How to present as a team

4 Nov How to present as a team

Team presentations are difficult. They are even more so when there is $10 to $50 million in funding on the line. The presentation sets the tone for the next year or years of your business. So, getting it wrong, messing up, or not presenting as a cohesive unit is not an option. The pressure is high, and the stress over getting it wrong is higher.

When we coach teams, who are looking for that essential round of VC funding, we find that one of the keys to relieving the pressure is working on the transition between different sections of the presentation and various members of the team. There are three steps to good transitions between people:

Outline the presenter sections.

Many times, teams have roles that are well defined and clear. However, usually at startups, people’s roles can overlap and have multiple functions. Also, investors want to know that the entire team has a grasp of the project and the inner workings of the company. They want to feel secure in the group as a whole. You should spend time identifying what the presentation will cover, what sections of the presentation should be covered by whom, and above all, that every member of the team communicates. Before you practice the material, outline the content of the presentation, and delegate who covers it. The prospective investors should see you as a cohesive and engaged team who can bring their product to market.

Identify common themes

A theme is important to an investor presentation. A good investor presentation should encompass your company’s goals and the important goals for the departments who are presenting as a part of the team. Having a company-wide theme can be supplemented by department themes. For example, the company theme could be to create cutting edge treatments in the field. The R&D department theme could be efficiency. These themes work together well. Once you identify these themes, look at your outline, and ensure that your company goal appears in every part of the presentation. Research shows that repeating common themes seven times in a presentation increases a listener’s chance of remembering the presentation and the company as a favorable option to consider. In each transition, members must know what the themes are, how they fit into their section, and how to articulate them.

Focus on individual ROI in a group setting

Investors want to know that their investments are sound. It’s not just the return on the investment (ROI) that reinforces this, but also the individual people. In each section of the presentation, communicate clearly what the value of the individual and that section of the presentation is to the investment. Ensure you explicitly state the ROI in the takeaway for each section, and as you transition, you utilize the ROI to build toward a cohesive presentation that showcases the value of you as an investment.

Investor presentations are critical. When preparing yours, we highly recommend these three principles in considering transitions between presenters.

  1. Remember, they are not investing in a product or even in a company. They are investing in a team.
  2. How you transition between people and what you cover is important to showcase your startup and how it fits into their portfolio.
  3. Before you practice as a team, be sure to consider these elements, how each person fits, and what return they provide on that investment.


If you follow these principles, you put yourself in a much better position for success.



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Dr. Ian Turnipseed

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