Nancy Duarte: Delivering a Solid Startup Presentation

March 15th, 2016   |    By: The Startups Team

Nancy Duarte is a pro when it comes to startup presentations. Not just giving presentations, but starting them, finishing them, and every step in between. Author and co-founder of Duarte Designs, Nancy Duarte is a seasoned veteran when it comes to incorporating storytelling into speaking and creating connections with an audience.

The below video is the fourth part in a series of 10 in which Nancy shares the key components to making a successful pitch using creativity and critical thinking. Find out what she has to say:

Selling your message

Walking into a room full of investors and venture capitalists and selling your startup can be an intimidating task. Not only is a clear and well-organized message key to accomplishing the job, but how you deliver your message is equally as important.

Nancy reminds us that those investors and venture folk you’re talking to are smart people. They got to where they are for a reason. When you’re proposing your business idea to them, it doesn’t come across linear; they’re not seeing the future of your company as a step-by-step process, but as a comprehensive mosaic. This mosaic may not be complete, however, so they’re going to ask questions. Get ready to be interrupted.

“They interrupt you because they want you to fill in what they can’t see so they can move on a make a decision,” Nancy shares.

Building a conversation

Their time is valuable and you may only have a few minutes to convince them that your idea is the one they should get behind. While you may be asking for money, it’s not necessarily going to come down to how much they have in their wallets – it’s going to come down to hope and fear. You need to build up their hope for a high ROI in your startup, and you need to dissipate their fear of making a bad investment.

The best way to do this, according to Nancy, is to build a conversation. Show them your big idea and support it with as much information as possible. After you get out what you need to get out, the temperament of those powerful people listening will guide the rest of the meeting.

“They want to know what they need to know to pull back so they can make their decision and meet the next entrepreneur,” Nancy says.

While it may seem impersonal, that’s the way it works. However, there are a few strategies you can use to make the most of the short time you’re given. The first being building your content knowing you’re entering an interruption-driven situation, as discussed above. This way, you won’t have to risk leaving out any important pieces of information if not prompted to discuss them.

Startup presentations and body language

What you can also do is focus on your body language. Nancy stresses that physical communication is a powerful tool.

“How you use your body in its visual form will communicate your confidence, your sorrow, your ability to make people feel hope or feel fear.”

Investors aren’t going to buy into your company if you’re visibly nervous. You need to set the tone with your body language. Use it to your advantage to make a connection with the audience.

Tying it all together, you need to solidify your big idea, support it appropriately, and hand over the controls to the investors. Get comfortable with your startup presentation and yourself, make a connection to the audience and get ready to answer any question that’s thrown at you.

Summary five of 10 will be coming up shortly. Eager to learn? Continue on to learn more from Nancy about creative presentation material.


About the Author

The Startups Team

Startups is the world's largest startup platform, helping over 1 million startup companies find customers, funding, mentors, and world-class education.

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