David S. Rose is a business-savvy, fast-talking New Yorker who has been called a "world
conquering entrepreneur" by NewsWeek Magazine and has been dubbed The Pitch Coach for his many years of helping entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to potential investors. Last week a tweet was going around asking "...if an info-rich investor deck was preferable to a 'Presentation Zen' investor deck?" David S. Rose gave a succinct answer to this question on the Gust.com blog. Here David linked to a presentation he made at TED in 2007, which I also linked to when it first appeared years ago on TED. David's presentation should be seen by every entrepreneur who is thinking about creating a pitch. Although it is a few years old now, the content is as relevant as ever.
Some of the material may seem obvious to you, but coming from a business leader who has successfully pitched for millions of dollars and helped others pitch for millions more, David is a very credible source. In this TED University talk, David is talking specifically about "the pitch" to a VC, which is different from a 45-minute talk at a technical conference, but there is much in there that can be applied to other types of presentations as well. The top ten characteristics you're conveying, says David, are personal. You are asking people to invest in you, not just the idea. "The primary hallmark of an entrepreneurial fundraising pitch as opposed to other types of presentations is that the most important factor by far is you," says David. "Investors are going to spend the entire session attempting to determine if you are the person behind whom they should invest their money, and how you come across personally is often more important than everything else combined, including your business plan, and industry and financial projections."
10 things to know before you pitch a VC for money
The top ten characteristics that investors will be looking to find in you during your presentation, according to David S. Rose, are: Integrity, Passion, Experience (in starting a business), Knowledge, Skill (in functional operating areas), Leadership, Commitment, Vision, Realism, and Coachability.