The Art of the Pitch

Forget “I think, therefore I am.” For entrepreneurs, the operative phrase is, “I pitch, therefore I am.” Pitching isn’t only for raising money—it’s for reaching agreement, and agreement can yield many good outcomes including sales, partnerships, and new hires. Here are the key elements of a great pitch. […]

The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch

I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a pitch should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. This rule is applicable for any presentation to reach agreement: for example, raising capital, making a sale, forming a partnership, etc. […]

By | 2016-10-24T14:09:17+00:00 March 5th, 2015|Categories: Books, Entrepreneurship, Pitching and Presenting, Venture Capital|Tags: |37 Comments

Top 10 Ways to Capture Attention

This is a guest post by Ben Parr, the author of Captivology. You probably deal with attention issues every day. How do I get the attention of new customers? How do I retain the attention of existing clients? How do I captivate my boss or my upcoming date? It’s a hard problem to solve, especially [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:09:19+00:00 March 2nd, 2015|Categories: Marketing and Sales, Pitching and Presenting, Social Media|Tags: |0 Comments

Is Face-to-Face Communication Always the Way to Go?

A common assumption is that communicating face-to-face is more persuasive than email. That's not always true, according to a 2002 study. Researchers found that men are often more responsive to email because it downplays their competitive tendencies. On the other hand, women react better to in-person encounters because they are more relationship-oriented. These same researchers [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:13:32+00:00 September 25th, 2008|Categories: Marketing and Sales, Pitching and Presenting|Tags: |0 Comments

The Soul of Wit

According to a series of psychological studies discussed on Psychology Today, research participants are able to successfully communicate sarcasm and humor in a mere 56 percent of emails—and most of the senders had no idea their attemps were so ineffective. How do you avoid this? The article gives some tips: Read your emails aloud and [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:13:39+00:00 September 19th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|Tags: |0 Comments

How to Captivate an Audience

The four horsemen (horsepeople?) of presentation skills are Garr Reynolds, Nancy Duarte, Bert Decker, and Jerry Weisman. Over at the American Express Open Forum blog, I just published an interview with Nancy Duarte called "How to Captivate an Audience." In this interview she explains the "how" of making great presentations, so check it out.

By | 2016-10-24T14:13:43+00:00 September 16th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|0 Comments

Winners of World’s Best Presentation Contest

These are the winners of the Slideshare World's Best Presentation Contest. Notice the use of pictures and graphics, big fonts, and minimal text. Check them out! First Prize THIRSTView SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: crisis design) Second Prize Foot NotesView SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: design inspirational) Third Prize Zimbabwe in [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:13:59+00:00 September 2nd, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|1 Comment

How to Frame a Brain

Is your mantra, mission, and/or elevator pitch failing? Startups often have the problem that nobody can understand them. If this is you, George Lakoff may be your fix. Lakoff is a cognitive linguist who focuses on "the last smile" between message and recognition in brain. The Chronicle has a brief history of Lakoff's career (thanks [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:14:15+00:00 August 13th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting, Venture Capital|Tags: |0 Comments

Slideshare Announces “World’s Best Presentation Contest”

| View | Upload your own Slideshare is running the "World's Best Presentation Contest" again. Entries are due by July 31st. I'm a judge again this year along with Bert Decker, Nancy Duarte, and Garr Reynolds. The prizes include a MacBook Air, Amazon Kindle, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and copies of Presentation Zen. To learn [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:15:03+00:00 June 25th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|0 Comments

The Art of Unintended Uses

Most people in the mid eighties used personal computers for three primary purposes: spreadsheets, databases, and wordprocessing. Thank God that Paul Brainerd came up with the idea of PageMaker and desktop publishing, or we'd all be listening to music on cassette tapes. The principle that I learned from Aldus is that ultimately customers decide how [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:15:26+00:00 June 2nd, 2008|Categories: Cool Stuff, Events, Pitching and Presenting|Tags: |0 Comments

The Art of the Introduction

Just got back from Houston where I spoke for the Houston Technology Center. Houston has, by far, the funniest Web 2.0 babes in the world: Jenny Lawson of Good Mom/Bad Mom and The Bloggess; Laura Mayes of Digg for Chicks, aka Sk*rt; Erica O'Grady of Reinventing Erica; Tracey Lee Wallace of True Light Resources; and [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:15:50+00:00 April 25th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|0 Comments

“Everything you should know about me as an entrepreneur you could learn from my OB/GYN”

An email pitch from an entrepreneur named Sherry Couch of BizNiche brought a big smile to my face. First of all, how could I skip an email with a subject line like this one: “Everything you should know about me as an entrepreneur you could learn from my OB/GYN”? Sherry went on to write:I am [...]

By | 2015-03-17T13:57:12+00:00 February 2nd, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|Tags: , |2 Comments

Ten Questions With Garr Reynolds

All hail Garr Reynolds! He has written the definitive book about making great presentations: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter). To give you a taste of his book (and increase my link count), here are ten questions (really thirteen) with Garr. Question: Who indexed your book? I know I’m [...]

By | 2016-10-24T14:17:10+00:00 January 14th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|Tags: , |6 Comments

Best and Worst Communicators of 2007

Bert Decker, executive coach extraordinaire, announced the ten best and worst communicators of 2007. He named Mike Huckabee the best communicator and Alberto Gonzalez the worst one. Click through to see the other winners and losers. Even I made the list, but I won’t tell you if it is as a winner or a loser.

By | 2015-03-17T09:33:25+00:00 January 4th, 2008|Categories: Pitching and Presenting|0 Comments