M&A Management Meeting: How to Make the Seller’s Presentation Shine - dummies

M&A Management Meeting: How to Make the Seller’s Presentation Shine

By Bill Snow

The greater the number of people who attend a meeting, the greater the odds someone hasn’t actually read the M&A offering document. At the beginning of a management meeting, ask, “Okay, so who has read the book?” If few people raise their hands, you may need to take a few moments recapping the basics of the business.

Of course, you (or your intermediary) should be well versed in the offering document so that you can refer Buyer to the appropriate page or section if she asks a question that’s already covered in the book.

Divide and conquer the parts of the presentation. In a general sense, the intermediary should provide the introductions and act as a navigator. Different members of your team should handle the various parts of the presentation based on their areas of expertise. If you don’t have an intermediary, the employee or owner who’s been the main point-person during communication with Buyers is probably the best bet to be the navigator.

A good old slideshow is a great way to give the presentation. Make sure the meeting room has a projector and a screen or a clean white wall. Yes, a slideshow. But your slideshow doesn’t have to be the painful presentation with tiny fonts and enough text per page to make it seem as if the text was ripped from Atlas Shrugged.

Here are a few pointers for effectively presenting your information to Buyer with slides:

  • Don’t pack in tons of information per page. Keep each slide to two to five bullets. Each bullet should be short and to the point: no more than five or ten words.

  • Make your font readable. No 10-point fonts! Use big 30- or 40-point fonts. Also, avoid cutesy or hard-to-read lettering; you’re in a business meeting, after all.

  • Use the bullets as a memory cue only. The bullets aren’t the presentation; they’re just there to help with the flow. Read one bullet and elaborate on it, and then continue similarly through the rest of the bullets. Reading word for word from the slide makes the presentation sound boring and canned, and you want to come off as conversational.

Do a practice run of the presentation prior to the first Buyer’s meeting. Inevitably, the presentation has some kinks that need smoothing out. Better to find those kinks in practice than during the first meeting.

Furthermore, schedule the weakest Buyer as the first meeting if at all possible. If you’re going to screw up a presentation on an early meeting, better it be on the weakest Buyer and not a favored Buyer.