Saturday, September 19, 2009

Start-Ups: Beware the Buzzwords, Says Venture Beat

I usually work with clients more on presentation style than content, although the two are so closely connected that untangling the two is often challenging.

Excellent piece, though, on Venture Beat about start-up buzz words at TechCrunch50.

For those at SeedCamp next week -- and at TechCrunch London -- it's worth taking a look.

See you SeedCampers tomorrow for speed pitching.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SeedCamp: Coming Up Soon in London

SeedCamp, a boot camp for start-ups, will take place in London in a couple of weeks. The short list of 40 companies was down to 20 and the SeedCamp participants were announced today.

It's useful to see the trends in business models over the years, all included in Mike Butcher's article (link above).

I'll be serving as SeedCamp pitching mentor on the Sunday for all the companies -- 10 in a room and then the other 10 -- five minutes for pitching, five minutes feedback.

Having seen a couple of the companies pitch for other reasons already, there seem to be a lot of differences among the ways in which companies are represented by their leaders. Looking forward to it.

Will report back at the end of the month on how it all went.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Presentation is a Full-Time Job in (Family) Business

The notion of genuine engagement when giving a presentation -- and self-awareness and discipline -- take on a refreshing shine when Steve Blank talks about it on VentureBeat.

Everyone who works hard knows that presenting in business is s full-time job. Always on the hunt for opportunities, we always have to be aware of how people perceive us, on what we focus, and what we reveal.

However, usually, home life is usually thought of differently. Too many of the high-power executives (particularly men) tend to turn off their awareness -- of their own presence and of those around them -- once they hit the front door.

In fact, the business of life outside work requires the same level of engagement. Everything takes practice, including being present in new contexts. And the more present you can be, the more you can listen (to both yourself and those around you), the better quality of presentation and response you'll get from yourself and others.

Lovely post, Steve.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

May I Have a Word?

I had a lively discussion with Euan Semple today about life, the universe, and everything.

Euan doesn't like the word "teach" to mean the very broad set of activities by or from which people can learn. He's right -- it implies a top-down, Victorian style classroom behavior that is more broadcast than conversation.

Equally, I don't like the word "coach" to describe the activity through which an individual works to improve his or her presentation skills through interaction with someone who understands performance.

Again, it implies a top-down set of behaviors.

As I am called both a teacher and a presentation coach and find the lack of readily available and suitable vocabulary irritating.

Anyone got better words for multi-directional interaction through which learning takes place on all sides?