Passion, Narrative, Brevity

As the connected world places more demands on our time and attention, it is a formidable job to deliver an investor presentation that fully engages the audience. Most presentations are not up to the task, with investors in the room quickly hunched over and glued to their phones. At times it seems that the formal group presentation has become the break room for investors to relax and check email between their one-on-one meetings.

To have investors glued to you, not their phones, ensure your presentation includes these three attributes:


Investors do not want hype, but they need to see that the CEO is passionate about the business. Investors will not only pay attention, but will also see more value in a business whose CEO is fired up, because passion drives sales, helps a company through difficult periods, and attracts the best employees.


Humans enjoy and remember stories. We seek out good narrative in books, on TV, in dinner conversation. A crisp, chronological story as to how the company got to where it is today - the founding, the quest to fulfill a need, the successes and failures - can provide powerful context and emotional connection for the investor who can then play a supporting role in the narrative by purchasing shares.


An investor who meets with multiple management teams per week said, “After 20 minutes, I have forgotten why I was interested in the company in the first place.” A first meeting is not the time to educate your audience on the subtleties of the business. Keep it short and leave them with the desire to come back for more.

John Nesbett, President, IMS