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課程來源:TED
     

David S. Rose談創投提案  Pitching to VCs

 

Skyscraper.

講者:David S. Rose

20073月演講,20089月在TED上線

 

翻譯:劉契良

編輯:洪曉慧

簡繁轉換:陳盈

字幕影片後製:謝旻均

 

影片請按此下載

閱讀中文字幕純文字版本

 

「提案教頭」David S. Rose是商業提案專家。作為一位企業家,他曾成功為自己的公司集資數百萬美元。而作為一位投資者,他更賺進了另外數百萬美元。

 

為何要聽他演講:

David S. Rose對於全世界的企業家而言,根本就是一位多分身的傳奇,他不只是數百位創業者的恩師,有時還是些有天份且幸運者的投資金主。他熱門的創投提案研討會不只名聞天下,而且廣受好評。他已透過New York Angels(就像是Peter Diamandis的零重力公司)砸下數百萬美元,投資眾多剛起步的企業,同時也為自己的公司募集到數千萬資金。

將這些利益融合在Rose Tech Ventures的名義下,Rose的任務是要支持與鼓勵那些未來的大人物,Angelsoft將企業家與45個國家的數萬名金主投資者們連繫在一起;他的新科技培育器是一座「孕育未來企業巨星幼苗的溫室」,Egret Capital Partners不只鎖定紐約的「矽谷」,而進一步資助了北美更多已運營穩健的公司,如果你想巨幅提升自己的領導技能(就算你已經是富豪),都可以透過Liminal Group安排聆聽他的公開演講。

「征服世界的企業家」

—《商業週刊》

 

David S. Rose的英語網上資料

首頁:Rose Tech Ventures

育成中心:New technology incubator

首頁:New York Angels

投資者:Angelsoft

演講:Liminal Group

 

[TED科技娛樂設計]
已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

David S. Rose創投提案

 

早安,我叫David Rose。我是一名連續創業家轉連續投資者。藉由使用PowerPoint向創投業者提案,我個人已籌得數千萬美元創投基金,就靠PowerPoint 提案。然後,回頭來看,我個人監管的投資額也有數千萬美元,也是那些公司以PowerPoint報告向我提案的。所以,我可以放心的說我稍微懂得提案的流程。

 

而你首先必需要想到的第一個問題是:什麼事對創投最重要?當你向他們提案新點子時,他們要的是什麼?很明顯地,答案五花八門。可能是商業模式、財務、或是市場,也可能是其他。基本上,就是所有你必需做的事,到底哪一件事對創投最重要,可以讓他們決定向你投資?有誰知道?是什麼呢?聽眾:人!人?你!答對了,就是你!所以,整套創投提案的目的,就是讓他們相信你是創業者,他們將投資金錢給你,並因此獲得豐盛的回收。

 

但你要怎麼做?你不能就只是突然冒出來,然後說:「您好,我是個好人,你們應該要投資我。」對吧?所以,整個創投提案的過程,你只會有幾分鐘的時間。大部份的創投提案,向金主提案的時間大都約為15分鐘,大部份的創投提案應該短於半個小時,人的注意力僅能維持18分鐘,然後就會開始降低。這已由試驗證明了。所以,在這18分鐘,或10分鐘,或5分鐘的時間內,你必需要傳達出一大堆不同的人格特質。事實上,你必需要傳達出 10種不同的人格特質,就從你上台報告開始。而哪一項最重要的特質是你絕對必需傳達的?是什麼?聽眾:正直。哇!好傢伙!正中目標!我甚至都還沒有提醒他呢。答對了,正直,因為那就是重點。我會比較想投資一位—如果要冒險押注的話,會是我覺得為人直接,而非一位可能有問題的人,也就是他們可能另有所圖,或企圖不明。所以,最重要的特質是正直。

 

除了正直之外,第二重要的特質是什麼?看你能不能再猜出這一題。聽眾:自信。很接近了!是熱情。沒錯,我們要的是定義上的創業家,這些人會跳脫世俗,開啟一個全新的世界,創造並將他們生命完全投入這項事業。你必需要傳達出熱情。如果連你都對自己的公司沒有熱情,

那到底誰會對它有熱情?為什麼他們要放更多錢到你的公司,如果你對它沒有熱情?正直加上熱情是最重要的必備特質。

 

