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Things to keep in mind when looking for the right venture forum

Attend a small forum to help you better learn the process. But keep in mind the following tips for evaluating venture forums:

  1. If the application process is highly selective, chances are the number of potential investors present could be substantially higher.
  2. A larger application fee sometimes translates into more investors.
  3. When you call to get more information on a forum, find out the ratio of investors to service providers.
  4. Will there be more angels than venture capital firms attending? Angels tend to make smaller investments.

Scared stiff by public speaking?

More people say they’re afraid of public speaking than say they’re afraid of death! But ask top entrepreneurs what has helped propel them and their businesses to the forefront, and they’ll tell you their ability to motivate groups of people has been instrumental in their success.

When planning a presentation, start by considering what your audience wishes to gain from your talk. Then create a speech that presents relevant facts and reasonable solutions. Structure your presentation so it flows logically, and incorporate visuals to add interest. Leave time for questions and audience interaction to build rapport and demonstrate your expertise.

Typically, content and structure are less of a problem for presenters than is the issue of style. You can produce an eye-catching and comprehensive multimedia presentation using a presentation graphics package, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, in combination with a computer and a projector or monitor. Programs allow you to incorporate bulleted points, images, and audio and video clips. Whether you use the latest equipment or simple flip charts, make sure your presentation is visually appealing and never dull.

Most important, keep your presentation free of negative behavior. Eliminate anything that detracts from communicating solid, benefit oriented information in an engaging manner.

Here are just a few of the most common types. See if you can spot a problem you need to work on.

The Slow Talker
Who speaks at an unnaturally halting rate that makes the audience want to jump out of their seats with impatience.

The Low Talker
Who speaks quietly, generally with eyes cast down. This awkward shyness eventually makes the audience so uncomfortable, they forget what’s being said and concentrate on the speaker’s embarrassment instead.



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