More on presenting at events

I’m at Under the Radar – Mobility, where 32 companies are presenting. Here are some more thoughts on pitching your company:

* Don’t read your scripted presentation. Please, please – it’s an auto shutoff for the audience.

* Don’t put more than 5 points on your slide – short ones. A wall of words will not be read and make you look amateur. Powerpoint is not a crutch for poor presentation.

* Better to communicate 80% of your message which is 100% understood, than 100% which no-one gets. Remember that those new to the company need time to digest what you are saying. Don’t overload them or you’ll lose the audience. What’s exciting to you may be far in advance of us mere mortals who are trying to understand our 20th business model.

* Don’t hide behind the lecturn.

* If the audience doesn’t understand your business after you’ve explained it for five minutes, you need to work on your messaging.

* Don’t do a live demo. The Internet connection will fail or some other ‘never previously seen issue’ will occur. Pre-prepare one by all means – the audience understands.

* This is not a keynote. Refer to known trends, don’t explain them.

* Read your audience. If we look bored, move on. If we still look bored, change pace, tone, and the energy level. If we still look bored, stop.

* If the line of questioning starts to get rough, lengthen your answers which will slow the pace, help you get across some key points and shave time off the clock.

* Don’t let it get emotional or defensive.

* Keep it simple.

* Don’t do a live demo – did I mention that?

  • H. C.

    All very good points – powerpoint “pages” should also be taken into consideration, after a certain amount of projected slides in a dimmed room, people will phase out (have yet to test it out, but I think the magic number is 15-25, depending on how fast they get flipped through.)