 Dollar Light on Amazon and a Microphone. Again, you just saved lots of money. Invest in a great camera, microphone, and at least one light. You don’t need a TV Setup we built for EX Venture Night, but make yourself look professional. You can cut corners on the pants and shoes in return.
Be on Time or Even Better Early.
Waiting for the company already puts everyone in a bad mood and invites participants to start working on something else. Join the call first; you might even get the chance to talk to people individually while others join the call. This might be the only chance to share something personal about yourself and get a feeling for the room.
Be prepared to present online without slides.
In an in-person meeting, we can see you and the presentation slides. But, in an online presentation, we have to choose, and many investors will prefer to see your face. You have to practice your presentation and looking straight into the camera. It gives the feeling of you looking directly into our eyes—a sign of honesty and confidence. Take time to practice!
Forget about the Script.
We assume that you know your company inside and out. You are not a hired presenter; you are the company, so you have to present freely. Maybe put your points not to get lost and keep a structure, especially if you tend to keep blabbing while nervous. Preparation is vital to show that you are a professional. We want you to be eloquent, well prepared, and structured. It is super frustrating to listen to someone who does not get to the point. If you reach the fact that the audience wants to cut you off, you lost.
The first 30 seconds online presentation needs to tell everything about yourself. We make a one-second decision if we like you or not. Suppose we are willing to trust you or not. Even more, if all the body language we get from you is limited to a small screen. An opening smile straight in the camera demonstrates that you are not here to fight but to cooperate. Already a big step. It shows confidence and that you enjoy what you are doing. We are not here to see you suffer but to support you in building something unique. If you look scared already, you are probably not up for the ride.
Make us understand what you do!
Probably the general idea of what you do is pretty simple. Make us understand within the first 30 seconds of the online presentation. What do you do? What is the problem, and what is the solution? Your presentation has to answers the question of why we should care. Try to inspire us. We need to believe that you can convince other people, investors, and customers, regardless of how great your product is.
Make your online presentation efficient.
Don’t preach to the choir about climate change, the UN Sustainability Goals. etc on your online presentation. We would not be in clean industries if we would not know that and care. It bores your audience, we know what’s coming, and you might lose the attention. Include this if you are pitching to family and friends, but please consider your audience.
Don’t be the guy explaining the principles of Solar Energy to an industry professional. It shows that you cannot become adept at your audience. I always have multiple presentations ready, depending on the audience.
Ask the Panel about their background.
There is not one presentation that fits all. It makes a massive difference if the Investor has a Banking or Technical Background. Check out the participants on Linkedin and prepare accordingly. Feel free to ask questions. Engage your audience; the more you know about your audience, the better chances are communicating the right message for your audience. For a good reason, online media companies are airing highly personalized advertisements; every person needs to be addressed differently.
Engage your audience!
It is so dull to listen to anyone for ten minutes talk without a break into a webcam. Engage your audience and ask questions. You have to become a master storyteller. Think of yourself as being on the Television Show “Shark Tank,” entertain and inspire us. There are books and youtube videos produced about the art of storytelling. We are all human and want to be touched.
Even though we are talking about technology, we only care because it improves people’s lives. We want to be engaged in something that positively impacts society, something we can be proud of and inspires us to support you. The sooner you can create a connection, the better. Create a relationship with total strangers is your challenge.
Use the power of silence to draw in your audience.
If we are working together, the odds are good that you are working on improving society overall. When you make your big statement on how you will generate clean drinking water in Africa, reduce the cost of renewable energy by 30%, whatever it is. Take a break!
Sum it up in one firm quote!
Deliver with confidence and then wait at least for 3 seconds. Better 5! Give us a chance to digest the gravity of what you have just told us. I promise you everyone’s attention in the room!
A wow moment needs Time. Don’t go back to details too fast!
Join our free investor-startup community on members.exventure.co