This is the second in a series of posts distilling various lessons I’ve learnt while working on various projects, etc
My fellow fellows at the CUNY / Tow Knight Entrepreneurial Journalism program are gearing up for their pitches, and over the past weeks I’ve been helping several of them refine their spiel. Herewith some notes on how to deliver more effective pitches and presentations:
- Don’t forget to breathe. Take 30 seconds before you head ‘on stage’ to take slow, deep breaths. This calms and relaxes you, and makes it much less likely you’ll start the presentation by taking shallow, gulping breaths (leading to that ‘running out of air’ phenomenon).
- Pause. Silence is a powerful way of emphasizing a point, connecting with your audience and giving them a change to digest the awesomeness of what you just said.
- Maintain eye contact, but don’t stare. There’s a fine line between engaging with someone through good eye contact and creeping them out. Stay on the right side of it. Remember – don’t just focus on the judges, you want the room to pay attention to you, too.
- Don’t read your slides. Just don’t. You waste time and bore the audience. Slides are your *supplementary* materials; you are the primary attraction.
- Tell me what you’re going to tell me (“Now I’d like to talk about”; “let me me tell you” etc); tell me; then tell me what you’ve told me (“to recap”; “as I’ve explained”; etc)
Startups 101: Thinking about your communications strategy
“Brands and their marketers suffer from what I refer to as medium’alism, a condition where inordinate value and weight is placed on the technology of any medium rather than amplifying platform strengths and ideas to deliver desired and beneficial experiences and outcomes. Said another way, businesses are developing for the sake of development and establishing supporting presences without regard for how someone feels, thinks, or acts as a result. In doing so, “engagement” programs are calculated, brought to life in the form of an editorial calendar that, by its very nature, isn’t not designed to really engage people at all.”
Engagement Ain’t Nothing But A Number | PandoDaily
See also: “if you build it, they will come”.
“The truth is that startups are always in a hurry and always make mistakes. A good CEO knows that she must remain nimble and prepared to deal with the fallout of those rushed decisions. And the mob has taught those nimble CEOs that a nuanced discussion is not what the mob wants to hear. They want to see that belly.”
- I’m So, So Sorry. Here’s My Belly. Now Please Move On. « Uncrunched
“What I do find to be a wonderful development is the way in which social discovery engines like Summify and Percolate surface much more relevant and much higher-quality content than search ever did. (Although I do worry, a }
y just to shut it down.) The more that we share stories and use such tools, the better the chance that great content will get an audience commensurate with its quality — even if it doesn’t have a web-friendly headlines like “How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy”.”
- Quality vs quantity online | Felix Salmon
“Networks beat utilities in the age when everyone is connected to everyone else.”
- A VC: Utilities vs Networks