5 Quick Presentation Tips for Startup Pitches

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That is what exactly we need to know!

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David Cummings on Startups

Tonight I had the opportunity to hear startup pitches at the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition regional final at the Atlanta Tech Village. Being a regional final, this group represented the best HBS-affiliated teams from around the Southeast. Here are five quick presentation tips for startup pitches after seeing tonight’s event:

  1. Tell a Story – Most of the pitches were product-heavy and not story-oriented. The winner of the event told the best story and made the problem/solution most relatable.
  2. Invest in Slides – Slides should be visually compelling, even if the investment is modest. Everyone in the audience knows immediately if they’re homemade.
  3. Don’t Read Slides – One of the presenters read multiple slides to the audience, word for word. Ouch. Engage with the audience and don’t read to them.
  4. Max 10 Words Per Slide – Slides to be used as handouts are different from slides for a visual…

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Top 5 Speeches of all time!

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World leaders, successful humans and shokingly confident ‘nobody’s’ have touched us and changed us in many ways for decades. Here is a list of legendary speeches, some obvious, some not so. The question for a few is, was the speech itself so powerful, or was the moment given to these legends, unfolded before them for them to create history. Confidence and determination to be heard is one aspect that flows through each speech in this list!

1. Ouchh Charlie:  Chaplin delivers this legendary speech, silencing his parody to moments of reflection and philosophy of peace, dictatorship and mankind….bravo Charlie

2.  Bad news barer: Robert F. Kennedy announces the death of Martin Luther King, in his sadness Kennedy attempts to call out against racism and control a nations emotion from escalation, “What we need in the United States is not division, what we need in the United States is not hatred…”

3.  Guardian angel: Severn Suzuki addresses UN in front of the world, raising issues of environmental damage and starving children, she does this confidently at just 12 years old. “All of you are someone’s child..”

4.  Oscar Tears: Tom Hanks wins best actor award for Forest Gump in 1995. He doesn’t say anything we haven’t already heard but oh the emotion, the gratitude and the lovely film behind it all….

5.  Alligator wrestler: Muhamad Ali gives his famous speech before his Frazier fight. Never failing to demonstrate how important confidence is, Ali entertains the crowds at a conference.

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