Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Insights and Opinions: GRP's Suster On How Not To Suck On Presentations
For our Insights and Opinions section today, we have a piece from GRP Partners' Mark Suster, who--after watching and judging pitches at last week's Twiistup event--gives some hints and tips about how not to suck at presentations.
Most people suck at presenting to big groups. It's a shame because the ability to nail these presentations at key conferences can be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to influence journalists, business partners, potential employees, customers and VCs.
This was evident at the Twiistup pre-event company pitch last week at UCLA. Francisco Dao came up with the idea of letting 10 companies that weren't selected for Twiistup to do a presentation the night before to a group of people and let the audience pick one company to win the final slot at Twiistup. I was the judge. It was mostly painful. I'm not saying the companies were bad – many were not. But their presentations were not well prepared, not well delivered and lacking in a compelling story that captured the imagination of the audience (or me).
So I thought I'd write a piece on how to not suck when you give a presentation. I spoke about this yesterday on Fox Business News. I'll put up the video when they post it on their website.
1. Show some energy! – No great presentation can be delivered like a conversation. You're not lecturing to a college class, you're not at a cocktail party and you're not chatting with a small group in a board meeting. You're on stage! People are sitting in their chairs for too long – most of them squirming. Many of them have their iPhones and laptops ready to command their attention the moment that you start sucking. You’re on stage – act like it! (Continued...)