Contrarian Advice on Investment Pitch from a Pitch Veteran

by Tim Berry

“We coach entrepreneurs ‘think big.’ ‘Think change the world.’ That doesn’t mean use adjectives that are not credible. Everybody’s revolutionary and everybody’s disruptive now.” That’s Bill Reichert, managing director Garage Technology Ventures, veteran investor, a board member on multiple startups, and someone who has heard and reacted to hundreds of investment pitches. In this talk... Read More »


How do I make a good pitch deck for investors?

by Tim Berry

This is my answer to How do I make a good pitch deck for investors? on Quora. First you need to differentiate between the pitch deck you leave behind for its information value – which has more words – and the pitch deck you use when you are there talk, which should be much more pictures than... Read More »


7 Steps to Practical Business Stories

by Tim Berry

Remember, stories aren’t just stories. They’re truth and promise and relationships established. They’re vital to business. There’s more truth in stories than in all the statistics ever published. Geoffrey James posted How to Tell a Great Story on last month, quoting Mike Bosworth of Solution Selling, and Ben Zoldan, one of his top trainers. So this... Read More »


A 2-Second Business Pitch that Worked

by Tim Berry

Last Thursday I’d just spoken as a guest to a class in entrepreneurship. As the class ended I was anxious to go because I was late for my grandson. The professor was thanking me and three students waited to talk to me individually. I didn’t want to be rude and I like talking to students,... Read More »

Excellent 1 Minute Elevator Pitch

Watch This Excellent 1 Minute Elevator Pitch

by Tim Berry

Although it doesn’t take an MBA to do it, one of the things business schools teach more often these days, as part of the entrepreneurship curriculum, is the elevator speech, also called elevator pitch. The one embedded here, from the Rice Business Plan Competition last week, won first prize in a contest that included 42... Read More »


Tell Your Story Well: Resonate

by Tim Berry

This last Sunday I bought three copies of Nancy Duarte’s book Resonate and sent one each to three adult children. That’s the best review I ever give a book. I’m sad to admit that it happens rarely. But I love this book. If you ever – ever – get up to speak to a group... Read More »

Don’t Confuse Optimism with Business Potential

by Tim Berry

Overheard: I love your optimism. What I don’t like is the complete lack of experience that’s causing it. Ideally, a business pitch is exciting because the business potential is exciting. Optimism ought to be a combination of potential market, product-market fit, scalability, defensibility, and management experience. Better yet, early sales, initial growth rates, proof of... Read More »

1 Great Tip for Better Story Power for Business

by Tim Berry

Here’s a great tip for anybody presenting anything to an audience: Skip the boring preamble. Many times we feel like we have to do a lot of prefacing, but four minutes goes by quickly. If you spend two minutes on background, you’ve lost an opportunity to grab attention. Far better to leave the identifying bits... Read More »


True Stories: One Good and One Bad Answer to Investor Q&A

by Tim Berry

We talk about the slides, and what they cover, but some of the more important moments in business pitches I’ve seen are not about slides, or plans, but rather about the people themselves, and how they respond. For example, I posted last week on about two radically different ways to handle questions about financials.... Read More »

presenting_bar_chartiStock_000000550882_very_small (1)

Pitching Your Business: How Not to Answer A Tough Question

by Tim Berry

Imagine a meeting room in a hotel. You’re an entrepreneur talking to five potential investors. You present their new business with a slide presentation. This is your pitch. The pitch goes perfectly well until it gets to the financial projections. They’re bad.  They are embarrassingly over optimistic. They cast doubt over the entire presentation. So,... Read More »