但還有很多其它重要的特質,你必需準備充分,以完整的向創投展現出來。經驗。你必需能大聲的說出:「我之前做過這行。」「之前做過這行」能開創一樁事業和創造價值,並讓事情有頭有尾。這也就是為何創投喜愛資助連續創業家。因為就算你一開始沒有做對,但你已學到寶貴的一課,使你將來受益無窮。

 

除了這之外,除了能助你開啟事業,或執行專案的經驗以外,但並不一定非得是事業不可。可能只是個學校社團,也可能是非營利組織。但他們會希望讓有經驗的人來開創一個組織。下一個特質是知識。如果你告訴我你打算成為了不起的人類基因圖譜研發商,那你最好懂得人類基因組是什麼。我是說,你必需要有專業知識。因為我可不想聽到有人說,我對一項完全不懂的生意有很好的見解。我不知道誰是主要玩家,我不知道市場的情況。所以,你真的必需要懂你的市場狀況,還有你的領域何在。

 

還必需要有該行業必備的技能,才能讓公司經營下去。那些技能包括來自技術的各個層面,如果那是科技產業,也包含市場與行銷,還有管理等。但不是每個人都擁有這些全部的技能。僅有很少人具備完整的技能來經營一家公司。所以,你還需要什麼?是的,就是領導能力。你必需要能說服我們,你已組成一個團隊,足以應付需求,或是你可以辦到這一點。你還必需擁有領導魅力與管理風格,及讓人們遵循你領導的能力,啟發他們、鼓舞他們成為你團隊的一部份。當這一切都具備之後,作為一位創投者,我還會要求些什麼?我要知道你是否值得委託。

你是否願意撐到最後一刻。我要你親口說出或向我表示說,如果有必要,你願意為這間公司鞠躬盡瘁,死而後已,在被拖出公司時,你的指甲會在四壁留下抓痕。無論如何都會盡力保住我的錢,而且還賺更多回來。我可不想要一個只要一有更好的機會就溜之大吉的人。因為天有不測風雲,沒有一間金主或創投資助的公司不曾遇上困境。所以,我要知道你願意死守到最後一刻。

 

你還必需有遠大的目光。你要能夠看清楚未來的走向。我不要另一個只會說「我也是」的產品。我要一個能明瞭一切,能改變世界的人,但除此之外,我也需要腳踏實地的人。因為我要你明白,改變世界的主意很棒,但不一定總是會發生。在你改變世界之前,困境就會先來報到。

而你必需能夠處理這些挑戰。你必需要有合理的預測和因應之道。

 

最後,因為你要我給錢,不只因為是我得付錢,也因為是我,所以,你必需受教。我需要知道你有能力傾聽。我們有很多經驗。那些創投業者,或投資你的金主也都有很多經驗,而他們想知道的是,你願意傾聽那些經驗。

 

但你如何在10分鐘內傳達這10種人格特質而不囉嗦?你不能只是說:「我很正直,投資我!」對吧?你必需做到整體行銷,而不讓人覺得你在刻意傳達訊息。將你的提案想像成一條時間線。從你一踏進門就開始進行。他們對你一無所知。你可以左右他們的情緒,所有的提案或所有的銷售報告,或多或少都受情緒左右。你可以將情緒拉高或降低。自始至終皆然。

 

一旦走進門,第一件要做的事,對於你整體的報告而言,必須有快得像火箭般的開頭。你可能只有10秒,一般是介於1030秒之間,來吸引他們的注意,視提案時間長短而定。以我的例子來說吧!我一直在投資,我已經獲利數千萬美元,都是靠PowerPoint提案而來的。我已投資了數千萬美元—就像這樣,這應該能給你們一些印象。這會是一個因素,因為每個人都可能會認為這是不合直覺的。開頭可以是一個故事或經驗。但你一定要能掌握他們的情感注意力,而將目光放在你身上,關鍵就是開頭的幾秒鐘時間。然後,一步步的,你要將他們引到牢靠、穩健且漸入佳境的方向。從頭到尾所有的事都要不斷地加強這一點。你必需愈來愈好、要更好、再好、還要更好。一步步堆砌起來,最後,「砰」一聲,你向他們擊出一支漂亮的全壘打。將他們帶往情緒高潮,讓他們馬上簽下支票給你,搶著將錢丟給你,然後你才離開。

 

