3 cognitive design principles to create effective presentations

Following cues from cognitive psychology helps designers create products that are easy for people to understand and use—and you can incorporate the same elements of cognitive design into your presentations to maximise their impact on your audience. While we all have different personalities, preferences and motivations, there are some general principles of cognitive psychology that most people respond to and applying them to your next presentation will help you deliver a more "persuasive, interes...
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8 of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when presenting to investors

Pitching your business to potential investors can be a gruelling process. You need to create a well-crafted pitch deck that captures your audience's attention with a compelling narrative that demonstrates your strengths as a business. And you need to be prepared to answer some tough questions. Business growth expert Scott Duffy has years of experience, both as an investor and as an entrepreneur raising funding. In this excerpt from his book Breakthrough , he shares some top tips on how to a...
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6 rules for nailing the perfect elevator pitch

Every entrepreneur needs to master the art of delivering a compelling elevator pitch. While an actual elevator is rarely involved, it's the brevity of an elevator ride that's important to keep in mind. The idea being that when someone asks what your company does, you can deliver a summary that sparks their interest in less than 40 seconds. Like anything else, practice makes perfect and as you get more used to delivering your pitch it will sound natural even though it should be carefully prepared...
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10 slides found in the most successful startup pitch decks

Time is limited when pitching your business to potential investors and a compelling and deftly executed presentation is crucial for making a positive, lasting impression. A single page in a presentation is a slide, a group of slides is a slide deck and when you're pitching to investors it's a pitch deck. Research shows investors may spend less than four minutes studying your pitch deck so you need to make sure every second—and every slide—counts. In this blog post, Bill Clark shares his top tips...
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The 3 most important slides in your pitch deck

A well-crafted pitch deck is an essential part of your fundraising toolkit. Investors are constantly bombarded with pitches from startups and for your business to stand out as an exciting proposition you need to know what potential investors are looking for. Some aspects of the business are more important than others when it comes to creating a winning pitch. Here, Katie Bronneenkant shares the three most important slides in your pitch deck and how to improve them for the best possible chance of...
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How to stop saying “um,” “ah,” and “you know”

Although filler words can buy you some time while you think about what to say next, a speech that's liberally peppered with them distracts your audience and diminishes your credibility. According to research, the optimum frequency is one filler word per minute, yet the average speaker uses one every 12 seconds, writes Noah Zandan. Here, he shares why we fall back into the habit of using filler words, how they influence the way we're perceived and impact audience engagement, and the steps we can ...
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Obsess over meeting customer needs not the product

Many startups fall into the same trap of being so focused on the product, service or experience they are building they lose sight of whether they're genuinely meeting customer needs. "I've read way too many investment pitches and business plans that wax lyrical about product features and service design. But it becomes clear they are beautiful solutions desperately trying to find a problem to solve," says innovation consultant and early-stage investor Matthew Cushen. Here, he shares some of the m...
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Demo Africa 2018 is now accepting startup applications

Talented startups with a working product they can deliver to market—and a scalable business model—are invited to apply for DEMO Africa 2018. A six-week virtual training program for selected startups will be followed by a two-day bootcamp for finalists to become pitch-ready before the final event. On DEMO day, each finalist gets 6 minutes to pitch their idea, in either French or English, and another 5 minutes to respond to questions from the judging panel. The prize for the top five startups is a...
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Three tips to make investors actively listen to your whole pitch

If you haven't grabbed an investor's attention within the first 20-30 seconds of your pitch, it's unlikely you'll be able to pique their interest any further into it. From the moment you enter the room, it's your job to convince potential investors that your startup has something exciting they'll want to invest in—and everything you say and do needs to reflect that. Careful planning and thorough preparation are crucial for a successful pitch: this definitely isn't the time to wing it! This recen...
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Three non-business ingredients of the perfect investor pitch

When you're raising money for your business you need an impressive pitch that captivates your audience of angel investors or venture capitalists. Time is limited when delivering your pitch and you mustn't overlook any of the essential business ingredients, such as vision, problem, target market, solution, business model, marketing strategy, competition, team, financials, and so on. To make your pitch truly compelling however, you need to add some extra ingredients. This blog post focuses on...
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