Finance & Economics

9 tips to present budget plans to investors

Dan Martin



Making a presentation to investors can be a daunting task. Whatever you say can make or break your business. Presenting your budget and plan requires a careful thought process. You must convince them of the viability of the project.

Investors must buy into your idea so that they open up their wallets.  It takes more than presenting your ideas or business goals. You have to allow them to walk through the journey or process from the beginning to the end. It helps if you have a plan of action before you go into that room.

Our article will share with you nine tips to present budget plans to investors.

present budget plans

9 tips to present budget plans to investors. Source:

1. Start by understanding your audience and market

Do not go into a presentation before you take the time to research your audience and market. You only know that the investors are from Nigeria. Do you know anything about the Nigerian market?  What do you know about the people? How will your business impact the group?

You could lose potential backing if they ask you a question and you have no idea what they are talking about. The internet has tons of resources, where you can get information.

2. Don’t just present data

Don't just present data. Source:

Don’t just present data. Source:

Do not assume that everyone in that room will understand rows and columns of data. You may bore them and fail to pass your message across. Bring out the story behind the figures or Infographics.

People respond better to presentations when you make them relevant to them. Showcase the what, where, when, and how so that they build linkages with your data. Backup the data with facts to keep it interesting and simple to understand.

Include a case study or success story in your presentation. It is the easiest way to gain trust and credibility. Why say your story when someone else can do it for you. The use of testimonials is a powerful tool.  You can incorporate a video showing successful work you have done in the past.

3. Use the right visual cues

Spend some time working on the presentation. Think about the visual cues you want to use.  You have tons of online resources, including free PowerPoint templates. Use such to create engaging slides and save time on more important aspects of your presentation. Start by knowing your audiences and their level of understanding.

Present the data using charts, graphs, pyramid schemes, and linear graphs. Take care to ensure simplicity, especially if there is complex data you need to break down.

Should you use GIFs and animations in a financial presentation?  Why not, BUT, be careful about what you use.  It goes back to understanding your audiences very well.  What you think is funny in one culture can be extremely offensive in another. If you are not sure about the audience, leave them out.

4. Adhere to the 10-20-30 rules

The 10-20-30 rule is the brainchild of Guy Kawasaki.  It is a way of reining yourself in when working on presentations.

This is what it means:

  • Restrict yourself to a maximum of 10 slides in the PowerPoint presentations. Anything above this is too much, and you will lose the interest of the investors. The key takeout for investors is, will they see a return on investment? When will they start to see returns?  They want to know that their money is safe and sure of getting something out of the partnership.  Everything else may very well be gibberish to them.  So 20 slides full of pretty pictures and Infographics may have no use.
  • Do not speak for more than 20 minutes. Have one main point in each slide, then move on to the next. You have less than two minutes to explain each point. That is why it pays to practice in advance so that you have a clear thought process.
  • 30 refers to the font size. People should be able to read the text without straining.

5. Think about how much text you want to include in the presentation

Think about how much text you want to include in the presentation. Source:

What we like about Kawasaki’s rule is it forces you to remove the fluff. With such a rigid limit to the number of slides, you can only add so much. Many people struggle with how much text to include. We say the less, the better.

You do not, as a rule, want people to read the presentations. You need them to listen to you.  While you cannot do without text, apply extreme moderation in what you include.  Have the relevant titles and critical elements.

Highlight the key areas you would want your audience to pay more attention to. Otherwise, take advantage of visual cues and your ability to communicate to drive the presentation.

6. Practice your presentation

If you can, ask a friend or colleague to allow you to present to them. Have someone who is honest and will give you valuable feedback.  Now, pretend you have a room full of investors and sell your idea. Accept the criticism you get so that you can make your pitch better. Also, ask them to time you so that you keep time.

Carefully watch how they are digesting the information. If you see signs of confusion, you may need to clarify the points. If you start to see signs of boredom or fidgeting, you may need to tweak some things. That is why we insist that you get a very honest person who is not afraid of offending you.

Now may not be the time to ask junior staff members to do you a favor. They are less likely, to be honest, and you may not take them seriously.

7. Ensure that you are realistic about your projections

Do not make promises you cannot deliver, because you want money. While you cannot entirely predict the market, use measurable data to project. Show the investors that you are basing your presentation on facts. Focus on both long term and short term projections for better clarity.

Be careful about only staying with the positive. Investors understand that there is a level of risk they will be taking. Outline what they could be and how you plan to mitigate against them.

Remember, investors want to know that their money is safe. You are taking the time to show them you are aware of that fact. It will win you some valuable points.

You could even show in the case study past challenges and how you overcame them. It gives more confidence in your ability to handle financing.

8. Allocate some time for a question and answer session

You will probably have a lot of questions during and after the presentation. Give sufficient time and attention to each so that the investors do not have any lingering issues.

A good idea would be to allow them to ask, write them down, and then respond at once. It saves you from repeat questions, which will end up taking a lot of time.

9. Share relevant documentation

Twenty minutes is enough time to give an overview. Your investors will probably want more information. Something they can take away with them if they need to. It may be a more in-depth presentation showing all the relevant details.

You could also give them an executive summary. Whatever you opt for, just ensure that it gives more information.

10. Final thoughts

We have looked at nine tips to present budget plans to investors. Research the market and audience because it determines how you communicate. Take advantage of resources like the free PowerPoint templates for attractive and engaging slides.

Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.


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