LIME: The Secret to Better Out-Licensing? 
Posted by Carlos on Sep 07, 2017

Is LIME the secret to out-licensing?

The humble lime…sour, sweet, juicy, and an essential ingredient in many desserts and beverages.

Lime also (supposedly) has many health benefits, including weight loss, improved digestion, and improved skin.

But the lime also has another benefit…it is one key to improving your out-licensing.

At our upcoming Out-Licensing Masterclass in Boston, we will spend a great deal of time talking about the presentations (plural) used for out-licensing.

One of the concepts we will discuss is summarized in the acronym LIME:





What does this mean?

We see many out-licensing presentations which are crammed with data. Sometimes, we see slides with 3, 4, even 5 different charts or graphs.

It’s as if the presenter is trying to dazzle the audience with the sheer volume of data.

Unfortunately, this creates confusion on the part of the audience.

What is the audience supposed to look at? What is the key point?


We believe a different approach is needed.

Instead of presenting volumes of data, it is far better to present less data, and take the time to explain what the data actually mean…the implications of the data from a development and/or commercial perspective.

From a slide and presentation design perspective, this implies that having multiple versions of the same data slide are necessary.

The first is a simpler version, with minimal text, designed to be presented live during a partnering meeting or a conference call.

The second version has the same data, but with more text and explanation.

This second version is designed to be read by the audience, preferably after the first version is presented.

The slide combination is designed to make one single, critical point. No more. No less.

But, importantly, the design is meant to convey and communicate this one single point to the audience.

The slide should not leave it to the audience to interpret or “figure out” what the presenter is trying to say.

What about the details?

Details are obviously important. The rationale and choice behind the experimental design, conditions, and data presentation are all important, and should not be ignored.

However, the issue is not whether these details are important, but when and where should the details be presented.

In general, details such as these can appear in any of three places:

  1. A footnote
  2. An Appendix slide (with a link from one slide to the other)
  3. A data room

Note that the details in the data room do not have to be confidential.

In fact, it is a good idea to have an area in the data room to serve as a repository for non-confidential information, such as publications. Just make sure a highly reputable data room service provider is used to help set up tiered access to data room content.

Even a simple folder on a company website can serve as a repository for non-confidential details.

Build the idea in their mind

Chris Anderson, the curator of TED talks, makes an important point in this video, in which he discusses what makes a good TED talk:


A good TED talk is one in which an idea is built in the mind of the audience.

To do this, the idea has to be built gradually, sometimes using simple pieces or steps along the way.

Now we recognize that our industry, and this activity (out-licensing) has its own jargon.

Nevertheless, the concept is a good one.

Rather than obfuscate with tons of data, it is far better to build a story gradually, using pieces of data, but focused on explanation and implications.

Now to be clear, we do not want in any way to dismiss the details. Ultimately, it is those details which are translated into financial models, valuations, Term Sheets, and Contracts.

Details are obviously important.

However, it is our contention that there is a time and place and method for presenting ideas and details, and they are not necessarily one and the same.

So take a long, hard look at your out-licensing presentations.

Are the slides complex?

Overly detailed?

Filled with jargon?

What are you trying to say? Can you say it in 10 words or less?

Are you providing an explanation for the data on that slide? Or, are you expecting your audience/reader to figure it out?

Want to learn more?

Join us in Boston on Monday, September 25, where we will spend the entire day talking about out-licensing, with a special emphasis on communications and presentations.

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