Master Your Message Blog

get to the point

This past week, I attended a “pitch” competition called “The Doghouse” at the Global Petroleum Show, in Calgary. It was for start-up companies to try their pitches in front of potential investors.

Five different companies on two consecutive days pitched their product or service to five potential investors. They were each evaluated and one winner was picked from each group. But here’s the kicker—each presentation could only be three minutes in length. They really had to have their acts together!

It was gratifying for me to see that the ones that followed the “tried and true” persuasive presentation structure won. They had done their homework and had specifically targeted their presentations to that particular investor audience. The others—not so much.

As I’ve helped take a number of well-known Canadian companies public (some of them are listed here), I sat in the audience, taking notes. I sent a short evaluation to each of the presenters afterwards by email to let them know what I thought they had done well and what they might do to improve their message. Read More …

Questions Anyone?Boy, have I learned about this the hard way!

You decide to allow questions all during your presentation. You have a very engaged, inquisitive audience, but you never get to make your main point. You get so sidelined with concerns and side issues that you just plain run out of time. Score one for the audience!

I can remember a breakout session I conducted at a Toronto conference where this is exactly what happened. It was on video blogging: How to come across with passion and credibility on camera. The presentation relatively quickly degenerated into a discussion and I never did get back on track. 

Discussions are NOT presentations!

While I got great evaluations for a spirited and interesting session, I never got to make Read More …