Is your pitch signal or noise? In conversation with investor / entrepreneur Mark How.

By | March 28th, 2017|business, investment pitching, investment storytelling, pitching, presentation skills, Ultimate Pitch, Uncategorized|

Mark How has been part of the tech community - launching startups, investing in companies, pitching relentlessly - for 20 years. It seemed only natural to ask him what sets a good pitch apart from a bad one. We had a lively conversation that covered everything from staggering stats (if that investor seems rude, try [...]

Where’s your pitch cheerleader? In conversation with HYAS’ Jeff Spencer

By | March 14th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Jeff Spencer is COO at HYAS, a cybersecurity startup with an incredible story. He's been involved in raises for a number of successful ventures and understands the elements of a winning pitch. His advice? Forget the standard pitch - find a cheerleader instead. You can hit the play button to hear our conversation, or skim [...]

Presentation Insider: From Critic to Collaborator

By | February 28th, 2017|business, investment pitching, pitching, presentation skills, public speaking, speech writing, Ultimate Pitch, Ultimate Speech, Uncategorized|

I’ve recently begun doing pre-speech polls before every presentation. That is, I reach out to the audience to ask what questions they’d like me to answer prior to taking the podium. This is different from working with event organizers to customize my speeches. At best, when I ask organizers, I get broad themes to work [...]

Do experts pitch?

By | February 14th, 2017|pitching, Uncategorized|

If you're a fan of Oren Klaff's Pitch Anything (I love the book), you know that a central tenet of his methodology is owning the frame. The 'frame' comes down to positioning - who can make themselves the coveted prize, who can establish themselves as the authority figure, and so on. The big picture here [...]

Ask, don’t just pitch: An interview with Vancouver Founder Fund’s Jay Rhind.

By | January 24th, 2017|business, due diligence, investment pitching, pitching, Uncategorized|

Before you pitch a company for money, you check their background to see if they 'fit' your personality. And while you're pitching, you engage your potential investors in Q & A, to bring balance and partnership to the proceedings. Seems common sense, but apparently, it's far from common practice. That's what Jay Rhind of Vancouver [...]

Create a Pitch Story That Moves Investors

By | January 10th, 2017|business, investment pitching, investment storytelling, pitching, presentation skills, Ultimate Pitch, Uncategorized|

At the end of the day, a great pitch is a great story. It gives a product meaning, it relates the trials and tribulations of the product's creator, and it turns disaffected investors into eager participants. Unfortunately, there aren't many great pitches out there. Instead, most of us plod through features and benefits while our [...]

What Crowdmatrix’s Rubsun Ho looks for in a pitch

By | December 29th, 2016|investment pitching, pitching, presentation skills, Uncategorized|

Crowdmatrix is an online investment platform that creates crowdfunded equity - bringing accredited investors together to finance growing private companies in Canada. The syndicating and investing process is simple: you can check out portfolio companies - and make your investment - right on the website. Crowdmatrix has ambitious goals - by acting as a catalyst [...]

What Vancouver Founder Fund’s Fraser Hall looks for in a pitch.

By | December 15th, 2016|business, investment pitching, pitching, presentation skills, Ultimate Pitch|

Fraser Hall has an interesting pitch. Like many investors, a good part of his resume includes stints as an entrepreneur - founding, among other ventures, a very James Bond-esque company named Recon Instruments. But that's just part of story. "Two campaigns as Captain of the animal rights vessel Sea Shepherd" is also a line on his [...]

Bring the power of audience insight into your pitch

By | November 24th, 2016|business, investment pitching, pitching, presentation skills, public speaking, Ultimate Pitch, Ultimate Speech, Uncategorized|

I recently finished a weeklong research project for a large client. The days were comprised of interviewing the entire management team, then synthesizing their thoughts into themes. I'm now turning the themes into insights that will guide the client's innovation into the future. It was an eye-opening experience on a couple of fronts. First, I [...]

What OMERS Ventures’ Sid Paquette looks for in a pitch

By | November 16th, 2016|business, investment pitching, pitching, presentation skills, public speaking, Ultimate Pitch, Ultimate Speech, Uncategorized|

Sid Paquette is Managing Director at OMERS Ventures, the venture capital arm of one of Canada's largest pension funds. Paquette's area of specialization is tech, media, and telecom investment (the company has, among others, high-profile investments in ventures like Hootsuite and Shopify). I connected with Paquette at this summer's Experience Tectoria. At the event, we [...]

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