Pitch Tips from Venture Atlanta 2014

I loved seeing the early stage presentations at Venture Atlanta this year.  The Georgia Aquarium is a superb facility, and the pitches were very good.  However, it is worth noting for all future presenters that there is always room for improvement.  Here’s a quick list of Pitch Tips from Venture Atlanta 2014 that anyone presenting to any large audience should heed.

  • Do not ever read your slides. Ever.
  • If you’re going to use planned  humor, make it really, really good. If it falls flat, you’re off your game.
  • Using audience participation is a real gamble. Be sure it’s going to work, and do it like a boss. The boss.
  • If you really, absolutely, positively MUST have text on your slides, MAKE IT HUGE!
  • Monotone speakers put audiences to sleep, no matter how interesting the material is. If you speak in a monotone naturally, get some coaching to help you break it up a little. Or a lot. You don’t want to be remembered for being boring.
  • The “Ask”. When you say how much you’re asking for or how much you’re raising, give a number. One number. Say it confidently.  Repeat after me: “We are raising 2.5 million dollars in Series A funding.”  Giving a range means you’re not sure. Be sure, or don’t say it.
  • Do not show teeny tiny little bitty demo screens in a power point. We can’t see them.
  • Do not show teeny tiny little bitty charts in a power point. We can’t see them.
  • Do not start on each slide by saying, “So, let’s talk about our _____________.”  Just talk about it. Naming each slide is as bad as reading each slide.
  • Do not show teeny tiny little bitty UI screens in a power point. We can’t see them.
  • Please, for the love of Pete and all that is holy, PRACTICE your pitch! By the time you get to Venture Atlanta, you should have performed your pitch at least 10 times, in full, in from of some audience, even if it’s your dog.  You should have your pitch memorized! Your slides should be cues to move on.


Best pitch at Venture Atlanta 2014?  TITIN.  Hands down no question, founder Patrick Whaley killed it.

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