Think of your investor pitch like a James Bond movie.

Everyone who watches Bond loves the opening sequence, before the titles come on: there is suspense, action, amazing stunts. Those first 5 minutes truly bring home why you love Bond, and that keeps you going through the next 2 hours of nonsensical plot twists.

In the same way, you need to convey the main reasons why an investor should love your business in the first 5 minutes of your presentation. Read here some great advice from the legendary team of Sequoia Capital.

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Present like Matt Damon

Most of us would agree that reading a written speech aloud is not the recommended way to give a presentation. Our eyes are on the page and not connecting with the audience. Our head is tipped down, inhibiting our vocal projection. And we get locked into the words, which prevents us from using a more conversational style. Nevertheless, some of best speeches in history were delivered by reading. Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama come to mind in this respect. 

Besides politicians, actors too can be powerful presenters. In 2012, Matt Damon gave a rendition of a 1970 speech on civil disobedience by the late historian and author Howard Zinn. Mr. Damon managed to read his written speech and yet to deliver a most convincing and moving presentation, IMHO one of his most compelling performances to date. 

Howard Zinn’s thoughts are just as painfully relevant today as they were 40 years ago. Kudos to Matt Damon for sharing these powerful ideas.

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Become a star presenter: lessons from 5 great film directors

Part 1. Quentin Tarantino: “When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, no, I went to films.” 

There are many ways to learn the art of presenting. Most of these involve reading books, taking courses or hiring coaches, which of course are all very useful options. But if you ask me, nothing compares to the real thing. Becoming a great presenter entails watching and studying great presentations, loads of them.

Luckily for us, we live in a time when the most brilliant minds and the most inspiring speakers on earth are just one mouse click away. God bless YouTube for bringing us their faces, their voices and their stories. We can watch them and learn their art any time we want and as often as we like, without even leaving the office. We can study how they walk on stage, open and close their speech, use visuals and build their story. From Martin Luther King to Steve Jobs to Ken Robinson, they are all out there waiting for us, a source of endless inspiration waiting to be tapped. 

Honestly, can you think of a better presentation school?

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This is not a film review

Yesterday I had a remarkable experience. It started when I went to see Gravity, by all means a phenomenal movie. The structure of the story is classic, change the scenary and you get Red Riding Hood. Unexperienced space girl Sandra Bullock is sent on a dangerous mission (the magic voice of Ed Harris speaks from Houston), hell breaks loose and when all hope seems lost, space veteran George Clooney comes to the rescue and shows her the way home. It is the special combination of images and sound that makes viewing this film an unforgettable physical and emotional experience. Outer-space darkness and silence are alternated with crashing metal at brain-assaulting sound level, challenging the senses and sending heads spinning.

After a good night’s sleep I felt ready for more inspiration and visited an exhibition of Kazimir Malevich (1887-1935), one of the pioneers and founders of abstract art in Russia. The exhibition is one of the most important and comprehensive ever, and I don’t need to tell you that his work feels just as innovative and powerful today as it did 100 years ago. And this is when it happened. While I was walking along these incredible paintings, I realized that everything Gravity is about had already been painted almost one century earlier: black emptiness staring at us and challenging our sanity; man-made shapes hanging in a silent, endless space; and then the flying metal that will crash the life out of our bodies. 

There was no sound, but Malevich did not need it to send us traveling through time and space.

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