Startup Presentations

It’s easy for a VC to give feedback on presentation and demo styles. We see zillions week in and week out.

The great ones stand out.

But it’s easier said than done which is one of the reasons why I regularly give presentations. Whether it’s at a conference, or our annual shareholder meeting or a meetup or panel or whatever. It’s important to practice what you preach.

This afternoon I was at the YC Demo Day in Mountain View and sat through 26 startup presentations, back to back with just one brief break in the middle.

My head is spinning but I have to say, they all did a mighty fine job presenting their companies. 

Things that stood out from a presentation point of view:

1 – You could see the passion in their eyes. These folks were pumped and it showed. And keep in mind this was Day 2, so they did this whole program the day before. Tireless passion. You can’t teach this. 

2 – Each presentation was roughly 5 minutes long. It sounds awfully quick but they made the most of it.

3 – I loved the rhythm of these presentation. Quick intro of the founders, problem description, product description and then demo. Bam, bam, bam. Perfect. 

4 – A number of entrepreneurs used humor in their presentations in just the right amounts. Too little and the presentation can by dry. Too much and it’s just, well, a joke. But the right amount is a wonderful way to engage your audience. 

5 – Practice, practice, practice. It’s obvious that Paul Graham, the founder of YC, plays a huge role in helping these (mostly) first time entrepreneurs find their way and put together their presentations. And it’s also obvious that these founders practice their pitch over and over again so they can nail it in a room full of strangers. 

I really enjoyed todays YC demo day. Very cool companies and founders showing how much is possible with a small amount of capital. 

Well done!