27 Aug 2015

6 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Investor Pitch Presentation

iamwire is a very popular website which writes about Indian startups. Today they have published my article about startup business plan presentation. You must check it out, if you too are looking to get your startup funded. In this post I talk about the following 6 mistakes:

1. Team slide is just a bio
2. Failing to understand why you are making the pitch
3. Not preparing for the tough questions
4. Top down approach to market sizing
5. Undermining competition
6. Not telling a story, not appealing to emotions

Click here to read the article. If you have any question, leave a comment below.

17 Aug 2015

7 Things that will make your Presentation better

1. Clarity of thought
Above everything else, comes clarity. You must really know what you are talking about and you should explain that to the audience in a simple manner. Albert Einstein once said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." Stick to that. Choose a topic which you know really well. If you don't, prepare and present. Your lack of preparation will show.

You now know the topic well, but does your audience have any idea? Study about your audience. Talk to some of them if you can. What do they know about the topic? Plan your presentation to suit your audience. To provide more clarity use examples and analogies. There is nothing better than a case study or an example to really understand what you are talking about.

2. Brevity (Short and sweet)
Ira Hayes has famously said, "No one ever complains about a speech being too short!" You never feel good when the presenter takes 15 more minutes than planned. No one likes to go home late. No one likes to stretch a meeting. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

10 Aug 2015

What a Magician taught me about Connecting with the Audience

"The magician is the only person who cannot see his own magic" says magician Brian Miller. Because only he knows how the trick really works and this knowledge goes against him.

If the magician came and did everything on his own, people will be not be too amazed. Contrast this with what magicians actually do. They come, cracks a few jokes, allow us to participate in the magic (let us touch the rope, sometimes invite us on stage and make us do something). When this happens, the audience feels that the magician understands them. When they feel understood, they make a connection. That's when they enjoy the most.

Perspective taking is the ability to see the world from the point of view of another person. How do we do 'perspective taking'? To understand this we need to know the difference between visual perspective and emotional perspective. For a magician, the visual perspective is more important. He needs to know what the trick looks like to the audience. There are many ways to do that. Make a video recording and watch it later. Perform in front of a mirror.

7 Aug 2015

That logo on your 'Our Clients' slide is wrong

If you are using the logo of other companies in your presentation, that is because they are your business partners or clients or ex-employers. And where do you get these logos from? Mostly Google.

Let me show you something interesting. Let's Google for Walmart logo. This is a sample of what you will find on Google Images. Have you started getting confused? I was when I started out making presentations for my clients.

Not one but many types. Which one is correct? Now let us Google for JP Morgan Chase.

6 Aug 2015

PowerPoint file not opening in Windows 10 [Solved]

I am using Windows 10 and enjoying it as well. But Windows 10 caused a weird problem on my laptop. I was not able to open PowerPoint, Word or Excel files sent by others. The moment I tried to open the files, MS Office gave me an error message. It urged me to repair the file. Upon clicking repair, it failed to do so successfully.

The solution?

Download the file onto your computer. --> Right click on the file --> Properties --> Go down to the bottom (just below Attributes). You will find Security --> Click on Unblock --> Ok.

Windows 10 was blocking all external MS Office files on my computer. The solution is to unblock it manually.

4 Aug 2015

Why do most About Us pages look alike?

Have you read the About Us page in your corporate brochure or on your website? What does it say?

The About Us page on your website and in your brochure is perhaps the place to use high sounding words which not many understand. It is either written by copy writers from advertising agencies or from people within the corporate communications department. To give you a taste of it, let us check the websites of 3 well known IT companies. I have hand picked some parts of their About Us page. Abused jargon marked in bold.

Company 1
XYZ helps customers do business better by leveraging our industry-wide experience, deep technology expertise, comprehensive portfolio of services and vertically aligned business model.

Company 2
We ensure the highest levels of certainty and satisfaction through a deep-set commitment to our clients, comprehensive industry expertise and a global network of innovation and delivery centers.

Company 3
We help enterprises transform and thrive in a changing world through strategic consulting, operational leadership, and the co-creation of breakthrough solutions, including those in mobility, sustainability, big data, and cloud computing.

3 Aug 2015

Save time, change the default font in PowerPoint

The default font in MS PowerPoint is Calibri but you want to use Arial in your presentation. You insert a new text box on slide 1. You click on the box and change the font to Arial. Now you insert a text box on slide 2. You change the font again. You have a 20 slide presentation and you do not want to do this stupid task 20 times. What do you do?

You change the default font for this presentation to Arial. Follow these simple steps:
View tab --> Slide Master --> Fonts --> Choose Arial. Bingo! You have saved a lot of time. This change means all the default fonts in the presentation become Arial. Slide header, body text and any text boxes / shapes.