Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Sales Presentations from a VC's Viewpoint

One of my favorite blogs is called Venture Blog, A Random Walk Down Sand Hill Road. The main contributor is David Hornick, a General Partner at August Capital. David is a Venture Capitalist and has seen thousands of presentations. I thought you might enjoy this post of his from February of 2005 entitled "The Dos and Dont's of Presenting at DEMO." DEMO is a yearly event where entrepreneurs are given 6 minutes to present a compelling argument for their product. For those who need a quick read I will give you a summary but do read his article in its entirety before you do your next sales presentation-you will thank David for his excellent advice!

The Dos
1. It's all about the demo-make your product or service the focus of the presentation.
2. Leave room for spontaneity (or at least appear that you have) Translated, Don't read your presentation.
3. Have FUN. Even though you may be sick to the stomach, hide it. Your audience will pick up on your insecurities.
4. Have a backup plan. This needs no explanation.


1. Don't praise your own product. If your product or service is that great others will sing its praise.
2. Don't use a tagline. It may look good on paper but it may not speak well. Don't risk it.
3. Don't say what you're looking for at DEMO. The VC's will find you if you have presented a compelling presentation. For our general purposes we will disregard this if you are in fact doing a sales presentation.
4. Don't list your partners unless they are great. Remember, it's about the product or service.
5. Don't try to be funny if you aren't funny. This can and will bite you if you don't heed this sage advice.
6. Don't sing. There is always the exception but most of us aren't clever enough to devise and sing a jingle, are we?

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