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Friday, October 9th, 2009

Explaining what you do in five minutes

in: Communicate, Funding, Startups

SUCMTL5Next week, the ever-energetic Phil Telio is organizing the fifth Startupcamp in Montreal. He’s assembled five excellent new ventures from a long list of submissions, and both Tara Hunt and Chris Shipley will be attending the event.

I’m helping to judge and counsel the participants, and in doing so I’m remembering just how hard it can be to explain what you do from within your own company.

  • You can’t hone your pitch: At an event like this, you’re speaking to investors, employees, competitors, and advisors.
  • You want to explain it all: You’re convinced that you have to offer a tour of your whole product or service, which makes you rush.
  • You’ve got the curse of knowledge, something Made To Stick talks about a great deal. Basically, you know your own product so well, you forget that others don’t know anything about your market or technology.

In a pinch, here’s what I usually advise people to do if they have no idea how it’ll go. You can break a presentation up into five chunks of a minute each, and use 2-4 slides for each minute, to get your point across.
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