Unless you're presenting to 100's of people (and arguably even if you), a presentation should be a conversation, not a lecture - so try and involve your audience. We've all seen bad examples of presentations; sometimes the slides are awful, sometimes the speaker sucks, occasiaonally both are terrible.
Many people feel like they will forget to say something unless it's written on the slides, but putting loads of text on your slides means your audience will end up reading it instead of listening to you.
Getting points across in threes works well as it's easy for people to understand and remember three things.
Make sure you practise your presentation, ideally to someone else but you can just practise it to yourself (or your favourite pet!). A Nudge in the Right DirectionEncouraging changes in people’s behaviour has often been perceived as a pretty creepy, voyeuristic type of endeavor.
We are living in the age of the entrepreneur — more people are starting up, and it's ever important to stand out in the crowd. We spoke to a handful of venture capitalists and startup entrepreneurs to get their top tips on how to put together the ideal startup pitch. There's plenty of material out there on what exactly an entrepreneur should include in a pitch, and for the most part it comes down to a list of nuts and bolts that should all be there, says David Teten, ff Venture Capital partner and founder and chairman of the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York. To put it short, the pitch should include details on the company overview, team, market, solution, business model, customers, competition, financial overview, funding, vision and of course, a demo — or at least a mockup — should be available for viewing. He evaluates about 700 pitches per year, he says, mostly via email, with less than 5% graduating to a phone call or meeting. RxAnalytics CEO Deepak Gopalakrishna hasn't seen quite as many pitches as Teten, but in the past two years, he's judged a few dozen in the Carolina Challenge and the Duke Startup Challenge and sees pitches weekly through his roles as an Entrepreneurs Network Fellow at Blackstone and as a .406 Ventures fellow. Furthermore, Gopalakrishna advises startups to very narrowly identify their core secret sauce. Allyson Downey, founder and CEO of weeSpring, says she gives her startup's pitch at least half a dozen times per day. Your honesty and thoughtfulness will only take you so far, and that's where preparation comes in.
While you're at it, make sure you've done thorough research on the people you're pitching to, says Howery. For all of the investors and entrepreneurs in the crowd, share your advice on how startup entrepreneurs should go about crafting their pitches.
Stock photos are hugely useful in illustrating our key message, but the world is growing tired of the umpteenth picture of the sweaty runner crossing the finish line.
Cliche alerts are also set off from hairstyles, clothing, cell phones, and computer monitors that are too old fashioned – or too futuristic. For over a decade, The Presentation Company (TPC) has been training business professionals on how to communicate their ideas both visually and virtually.
Lifehacker UK is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher.
Whilst I don't profess to be an expert at presenting or public speaking, I'm certainly better than I used to be.
Make sure it has narrative; a beginning (where you introduce concepts and the subject being talked about), a middle (where you deliver the bulk of information), and an end (where you summarise and recap the key points).
Ask them if they understand, look at them to see if they're paying attention and encourage them to ask questions throughout.
Think about famous phrases such as "I came, I saw, I conquered", "stop, look and listen", "work, rest and play" or even "location, location, location"! You probably don't realise you're speaking quickly at the time because you're nervous, but to others it can be really confusing, especially with complex subject matter. Not only will it help break up your material (making it easier to sink in) but it will also make you relax and speak more confidently.


