Venture Hacks on Presentation Skills
Venture Hacks has a great post on presentations. It is full of common sense. The gist of it is that the truth is way more compelling than any slick presentation. Here are a couple of my favorite insights:
Could you get up and pitch your company on a whiteboard without a single slide? If you cannot do that you are not ready to present. You don’t know your own material well enough.
Among other things, if you don’t know your material cold, the investors you are pitching will sense it. If you don’t it also suggests that you have not done your homework. You are going to live this project for an indefinite time. You sound like a light weight, if you don’t know your pitch cold.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, even if you know it cold, here is more common sense advice:
Confess ignorance if you don’t know the answer to something. It’s always OK to say: Well, you know, that’s interesting. I didn’t know that. I’m going to go figure that out.
Even if you know it cold, you may be asked a question that you don’t know the answer to. Faking it won’t help. First of all, people will know you are faking. Second, even if you get away with it, you are likely to sound shallow or just get it wrong. You will likely be respected for honesty.
With respect to competition, here is what Venture Hacks has to say:
So, it’s not that the competition is worse than you at everything; it’s that they made a different set of tradeoffs. They made a different set of decisions. Be articulate about what those decisions are, especially when you’re competing with big companies. Don’t say the big company can’t do this; it’s better to say the big company won’t do this. They will make a different decision because of their incentives, their motivations, or their legacy structure. I think that’s a much more intellectually honest way of talking about the competition.
Anyway you get the idea. This post is absolutely worth reading before every time you sit down to work on your slides.