DAMN, IT HAPPENED AGAIN. I was sitting in on a VC pitch and the presenter had a great story to tell. Great story. She could have knocked everyone’s socks off.
And what happened? Same old thing. A compelling story buried under too much other information that either needed to come later in the presentation (instead of dominating the first 20 minutes) or could have been left out (or left to questions afterwards).
There was terrific potential for dramatic, visceral images (and related commentary) to explain this offering. Images that would have stirred all but the coldest hearts. And what did we get? Some weak graphics, some confusing charts strewn with numbers, and a lot of self-aggrandizing statements.
So — once again — the people on the receiving end had to work harder to decide if there really was a viable offering, one that would captivate the market. And it may be that the ultimate path for this firm is too uncertain anyway, and thus maybe a killer presentation wouldn’t have —
NO. It DOES have a lot of potential. It has a GREAT story to take to the market. And this company may yet get there. But the founder could have made the process much easier for all considered (especially for herself) if she had made the story of her offering come alive.
Why didn’t she?
Who knows? Maybe she (and countless like her) are following an outdated formula? Maybe she thinks that merely mentioning the idea and showing one example is enough? There could be lots of reasons. (I wasn’t there as her advisor, so I don’t know what went into it.)
What can YOU do?
Find the one thing that matters most about your offering — the one thing, not three or six or twenty. Tell that story from the beginning. No, show that story from the beginning. Don’t rely on logic to make your case, and don’t presume that others will “get it” just because you do.
Make it easy for them to understand why your offering is so necessary, and express it with images that will stay with your audience long after your presentation is over. That’s how you make your story come alive — then frankly, my dear, they will give a damn.
[You can find more on this and related subjects at The YouBlog — practical ideas on presentations, persuasion, selling, and communications.]