但你要怎麼辦到這一點?第一要事是要有邏輯的進程。當你往回走,或跳過了某個步驟時—想像你正往一條缺了些階梯的樓梯上走,階與階之間的高度可能不同。於是你停住,因為你必需瞭解。你想要一個合理的邏輯進程。就由告訴他們市場的情況來作開頭。為什麼你要這麼做,步驟 XY Z,然後,你必需告訴我你要怎麼做?你要做的是什麼事?你要如何達成?整體來看,這套流程將從頭貫徹到尾。

 

你還必需讓我知道試行結果。你要能和真實的世界連接起來。舉例而言,如果你提到我聽過的公司,或是你業務中的基本項目,我都要全盤瞭解,讓我能產生聯結。證明的方法很多,但一定要是有人已經認可該項目,或有其他外部的證明方式。這可能是銷售,也可能是獲獎的肯定,也可能是之前已有人做過,也可能是你的原型試驗效果良好。無論如何,我都要有實證,證明你所言不是只有你自己在說,有其他人也這麼認為,或有實物可茲證明你說的合理。再者,我所尋求的是利基,而且是可信的利基。所以有兩個面向。其一是有利,其二是要令人能信服。有利的意思是你必需告訴我,你將衝刺五年,每年賺進一百萬元。嗯,這個利基不高。跟我說你每年要賺進十億元,這不太可信。所以,你必需兼顧兩個面向。

 

另一方面,有很多事會讓我不感興趣,使我的情緒指數下降,而你必需要移除這些可能性。舉例來說,就是你說的那些我早就知道是不確實的事物。像是「我們沒有競爭對手,沒人做過這樣的新產品。」可能的情況是,或許我早已知道有人做過。所以,一旦你說沒人做過,碰,你完了!我開始對你的談話打對折。任何讓我思考或是不瞭解的事。使我必需在腦海中打轉的事,都會讓報告的流貫性中斷。所以,你必需要像對待六年級學生一樣,按步就班的說明,但可不要對我擺派頭。這要做得漂亮很難,但如果你做得到,效果會非常、非常好。還有,你的報告概念中不能出現前後矛盾。如果你告訴我XY Z的銷售額是一千萬元,可是下一張資料,或五張之後,數據變成五百萬元。當然,可能一個是毛利,一個是淨利,但我只想看到合理的數字總和。最後要注意的像是錯誤、錯字,或其他愚蠢的過失,或一條莫明出現的線,都在向我顯示,如果你連報告都做不好,你,到底要怎麼經營一間公司?以上就是所有該注意的要點了。

 

因此,最好的提案方式就是找出我們較好的一面,觀摩已經做過這行的人。我們來看看這行最成功的科技執行長,看他們的商業報告如何展現。這是比爾‧蓋茲的 PowerPoint報告。蓋茲在報告Windows的新功能。這是正確的PowerPoint報告方式嗎?不,你想誰才是我們的模仿對象?噢,真好笑!這是另一位巨人。同意嗎?對,是賈伯斯(Steve Jobs)。你在追求一種絕對,這是報告的禪境,對吧?他在這兒,一個小個兒,穿著黑色牛仔褲,站在一個完全空盪的講台上。你的注意力要放在哪?放在他身上!這是賈伯斯!

 

因此,你知道,我們偉大的這些長串要點符號,全幅列表,很好!不,不好。長串要點符號很糟。什麼比較好?是簡短,簡短的要點符號。但是......比簡短要點符號更好的是沒有要點符號。只要亮出標題就好。但是......賈伯斯用了多少個要點符號和標題?基本上,零。那我們要怎麼做?最佳對策:影像,直接上影像。看著影像,一張圖片勝過千言萬語。你看著影像,看過之後,你就會完全臣服。你的注意力會回到我身上。注意到我,還有為何我這麼了不起,還有,為何你應該投資我。為何整件事聽起來都很合理。如此看來,我們僅有極短暫的時間。

 

就讓我們將整個流程順過。看我們需要將那些東西包含在你的報告中。首先,一開始時,不要做長標題的報告,不要盡講些五四三的,還有像「我將報告這個和那個,今朝何日」等廢話。我知道日期,我知道我是誰,我也知道你要報告。上述都是廢言。你只要給我公司的LOGO,