Practising will help you iron out any problems, make sure you're familiar with the material and also allow you to make sure you're keeping to time - there's nothing worse than a presentation that was supposed to take 30 minutes still going strong after an hour!
Registered address: Suite A, Ground Floor, South Plaza, Marlborough Street, Bristol, BS1 3NX. When pitching investors, then, it's crucial that entrepreneurs do their research, understand what's expected of them and pitch accordingly. Do whatever you can to convey that your team, your product and your approach are all the best out there.
It can get tiresome, but it's critically important to bring the same level of energy and passion to the sixth pitch as you bring to the first one, she says.
It's not about throwing glitter in the air and using 5,000 Keynote or PowerPoint animations.
You want to display your business in the best light possible, but a good investor will do diligence and uncover anything you might have strategically left out.
What we look for in a leader is someone that can think for themselves and makes rational decisions with the information they have available to them," says Housri. What resources do you recommend first-time founders check out to make the most of their pitches?
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In fact, Vince Vaughn recently starred in a comedy, Unfinished Business, which used stock-looking photos to promote the movie. This will help your audience make an emotional connection with your message – which is the only reason they’ll remember it.
We teach that the classic storytelling arc includes character, setting, conflict, and resolution. But if only cliches are coming to mind as you hunt for your presentation visuals, think of a new way to show the idea.
If you choose a fish theme over children, make sure that any follow on graphics are also fish.
But the interesting thing we notice is that if you flash a photo to 10 people, you might get 10 different ideas of what it represents. Adding visuals is a great way to break up text – particularly in a presentation – but too many photos can be distracting. TPC’s flagship workshop, Creating Visual Messages, teaches participants how to “think visually” and simplify complex information into clear, authentic visual messages. Using today’s most innovative presentation technologies, TPC helps people transform complex messages and data into memorable, persuasive visual stories.
Designer Michael Dearing suggests taking inspiration from science fairs to make them exhibits that are more engaging and interactive. Plenty of talks, sales meetings, pitches, networking events and the like have forced me to get better at presenting and speaking in public.
Try and grab your audience's attention at the start with something interesting or exciting so that they are interested in finding out more. Less is more here, try not to put too many words on the slides and do try to use images where possible. If you're worried about forgetting things then have a separate set of notes (printed in a large font) with everything you want to say in bullet point form. Speaking fast also means that you will sometimes speak faster than your brain can keep up, causing you to get confused or to "umm". The founder of physician-finding tool ZocDoc, Cyrus Massoumi, started the company based on a personal experience — he burst his eardrum while travelling and it took him days to find a doctor. In an email exchange with Gopalakrishna, I got an entire rundown on what he thinks should be included in a pitch, but I was most intrigued by his thoughts on how much (or little) technology speak should be included.


Pick one." And while you're at it, know that your financial projections are always wrong, he says. Downey also confesses that she's had to become more comfortable with public speaking over time. Remember that trust is still the goal here, so be honest and thoughtful when pitching and answering questions, says Samir Housri, principal at Rho Ventures. If you misrepresent yourself or your product, you hurt your own credibility and this can start the relationship off on the wrong foot. The cliched poses were funny because they looked so much like today’s cheesiest stock photography!
For example, if you want to show a school setting, why not use a school of fish rather than a classroom of little humans? Although you must trust your gut in selecting a visual representation of your ideas, it is also crucial that it expresses the meaning you intend. Dearing is no stranger to meetings, having been an executive at eBay, Disney and other companies. If you do have text on your slides then keep it brief (bullet points not full sentences) and use it to support what you're saying. He says that many entrepreneurs go heavy on the technology and how it works, taking up about half of their pitch with those details and only leaving a smidgen of time for competition and market details. Otherwise, investors might see a red flag — either that you will take money from anyone, or you are trying to create a bidding war — neither is a good situation on the investor's end. Note which photos websites feature as ‘most popular’ or ‘most downloaded’ and eliminate these first. People in stock photos can make excellent characters in your presentation story – if done right. Even better, some stock photo sites let you search specifically for a particular model, shown in different contexts. His idea for these science fair-inspired meetings is based on the notion that the current formula of "speaker on podium, audience in chairs" is boring and quickly loses attention.
In agreement with Medema, Downey agrees that storytelling is essential and that the old adage of "show, don't tell" is huge here. Getting an investment from the wrong person can be a decision you'll later regret, as not every investor offers equal value.
If the smiles look fake, if the emotions are overdone, if people are posed like mannequins, skip it. The science fair approach has the speaker print out his presentation and hang it up in different parts of the room, and then lead the audience in a walk from slide to slide.
Dearing suggests giving the audience Post-It notes which they can write feedback on and stick to the slide. The idea is to "equalise airtime." If participants have to limit their comments to one Post-it note, you can come closer to evaluating their input by its on-paper merit, as opposed to the volume or vehemence at which participants voice their opinions. Better still, if you anonymise the Post-it notes, you'll get even closer to evaluating the pure merit of the input, and avoiding the quid pro quo politics that can compromise the spirit of collective improvement. Dearing's full video is worth watching, where he explains how the science fair approach affects physical space, the concepts of sharing and receiving, and the general feeling of a meeting.
There are also some other tips in there, like taking feedback on whiteboards instead of post-it notes.



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