From pitching to investors to addressing staff, there’s an art to the perfect presentation.

After watching 10 pitches back-to-back at VentureFest Manchester 2016, BusinessCloud asked former BBC News journalist Steve Rawling for his tips on giving the perfect presentation.

Get straight to the point, then elaborate

Tell us what you do and why you’re special in one or two sentences. Do it in simple language that’s clear to almost anyone. Then you can expand.

Bad pitchers waste precious minutes going into detail only they care about or meaningless buzzwords. Five minutes later, we still don’t know what they’re on about.

Twitter’s initial 140-character limit forces you to practise clear writing. If you can’t tweet it, you probably shouldn’t pitch it.

Don’t fight your visuals

If you put hundreds of words up on a screen or in a handout, we will try to read them and listen to you at the same time.

We read faster than you speak, so whatever you’re saying becomes a distraction.

If you want our undivided attention, keep slideshows to a minimum 10 -15 words per slide and offer to handout or email detailed notes later.

If you want to be memorable, get emotional

Don’t worry, I don’t mean you have to cry real or fake tears. But emotions will connect you to people in the audience.

We’re likely to remember how you made us feel, which helps us remember what you said. I asked delegates at VentureFest which pitches they remembered.

The designer who was inspired by her mum’s dementia and the boss who was deeply proud of his workforce both stuck in their minds.

Don’t fake emotion, there’s nothing worse. But if you feel it, let a little bit show.

Steve Rawling runs a business helping people find, develop and sell their best ideas. Find out more at www.newthinking.tools/about

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BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire hosted Ventrefest