Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

As an investor, what is the worst presentation that you have seen?

I’ve written on this topic previously, including David S. Rose’s answer to Startups: What is the worst startup pitch ever?. While I’ve never laughed outright during a pitch, I’ve certainly had quite a few occasions where I had to work hard not to wince. The problems with bad pitches tend to fall into the following major categories:

  1. The content is just bad, off-base or not thought-through
  2. Slides or other visuals are poorly executed, amateurish, confusing and counter-productive
  3. The presenter is not a naturally talented speaker, has never been taught how to present, and/or hasn’t practiced the presentation

Blowing only one of the three generally merits the presenter at least a respectful response and discussion (although if it’s a case of #1, then there obviously will not be an investment.) The problem comes when someone blows two, or even all three. That’s when it gets really wince-worthy and painful for the audience. As an example, take a look at this presentation, which is really pretty bad across the board:

As for embarrassing moments, the one that takes the cake was several years ago when an attractive woman CEO was pitching to a group I was in, and during the presentation she accidentally knocked off her own hairpiece. To her credit, she smoothly continued as if nothing had happened, and eventually got the investment! What was interesting was that (a) it was a small hairpiece, (b) it was at the back of her head, and (c) guys are notoriously unobservant, so because she handled it so professionally…the majority of men in the room were not aware of the mishap!

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

Written by David S. Rose

user David S. Rose Founder and CEO,
Gust

David has been described as "the Father of Angel Investing in New York" by Crain's New York Business, & a "world conquering entrepreneur" by BusinessWeek. He is a serial entrepreneur & Inc 500 CEO who chairs New York Angels, one of the most active angel investment groups. David is also CEO of Gust.

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