我看到LOGO,那就會和我的大腦產生聯結。然後我再回到你身上,將注意力放在你身上,OK?你要做的是快速1530秒的介紹,抓住我的注意力。然後快速地概述你的業務。這不是五分鐘的提案,就只需兩句話。「我們為XYZ市場打造了新產品」或「我們販售服務幫助人從事X」,像這像的話。這就像是拼圖玩具箱外面的圖案。這能讓我瞭解其中的脈絡,這讓我獲得整件事的主要架構。就是所有你想要表達的東西。這也讓我能將每件事都與你已經告訴過我的事聯結起來。

 

就像這樣,讓我瞭解始末,秀出你的管理團隊。如果你有經驗或你之前也曾做過這行的話,是會有所幫助的。我還要知道市場,市場的大小。

為何這個市場值得耕耘?我要知道你的產品,這很重要。但這不是產品提案或銷售提案。我不想知道所有的細節及其他瑣碎的事情。我只想知道,它到底是什麼?如果它是網站,秀出從該網站擷取的畫面來。不要搬出整套的現場示範。記住,千萬不要現場示範。預製好示範帶,或用一些能讓我瞭解,為何人們會花錢買這樣東西的方式表達。

 

接下來,我想知道的是—假設我已知道你在賣什麼,告訴我你要如何靠它賺錢。每賣出X,你會獲利Y,你的服務是Z。我要知道的商業模式是以單位,或以你所銷售的實際產品為基礎,我要知道你將這東西賣給誰,請以顧客的立場來看。我還要知道你是否有任何關係,可以特別幫助你。無論是配銷關係還是生產夥伴,或其他,反正要有實證,這讓人知道你不是孤軍奮戰。

 

但每個人都有競爭對手。從沒有一間公司是沒有競爭對手的。就算競爭意謂著以傳統的方式幹一些勾當。我都要知道你確切的競爭對手為何,

如此才能助我判斷,你會如何切入整個營運。我還要知道你有何絕招。

 

如果我已知你競爭對手的作法,你要如何預防競爭對手吞掉你的午餐?而以上全部都和財務概況有關,你必需要具備—也就是說,你無法作創投提案,卻缺少財務報告。我要知道三年前,或一年、二年前的報表。或說從你的企業開始存在以來的所有報表。以及未來三年、四年或五年的報表。五年有點太多,也許四年比較合理。我還要知道你提出的商業模式,在產品的基礎上,如何轉換為公司模式。還有新產品的銷售量將有多少。你的每個新產品有X利潤。我要知道驅使銷售的動力何在。譬如,我們今年將會有1,000名客戶,明年會有10,000名。且我們的盈收將會不斷攀升到某一個層級。這讓我能清楚看出未來幾年內,我投資報酬的整體藍圖。我還要知道你從我這裡拿到的錢,如何助你達成目標。你是否要在中國開設海外工廠,或是要將所有的錢投入銷售與市場行銷,或者你要前往大溪地,或任何海外的地方。

 

然後要提的問題是,這是你要求實際獲得的金額。你需要五百萬元,我們該如何評定這個金額?投資十萬賺回兩百萬。你目前已籌到多少?有誰投資?我希望你自己也有投資。因為我是跟進投資。如果連你都沒投資自己的事業,那我為何要投資?所以我要知道你是否有朋友或家人,或金主已經投入資金,或你曾有很多創投經驗。到目前為此,資本結構如何?最後,如果以上都做到了,你已交待了所有的細節,你還是要將話題帶入結論。這會是那支火箭更上一層樓的機會。但希望之前的一切都是很正面、很正面、很正面,更正面的。而且你所說的一切都與我心相契,一切都合理。我也認為「這是很棒的提案」。

 

然後你要將我的視線帶回你的公司LOGO。螢幕上只要放LOGO。然後我看著LOGO說:「嗯,很好」。我回頭看你,沒有什麼要看的東西了,對不對?你要開始總結,將一切綜合起來,給我一個最終的...碰(驚喜)!這個最後的提案要最好將我直接射進太空。在處理這套提案的過程中,你如何記得所有順序和該做的事?你已注意到我沒有盯著螢幕看,對吧?這個房間的螢幕實際上是設在我的背後,我要看也看不到。那我又怎麼知道進行得如何了?我的面前有台筆電,但你看著我,還有螢幕,你認為我在看什麼?你覺得我有在看螢幕嗎?沒有,其實我在看一個特別版本的PowerPoint,它會預先秀出下一張圖文,還有上一張,還有我的筆記,所以,我能清楚掌握情況。PowerPoint已將這個功能內建到每一套PowerPoint軟體之中。如果你是使用蘋果的Keynote,就還有更好的版本可用。另外,還有一套程式,叫作Ovation,你可以向Adobe購買,他們去年夏天才剛推出。內含可以助你控制全程的計時器,而且讓你清楚掌握現況。

