Jul 14, 2019

Start-up Investor Pitch Guide (Free E-book)

If you are a start-up founder looking to pitch to investors, here is a great resource for you. Download this free e-book. It will help you develop, design and deliver a great pitch to investors.

Download by clicking here

Apr 24, 2019

Present a keynote like Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella delivered a keynote at the Mobile World Congress 2019.

How to present a keynote like Satya Nadella?

  • Tell your story and use slides only as visual aids. Your story is more important.
  • Keep your slides clean and use very few words per slide
  • Use large visuals which help you tell your story
  • Use 3 icons instead of 3 bullet points
  • Avoid using too many colours. Notice the simplicity of the slides.

Apr 13, 2019

What slides does Sundar Pichai use? Here are 7 from his Stadia Launch

If you are organising a sales conference or a press conference, here is something worth replicating. Google launched Stadia recently and Sundar Pichai started the event with a good presentation. His slides were bold, clean and powerful. Completely devoid of clutter and supported what he talked about.

His slides were similar to slides used by other CEOs like Tim Cook and Elon Musk. They all use a similar slide design style. Look at the screen behind too. A large screen which mesmerises the audience and gives a larger-than-life feel to the event.

Here are 7 slides Sundar Pichai used.


  • Big fonts
  • Very less text on slides (you should do all the talking)
  • Lots of white space (empty space enhances the power of what is there on the slide)
  • Few colours, but consistent use of the same colours. You only see white, black and pinkish-red in this entire presentation
  • Use lots of images
Liked what you read? Here are some more articles like this:

Feb 24, 2019

How crucial is the start of your presentation? [Sequoia's graph inside] (Post 4 of 30)

We have all heard the adage, "Well begun is half done". While it may be true, does it apply to PowerPoint presentations? How crucial is the start to any presentation?

It turns out, the start is a make or break opportunity. Let me show you a graph from Sequoia's blog. For those of you who might not know Sequoia, it is one of the biggest venture capital firms in the world and it has made significant investments in some of the biggest start-ups.

In his blog post 'How to present to investors' Aaref Hilaly (of Sequoia) shares an attention graph.
The above attention graph is for a 60-minute long presentation. The graph indicates how the attention of the audience changes during your presentation. There are a few important implications:

  1. Everyone pays attention to you at the start
  2. Attention falls sharply after about a minute or two (because the start was bad and not exciting)
  3. Attention rises at the end (we usually focus back on the presenter when the talk is ending)

What does this mean for you as a presenter?

The start of your presentation is a huge opportunity. You start well and you earn the interest (and attention) of your audience. You start with generic stuff (which bores) and you lose everyone.

  • Start with something which is critical to the entire presentation
  • Start with something remarkable or shocking
  • Start with a story, example or anecdote (or whatever helps you grab attention quickly)

Feb 16, 2019

How to end a presentation? Tips from Daniel Kahneman (Post 3 of 30)

Daniel Kahneman is a Nobel Laureate and a renowned figure in the field of behavioural psychology. In his classic book, Thinking Fast and Slow he has shared insights about how humans think and act and the predictable mistakes we tend to make. He has one great tip to offer to you as a presenter.

Your audience, as per Daniel Kahneman, has two selves

  1. The Experiencing Self, and
  2. The Remembering Self
The experiencing self lives in the moment and answers the question, "How is the presentation now?" Whereas the remembering self answers the question, "How was the presentation, overall?"

Now the psychological insight is - Our memory is controlled by our remembering self. The duration of the presentation is neglected. What matters is how we remember the overall experience of your presentation.

The two things that affect this are:

  1. How did the presentation end?
  2. How were the peak moments in the presentation?
As per Daniel Kahneman, the way your presentation ends matters a lot. A great presentation which ends badly will forever remain a 'bad presentation' for your audience. Think about bad movies for a moment. If a movie ends badly, even if the rest of it was good, will be treated by you as a bad movie. The reality is, not everything was that bad. Or think about a vacation. It might have ended very badly but the entire vacation was great. How do you feel about the vacation today?

As a presenter, it is important to start well but it is more important to end well. A presentation which ends badly will always be remembered as a totally bad presentation by your audience. So plan your ending. End on a high. 

Feb 9, 2019

Building a presentation? Know your audience first (Part 2 of 30)

You are building a presentation from scratch. The first step in doing that is to decide on the objective of your presentation (read about it here How to start working on a presentation?). The next step is audience analysis. Unless you have followed both these steps, do not start building your content.

How to analyse your audience?

Answer all these questions:

  • Who is my audience?
  • Why are they coming? What is their objective?
  • What do they expect from my presentation?
  • What do they already know about my topic?
  • What is their designation (if pitching to a company/organisation)?
  • Have you met them before? Do you know their likes/dislikes?
  • What are they most likely to ask me?
Here are a few examples where analysing the audience helps deliver a much better presentation.

Designation: CEO or Junior Manager

You cannot deliver the same presentation to your CEO and your peers, can you? Your CEO will give you 10 minutes whereas you can speak to your peers for an hour. Imaging you are pitching to the CTO of a tech company (client). Now imagine, pitching to a junior manager in the same company. The content, the duration, the approach will be completely different.

Talking to clients vs. investors

You are a cloud ERP software company and you are pitching to the CTO of your client. You can comfortably use a lot of jargon and industry terms because both of you understand that. Now switch to the investor. During this pitch, you will have to lose all your jargon because you know that (if you have researched his background or know him well) the investor is an MBA with no background in your sector.

What does your audience expect?

We focus a lot on what we want from the presentation. We want to make a good impression and make a case for sales or investor funds. But what does the audience expect? We seem to miss this question. I remember attending a sales pitch where the person pitching to me (and my company) was told why we had called him there. We had a specific need. The sales guy did not prepare accordingly and came and delivered his standard sales pitch (it was not customised to our needs at all).

What do they already know about your topic?

Very critical to understand this from your audience or from someone who knows your audience well. The level of knowledge your audience has about the topic will help you speed things up or slow things down.

When you start building your presentation, ask yourself these questions and take time to understand your audience. Now tune your presentation to suit your audience. Understand your objective (read more here How to start working on a presentation), understand your audience and then start building your message.