I was brought up with Chinese education, my English is always broken. So, when comes to pitching, preparation and the flow of presentation is very much important to me. I attended a Startup Garage recently hosted by Entrepreneur.my. One of the session talks about pitching for MDeC pre-seed grant, conducted by one of the successful grant recipients, Mr. Keng Yew, from SocialWalk.com. I total agreed with what Keng Yew has presented, and I felt very insightful for new grant applicants (to download his slides, click here).
A few months back, I was helping a friend with their grant application, great business model with great proposal written. However, they failed due to poor presentations. A brief recipe of what you should be present:
- Problem – What is the current problems in the market which you found it as an opportunity ?
- Solution – The solutions to the problem. What can your system do?
- Product – The main features of your product that provides the solution.
- Demand – Show them the demand from the market. Tell them this is what the market wants. show them letter of interest.
I believe most of the you might have known of the above recipe. but what you have not notice which kengyew has pointed out, and I totally agreed with that. Things you should get notice for your presentation:
- Don’t put your panels to sleep nor giving them a headache:
- This is one of the mistakes that my friend did. The panels are listening to more than 20 presentation a day, they are tired, sleepy. So, Stop listing all the features that what your system can do.
- Example, you are pitching to built a Toilet bowl with a system that is able to analyse human health condition by examine the faeces (your stool).
- Hence, you do not list down every single feature of the toilet bowl from flush tank, design, flap seat, ass washer, can do this, can do that and bla bla bla bla bla etc. How boring was that!!!
- All you need is to find out your few main unique feature, and focus on that only. the rest, mention in brief.
- if you list down too many features, it looks more like a rojak system instead of a uniquely defined product, and may open up more problems and question for the panels to haunt you down.
- Tell Stories
- “Imagine, every morning when you are sitting on your toilet bowl, there is a nice sweet voice with background music, reporting on your health condition, advising you the amount of water you should drink, print and plan the type of food you should eat. Apart from that, if your ass get too numb, you get to comfort your ass with the massage system”,
- rather than …“The toilet bowl that we proposed will have voice reporting system, a built-in speaker, a printer that will list down the amount of water should drink and the food to consume. and also, a built-in X2131 latest model of massage system.”..ZZZzzzzz …. who cares about X2131 model.
- I am not a good story teller, that’s why I plan for my presentation with stories. Preparation is needed.
- Is all about Emotion:
- You don’t present like you have just gotten up from bed or your dog just died last night.
- You need to show PASSION and EXCITEMENTS. Give me the money or i will ….~!
Malaysian Top model Amber Chia has now became the role model for all Malaysian startups. A lesson that should be learnt when dealing with businesses. According to the news in the recent papers (see: news 1, news 2), Amber ran into a business partnership with a friend that claim to possess a Franchising Agreement from Ford Model, an international model search franchise, to run a show based on Ford Supermodel of the World. Winners of the show would win US$50,000 (RM173,250) each, coupled with modelling contracts and stand a chance to compete in the Ford Supermodel of the World contest. The saddest thing is the business started off with a verbal agreement and Amber have no doubts on the Franchising agreement that her friend claimed to own. And these are the real facts that do always happens in the real world.
We humans tends to be over sentimental than rational when dealing with business. The moral that amber has taught everyone that no matter how close you are with your business partner, you will still need to take in consideration of self protection. Self protection is not meant by profiting only yourself, but is just to be un-harm, where risk are fairly shared and profits are fairly distribute. Coming back to the reality of life, Yes, the business world is cruel and complicated. Even blood brothers, relatives, siblings can betray each other, there is no doubt that your best friend will turn you over. Amber mistakes was not getting a confirmation from Ford Model from the very beginning before running into business and over trust a friend. Sometimes these kind of "sentimental relation risk" is needed to take, but we still can minimize the risk and to be extra cautious. I envied that Amber has the heart and ability to encourage, to train and nourish new young talented models from Malaysia, however, I guess, to protect and benefit others, first you will have to be strong enough to protect oneself.