Your story

I was reviewing one of our startups’ investor presentations recently. The content of the presentation was all there. The startup described the problem they were solving, their solution, what they’ve accomplished so far, how they’re different from their competitors, what their future plans are, and the funding they’re looking for to execute on these plans.

However, the presentation felt like a series of disjointed pieces of information. While each individual slide conveyed valuable information in its own right, there was no unifying thread. Successful presentations tell a story and this one didn’t.

The reason why your presentation needs to tell a story is because this is how humans think. We want to know the why behind the strategy and the resulting numbers. Seeing the why helps us evaluate the extent to which we believe in the what. And you need to believe in order to invest.

I don’t have a methodical approach for how to create a story. I’m sure such approaches exist, just like there exist different common plots for books and movies. For example, a common plot is for an intrinsically well meaning person to make a mistake, face hard times, learn from the mistake, and recover to come back even stronger than before.

A less methodical approach to creating your story is simply asking yourself why you’re doing something. What do you believe that makes you pursue what you’re doing, and how has this belief guided your actions at different stages of your company?

If you answer these questions before building your presentation, that mindset will be reflected on each of its pages. It’s one of those things that you’ll know when it’s there. It’ll be a story rather than just content. And that’s something that others just might believe in.