5 Quick Presentation Tips for Startup Pitches

Very useful tips for upper year students or anyone who is actively involved in presentations.

David Cummings on Startups

Tonight I had the opportunity to hear startup pitches at the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition regional final at the Atlanta Tech Village. Being a regional final, this group represented the best HBS-affiliated teams from around the Southeast. Here are five quick presentation tips for startup pitches after seeing tonight’s event:

  1. Tell a Story – Most of the pitches were product-heavy and not story-oriented. The winner of the event told the best story and made the problem/solution most relatable.
  2. Invest in Slides – Slides should be visually compelling, even if the investment is modest. Everyone in the audience knows immediately if they’re homemade.
  3. Don’t Read Slides – One of the presenters read multiple slides to the audience, word for word. Ouch. Engage with the audience and don’t read to them.
  4. Max 10 Words Per Slide – Slides to be used as handouts are different from slides for a visual…

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