PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

On Monday of this week, I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal by Ty McMahan.  It was entitled “Perfecting the Pitch.”

Mr. McMahan was writing about advice venture capitalists have for the entrepreneurs who present to them.  They see many poor presentations and have strong ideas about what could make them better.

Two pieces of advice focused on what content should, and shouldn’t, come in the early stages of a presentation.

The venture capital people do want entrepreneurs to tell them, up front, about their credentials and past successes.  They stress the fact that they are not just investing in ideas, they are investing in people.  The entrepreneurs need to build their credibility.  Steve Brotman of Greenhill, SAVP, singles out “seasoned entrepreneurs” and urges them to avoid the tendency they have to downplay their experience and talk about it only briefly at the end of their talk.

The venture capitalists don’t want entrepreneurs using the first part of their presentation to stress technology.  It should be assumed that the investors believe the technology will work.  What they want to hear about immediately is the business case.  Too many presentations feature a long technology demo before they get around to how money is going to be made.

With so much riding on these presentations, it pays to address the audience priorities immediately.

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