I had a chance to sit through the practice session for a handful of the companies that are presenting at this year’s VC in the Rockies conference (not too late to register, by the way – it’s a great showcase of Colorado venture deals, not to mention world class skiing). Many of them had one common trait: they sucked at actually describing what it is their business does. Som just seemed to forget to mention it, while others appeared to try, but either get bogged down in the complexity of it or just fell short of the mark. This was surprising but amazingly consistent. Maybe they had all practiced their pitch too much or perhaps they were just too close to their company to be objective about how people hear their business description, but whatever the reason I found myself scratching my head and wondering how it could be that we were on slide 8 without any real idea of exactly what the presenting company did.
In the first minute of your presentation you absolutely, positively need to tell your listener what you do. This should be a description that your grandmother understands and should take you only a few sentences. Try practicing on the guy at the coffee shop or your neighbor.
For my complete view on venture presentations, see “How to put together a good venture presentation” from last January.