 

現在我的總結應該要讓你飛上月球,是吧?David通常會給出10個最重要的秘訣,但現在沒有時間了。所以,David的五個報告秘訣:第五、永遠使用報告模式,或Ovation,或其他報告工具,因為那能讓你明白報告的確切走向。還能讓你按部就班,按表操課,我們因此能準時、完整地結束報告。第四、永遠使用遙控器。你有看到我觸碰電腦嗎?沒有,為何?因為我正使用這隻遙控器。永遠使用遙控器。第三、講義的資料要和你的報告不同。如果你遵守這點建議,你的報告將會有非常充裕的時間,且禪境十足。這對於傳遞你的個人特質很好用,且能讓聽者的情緒受到渲染。但這不太適用於講義。因為你的講義是要給出更多資訊,也因為講義的角色是要在你不在時替代你。第二、不要唸稿。

你能想像一下,「你應投資我的公司」、「因為這是一個好公司」。這樣是行不通的,是不?不要唸稿。第一點秘訣是:千萬不要看螢幕。你要和你的聽眾作一個連結,你一直都想要建立這種一對一的連結。螢幕應該在你的視線後方,輔助你的報告,而非取代你的角色。這就是向創投提案的心法。

 

 

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this talk

Thinking startup? David S. Rose's rapid-fire TED U talk on pitching to a venture capitalist tells you the 10 things you need to know about yourself -- and prove to a VC -- before you fire up your slideshow.

About David S. Rose

"The Pitch Coach" David S. Rose is an expert on the business pitch. As an entrepreneur, he has raised millions for his own companies. As an investor, he has funded millions more. Full bio and more links

Interactive Transcript

Good morning. My name is David Rose. I am a serial entrepreneur-turned-serial investor. And by the use of pitching PowerPoints to VCs, I have personally raised tens of millions of dollars from VCs through PowerPoint pitches. And then, turning round to the other side of the equation, I have personally supervised the investment of tens of millions of dollars into companies who have been pitching me with PowerPoint presentations. So I think it's safe to say I know a little bit about the process of pitching.

So the very first question that you've all got to figure out is: what is the single most important thing that a VC is looking for when you come to them pitching your new business idea? And there are obviously all kinds of things. There are business models, and there are financials, and there are markets and there is that. Overall, of all the things that you have to do, what is the single most important thing the VC is going to be investing in? Somebody? What? Audience: People. People? You! That's it -- you are the person. And so therefore the entire purpose of a VC pitch is to convince them that you are the entrepreneur in whom they are going to invest their money and make a lot of money in return.

Now, how do you do this? You can't just walk up and say, you know, "Hi, I'm a really good guy, and a good girl, and you should really invest in me." Right? So in the course of your VC pitch, you have a very few minutes. And most of VC pitches -- most angel pitches about 15 minutes, most VC pitches should be less than half an hour -- people's attention span after 18 minutes begins to drop off. Tests have shown. So in that 18 minutes, or 10 minutes, or five minutes, you have to convey a whole bunch of different characteristics. You actually have to convey about 10 different characteristics while you're standing up there. What's the single most important thing you've got to convey? What? Audience: Integrity. Boy, oh boy, oh boy! And that's a straight line we got right over there. And I didn't even prompt him. You're right, integrity. Because that's the key thing. I would much rather invest in somebody -- you know, take a chance on somebody -- who I know is straight than somebody where there's any possible question of, you know, who are they looking out for, and what's going on. So the most important thing is integrity.

And what's the second most important thing after integrity? Let's see if you can get this one. Audience: Self-confidence. Close enough! Passion. Right, so here you want -- entrepreneurs by definition are people who are leaving something else, starting a new world over here, creating and putting their life-blood into this kind of thing. You've got to convey passion. If you're not passionate about your own company, why on Earth should anyone else be passionate? Why should they put more money into your company if you're not passionate about it? So integrity and passion -- the single most important things out there.

