Why M&A Plays

Value Communication

Show buyers a compelling set of data aligned with a credible story of the business. Learn how to Generate excitement, confidence, and trust.

About the play

Because divestitures create both short and long term value for organizations, it’s strongly recommended that sellers should focus on the divestitures’ potential for creating value.

The next steps outline the communication of value through the development of presentation material that brings the business to life. The objective is that when the management team speaks, buyers see a compelling set of data aligned with a credible story of the business that generates excitement, confidence, and trust.



Executive sponsor, separation manager and deal team




Meeting Agenda, Whiteboard, Strategy Documents


Spend one day or more to prepare materials for a two hour play.

Running the Play:


Understand the Investment Highlights

In preparing a presentation, the first step is to describe the opportunities and challenges related to the transaction. This needs to explain why the business is being sold, and why would it be enticing to a prospective buyer. The objective is to get a sense of what will differentiate this business from the buyer’s perspective. This will help get an understanding business story and how to make it come alive in the management presentation.


Develop Stories

Specific stories about business challenges and successes need to be developed to help describe what makes the business tick. The best approach is to work with business managers and gather anecdotal evidence of the business as a way of developing stories. These stories help provide a deep understanding of what makes the business unique.


Map Stories to the Investment Highlights

Now match stories to investment highlights. Themes emerge during this process that helps create a logical outline for the presentation. Where there are gaps in the narrative, these need to be investigated further with more anecdotal evidence.


Create a Storyboard

After a running order of the presentation has been developed, a storyboard is developed for each segment. The storyboard includes:

  • the key themes and sub-themes
  • data points that support those themes
  • stories or anecdotes that show that the themes are real and compelling
  • ideas for visuals that reinforce each theme

Once a storyboard has been developed and can be talked about positively, there needs to be a check that facts back the stories, and there isn’t too much ‘spin’.


Personalize the Presentation

Each presenter should make the slide presentation work in a way that fits their personality and the story they want to tell. Above all, this needs to be authentic, polished, and conversational in style.


Rehearse and Review

Presenters should do a dry run and get additional feedback from the peer group. This is an opportunity to review body language, eye contact, voice, and use of props. Practice also allows the group to prepare and think through every possible issue prior to encountering the buyer.

An effective management presentation needs to be:  

  • Confident and fluid with the presentation material
  • Always on point and doesn’t stray from key messages
  • Adapted to the interests of the buyer audience  
  • Clear and brief when making points  
  • Lively and engaging
  • Use analogies and metaphors when explaining complex subjects
  • Use good judgment and be selective when diving into data
  • Be conversational and authentic
  • Use visuals effectively to enhance points
  • To be able to field questions effectively and tactfully.