How to convince investors

Pitching to investors? 3 critical things you need to pay attention to:

  1. Start by stating clearly what you are about—investors are an impatient bunch!
  2. Deal with the elephant in the room early in your pitch—and there is always an elephant in the room.
  3. Use slides that truly say what you want to say—no need to use all the 87 slides of your corporate deck.

Very insightful article by former McKinsey consultant and presentation designer Jan Schultink.

Read more on business presentations.

House Speaker Paul Ryan recently gave a PowerPoint presentation in an attempt to explain the new health care bill set to replace Obamacare.

While the bill later failed, the addition of the visuals is a new and welcome addition to an otherwise complex discussion. If I may give a suggestion: next time a bigger screen, please.

Read more on business presentations.

Great stories happen to those who can tell them.
Ira Glass.


Matt and Ben pitch themselves for charity

Seeing a couple of huge names getting creative on video for the sake of charity is really uplifting. Moreover, it’s always fun to see celebrities being themselves and showing us a different side to the people we see on the red carpet. 

In this short and playful video Ben Affleck and Matt Damon take some friendly shots at each other to spread awareness about a contest organized by Omaze charity in support for a good cause. Two good causes.

Read more on actors and presentations


One of the best pitches ever

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman, you will be sorely missed.



“On paper, Van Lew is one of the riskiest sons of bitches alive.
But, people,
we cannot sum up a man’s life with a bunch of numbers on a computer screen.

All right, we all need to look into our hearts and go,
“Do I think this dude is gonna die in a few years or not?”
Is old Leland here gonna fight off a man…
with the last name “Reaper,” first name…
who goes by the last name “Reaper,” first name “Grim”?
Or will this BASE-jumping,
shark-diving, volcano-luging,
bear-fighting, snake-wrangling,
motocross-racing bastard die?
And the answer is no, friends,
which is why myself,
Reuben Feffer, Stan…
and all of us here at Indurby and Friends…
are willing to lay our asses on the line…
and proudly recommend that Leland V’an Lew…
receive fifty million dollars in life and health…
and automobile insurance…
for a duration of no less than 20 years.
Hey, what do you think, guys?
Are you that kid from Crocodile Tears?
You’re goddamn right I am.
I thought so. Impressive presentation. He’s insured.
Yeah! Bloody ripper! 
Love ya, son!”

Read more on actors and presentations.


Be authentic, not just polished. 

The power of images lies in their ability to tell stories and evoke emotions. We want emotions because without them there cannot be an action or change in behavior. Therefore, the kind of image we choose for our story is critical to the success of our presentation. 

When it comes to visuals, authenticity is one of the most important aspects to take into consideration. Gone are the days of classic corporate imagery, the smiling businessman in jacket and tie, the perfect-looking model, the rosy baby. It is not just about how polished an image is, it needs to feel real, credible, authentic, something our audiences can relate to.

A clear example of this is the recent trend towards more realistic women in advertising. Brands are increasingly moving away from polished idealizations of the feminine in favor of more authentic images of real women. 

Getty Images’ Pam Grossman has some very interesting and beautiful insights to share on authenticity.

Read more on images.

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?

Read more on great film directors

Choose to inspire

I watched two videos several times last night, for very different reasons and with very different feelings. The first video is about the perception and reality of wealth inequalities in the US. It is a beautiful video in its clarity, simplicity and impact. I loved it, it is exemplary in showing how a story based on complex information can touch us and change our view of the world.

The second video is a showcase of 40 innovations for a TEDx event. Each innovation is displayed for a couple of seconds through a combination of images and text. I found it very hard to see the images and read the text at the same time, let alone grasp the importance of the inventions. I hated it, I felt the makers of the movie abused the time I gave them by trying to stuff me up, instead of inspiring me.

Inspiring is difficult, it requires effort and giving the audience a gift they are willing to accept. Abusing on the contrary is easy, it is the selfish thing, it is focusing on what we want to give, no matter what.

Inspiring or abusing, what do you choose in your daily work?

Sciences is part of Life

Science is so much more than its technical details. With careful attention to presentation, cutting-edge insights and discoveries can be clearly and faithfully communicated independent of those details; in fact, those insights and discoveries are precisely the ones that can drive us to want to learn the details.

We must embark on a cultural shift that places science in its rightful place alongside music, art and literature as an indispensable part of what makes life worth living.

Read more on the NY Times.


Remember good old Euclid and his work on geometric algebra? Something magic happens to the ancient theorems when Oliver Byrne (1810-1890) applies some color and principles of visual design. Excerpt from Byrne’s introduction: “We do not introduce colours for the purpose of entertainment or to amuse […], but to assist the mind in its researches after truth, to increase the facilities of instruction, and to diffuse permanent knowledge”. And remember, we are talking A.D. 1847. I love it!