Then there are a whole panoply of other things that you've got to do to wrap up in this package that you're presenting to a VC. Experience. You've got to be able to say, "Hey, you know, I've done this before." And "done this before" is starting an enterprise and creating value, and taking something from beginning to end. So that's why VCs love to fund serial entrepreneurs. Because even if you didn't do it right the first time, you've learned the lessons which are going to stand you in very good stead the next time.

And now along with that, along with the experience of starting an enterprise, or running something -- and it doesn't have to be a business. It can be in an organization at school, it can be a not-for-profit. But they want experience in creating an organization. Next up is knowledge. If you're telling me you're going to be the great developer of the map of the human genome, you'd better know what a human genome is. I mean, I want you to have domain expertise. So I don't want somebody who's saying, hey, I've got a great idea in a business I know nothing about. I don't know who the players are, I don't know what the market is like. So you've got to know your market. You've got to know your area.

And then you have to have the skills that it takes to get a company going. And those skills include everything from technical skills, if it's a technology business, to marketing and sales and management and so on. But, you know, not everybody has all these skills. There are very few people who have the full set of skills that it takes to run a company. So what else do you require? Well, leadership. You've got to be able to convince us that you either have developed a team that has all those factors in it, or else you can. And you have the charisma and the management style and the ability to get people to follow your lead, to inspire them, to motivate them to be part of your team. All right, then having done all that, what else do I want to know as a VC? I want to know that you have commitment. That you are going to be here to the end. I want you to say, or I want you to convey, that you are going to die if you have to, with your very last breath -- with your fingernails scratching as they drag you out. You're going to keep my money alive and you're going to make more money out of it. So I don't want somebody who's going to cut and run at the first opportunity. Because bad things happen. There's never been an angel- or a venture-funded company where bad things didn't happen. So I want to know that you're committed to be there to the very end.

You've got to have vision. You've got to be able to see where this is going. I don't want another "me too" product. I want somebody who knows, who can change the world out there. But on top of that I also need realism. Because I need to know that you know, that while the change in the world is great, it doesn't always happen. And before you get to change the world, bad things are going to take place. And you've got to be able to deal with that. And you have to have rational projections and stuff.

And then finally -- you're asking for my money, not just because it's my money, but because it's me you need to be coachable. So I need to know that you have the ability to listen. We've had a lot of experience -- people who are VCs, or angels investing in you -- have had experience and they'd like to know that you want to hear that experience.

Okay, so how do you convey all these 10 things in 10 minutes without saying any more? You can't say, "Hey, I've got high integrity -- invest in me!" Right? You've got to do a whole pitch that conveys this without conveying it. So think about your pitch as a timeline. It starts off, you walk in the door. They know nothing at all, whatsoever, about you. And you can take them on an emotional -- all pitches, or all sales presentations, are emotional at some level. You can go up, you can go down, right? And it goes from beginning to end.

You walk in the door. So the first thing you've got to do -- the overall, you know, arc of your presentation -- it's got to start like a rocket. You've got maybe 10 seconds -- between 10 and 30 seconds, depending on how long the pitch is -- to get their attention. In my case I've invested. I have got tens of millions of dollars from PowerPoint pitches. I have invested tens of millions of dollars. That's it -- that should get you right there. This can be a factor, and everybody can be saying it's counterintuitive. It can be a story, it can be experience. But you've got to grab their emotional attention, focused on you, within that first few seconds. And then from there, you've got to take them on a very solid, steady, upward path. Right from beginning to end. And everything has got to be reinforcing this. And you've got to get better, and better, and better, and better. And it's working up to the very end, and then at the very end you've got to -- boom! -- pull them in, knock them out of the park. You want to be able to get them to such an emotional high that they are ready to write you a check -- throw money at you -- right there before you leave.

Okay, so how do you do that? Well, first of all, logical progression. Any time you go backwards, any time you skip a step -- imagine walking up a staircase where some of the treads are missing, or the heights are different heights. You stop, you've got to figure it out. You want a nice logical progression. Start with telling them what the market is. Why are you going to do -- X, Y, or Z. And then you've got to tell me how you're going to do it, and what it is you're going to do. How you're going to do it. And the whole -- it's got to flow from beginning to end.

