CFO Magazine: Creating a Compelling IPO Roadshow Presentation

By Moira Conlon for CFO Magazine

The road to a successful IPO is paved with exhaustive preparation. Use these three key recommendations for a successful presentation.

When you are competing for capital in a traditional IPO or a SPAC-related PIPE transaction, you only have one chance to make a first impression. The stakes are high and hanging in the balance is access to the capital you need to scale your company and accelerate your industry leadership. Are you ready to deliver a game-changing presentation?

Here’s what you’re up against:

  • You’ll most likely have less than an hour to convince savvy institutional investors to take a bet on your business model and ability to execute.
  • You’ll be presenting to people you’ve never met before who will be putting you under a microscope.
  • It is generally a tough crowd — portfolio managers who say no for a living and sit through countless presentations just like yours every year. Expect them to be sometimes jaded and hard to impress.
  • Some investors may come to the meeting with genuine interest; others will know next to nothing about your company and make you work hard to educate and engage them.
  • A portion of your audience will have no intention of owning your stock; they’re there mostly to get market intelligence because they own a competitor.
  • Others will go straight to Q&A rather than allowing you to present your story. They will ask a series of granular questions on topics and risk factors that give them the information they need to decide if they want to participate in the transaction or not.

A well-crafted and delivered presentation is critical to overcoming these obstacles and completing a successful IPO. Indeed, a roadshow presentation is perhaps the most important sales pitch a CEO and CFO ever make.

Your presentation must tell a concise and compelling story about why investors should buy your stock. Keep in mind that an investor’s why has more to do with whether they believe your company can deliver a compelling return on their investment rather than understanding the detailed features and benefits of your products or services. Simply put, you need to answer the question: Why is your company a better investment opportunity relative to the thousands of other publicly traded companies they can invest in?

What some executives don’t fully appreciate is that investors are betting on your leadership team’s ability to execute your strategy. First impressions count; they want to quickly size you up and judge whether you are credible and capable of delivering on your promises.

Here are three key recommendations for a successful IPO roadshow presentation.