You've also got to let me know that there are touchstones. You want to tie in to the rest of the world out there. So for example, if you reference companies I've heard of, or basic items in your business, I want to know about them. Things that I can relate to. Validators are anything that tells me somebody else has approved this, or there's outside validation. It can be sales, it can be you've got an award for something, it can be, people have done it before, it can be your beta tests are going great. Whatever. I want to know validation -- that you're telling me not just what you're telling me, but that somebody else -- or something else out there -- says this makes sense. And then, because I'm looking for the upside here, I've got to have believable upside. And that's two parts. It's got to be upside, and it's got to be believable. The upside means that if you're telling me that you're going to be out there five years out making a million dollars a year -- hmm. That's not really upside. Telling me you're going to be out there making a a billion dollars a year -- that's not believable. So it's got to be both sides.

On the other hand there are a lot of things that drive me down, take the emotional level down, and you've got to recover from those. And those, for example, are anything you tell me that I know is not true. "We have no competition. There's nobody else who's ever made a widget like this." Odds are I probably know somebody who has made a widget. And the minute you tell me that -- boom! You know, I discount half of what you're saying from then on. Anything that makes me think. Anything that I don't understand, where I have to make the leap myself in my own head, is going to stop the flow of the presentation. So you've got to take me through like a sixth grader -- dub, dub, dub, dub -- but without patronizing me. And it's a very tricky path to do it. But if you can do it, it works really, really well. Anything that's inconsistent within the concept of your thing. If you tell me sales of X, Y or Z are 10 million dollars, and the next slide, or five slides later they're five million dollars. Well, one may have been gross sales, one may gave been net sales -- but I want to know that all the numbers make sense together. And then finally -- anything that's an error, or a typo, or a stupid mistake, or a line that's in the wrong place. That shows me that if you can't even do a presentation, how the heck can you run a company? So this all feeds in together.

All right, so the best way to do this stuff is to look at our betters -- look at people who have done this before. So let's look at the most successful technology executive in the business and see how a presentation goes. Bill Gates' PowerPoint presentation over here. Here's Gates doing a thing for Windows. Is this the way you should do a PowerPoint presentation? What do you think? No. Who do you think we should look at as our role model? Oh, isn't that funny! There's another great one over here. Yes? OK, Steve Jobs. You want absolute -- this is the Zen of presentation, right? Here he is. One little guy, black jeans and stuff, on a totally empty stage. What are you focusing on? You're focusing on him! This is Steve Jobs.

So, you know, our great -- these wonderful long bullet points, a whole list of things, you know -- good! No, they're not. The long bullet points are bad. What's good? Short, short bullet points. But you know what? Even better than short bullet points are no bullet points. Just give me the headline over here. And you know what? How many bullet points or headlines does Steve Jobs use? Basically none. What do you do? Best of all: images. Just a simple image. I looked at the image -- a picture's worth a thousand words. You look at the image and you see that, and you drop the whole thing. And then you come back to me. And you're focused on me and why I'm such a great guy, and why you want to invest in me. And why this whole thing makes sense. So with that said, we only have a very, very short time.

So let's run through the things you've got to include in your presentation. Well first of all, start out. None of these big, long-titled slides with blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah and I'm presenting to so-and-so, such-and-such a date. I know the day, I know who I am, I know you're presenting. I don't need all that. Just give me your company logo. I look at the logo, and it sort of ties it to my brain. And then I come back to you, I'm focused on you, OK? You do that, you give me your quick 15-second or 30-second intro, grab my attention. And then you want to give me a quick business overview. This is not a five-minute pitch. This is, you know, two sentences. "We build widgets for the X, Y, Z market." Or, "We sell services to help somebody do X." You know, whatever. And that is like the picture on the outside of a jigsaw puzzle box. That lets me know the context. It gives me the armature for the whole thing you're going to be going through. And it lets me put everything else in relation to something you've already told me.

So there you go -- walk me through, show me who your management team is. It's helpful that you've had experience and you've done this kind of thing before. And I want to know the market -- the size of the market. Why is this market worth getting at over here? I want to know your product, and that's very important. Now this is not a product pitch, not a sales pitch. I don't want to know all the ins and outs, and the gazuntas and the yaddas and stuff. I just want to know -- what the heck is it? If it's a website, show me a screenshot of your website. You know, don't do a live demo. No, never do a live demo. Do a canned demo, or do something that lets me know why people are going to buy whatever it is.

Then I want to know -- now that I know what you're selling -- tell me how you make money on it. For every X you sell you get Y, you do your services of Z. I want to know what the business model is on a sort of per-unit basis, or for the actual product that you're selling. I want to know who you're selling this thing to, in terms of customers. And I want to know if you have any relationships that are going to be special to help you. Whether you have a distribution relationship with somebody, you know, you have a producing partner. Or, you know, again, validation. This helps to say you're bigger than just one little thing over here.

But then everybody has competition. There has never been a company that doesn't have competition. Even if the competition is the old way of doing something. I want to know exactly what your competition is, and then that will help me judge how you fit into the whole operation over here. But then I want to know how you're special.

If I know what your competition does, how are you going to prevent your competition from eating your lunch over here? And then all this ties into the financial overview. And you have to have -- you can't do a VC pitch without giving me your financials. I want to know three and -- you know, a year or two back. Or as long as you've been in existence. And I want to know three or four or five years forward. Five is a bit much. Probably four is rational. And I want to know how that business model that you showed me on a product basis, is going to translate into a company model. And, you know, how many widgets are you going to sell. You're making X amount per widget. I want to know what the driver is. We're going to have 1,000 customers this year, and 10,000 next year. And our revenues are going to go up this, that and the other thing. And so that gives me the whole picture for the next several years into which I'm investing. And I want to know how the money you're going to get from me is going to help you get there. You're going to open an offshore plant in China, you're going to spend it all on sales and marketing, you're going to go to Tahiti, or whatever. Out there.

But then comes the ask. This is where you tell me how much you actually want to get. You're looking for 5 million -- at what kind of valuation? 2 million at 100,000. What's the money in so far? Who invested? I hope you invested personally. Because I'm following on. If you can't invest in your own thing, why should I invest in it? So I like to know if you have friends and family, or angel investors in there, or you've had more VCs before. What's the capital structure up until this point? And then finally, having done all that, you've now told me the whole thing, so now you've got to bring it back to that conclusion. This is that rocket going up. So hopefully everything has been positive, positive, positive, more positive. And everything, everything you say clicks with me, and it all makes sense. And I'm thinking, "This is really, really great."

And then you take me back to your logo. Just your logo on the screen. And I look at the logo -- okay, good. Now I come back to you. Nothing else to look at, right? And now you've got to wrap it up and tie it up here. You've got to give me the final, you know -- boom! The final pitch that's going to send me into space. Now, in the process of doing this over here, how do you remember the sequences and doers? You've noticed here that I'm not looking at the screen, right? The screen is actually, in this room, is set up so it's in front of me. So I couldn't even see if I wanted to. So now how do I know what's going on here? Well, I've got a laptop in front of me, but you're looking at me. And you're looking at this. What do you think I'm looking at? You think that I'm looking at that? No, I'm looking actually at a special version of PowerPoint over here, which shows me the slides ahead, the slides behind, my notes from here -- so I can see what's going on. PowerPoint has this built into every copy of PowerPoint that's shipped. If you use Apple's Keynote, it's got an even better version in Keynote. And then there's another program called Ovation you can get from Adobe, that they just brought last summer. Which actually helps you run the whole timers, and it lets you figure out what's going on.

So, here's my wrap up to take you to the moon, right? David's usually do a top 10, we don't have time for top 10s. So David's top five presentation tips: Number one, always use presenter mode, or Ovation, or Presenter Tools -- because it lets you know exactly where you're going. It helps you pace yourself, it gives you a timer so we end on time and the whole bit. Number four, always use remote control. Have you seen me touch the computer? No, you haven't. Why not? Because I'm using remote control over here. Always use remote control. Number three: the handouts you give are not your presentation. If you follow my suggestions you're going to have a very spare, very Zen-like presentation. Which is great for conveying who you are and getting people emotionally involved. But it's not really good as a handout. You want to have a handout that gives a lot more information, because the handout has to stand without you over here. Number three. Don't read your speech. Can you imagine? "Well, you should invest in my company because it's really good." It doesn't work, right? Don't read your speech. And the number one presentation tip: never, ever look at the screen. You're making a connection with your audience over here, and you always want to do a one-on-one connection. The screen should come up visually behind you, and supplement what you're doing instead of replace you. And that is how to pitch to a VC.


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