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Tech vet tells founders to pay attention to VC's stomachs

Apple's former European Operations Director says turn presentations into conversations and keep pitches simple

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2016, 10:51am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2016, 12:06pm

Jean-Louis Gassée, a former Apple executive and a columnist for the tech and business blog Monday Note, has an unusual piece of advice that he likes to give to the start-up founders and entrepreneurs that he occasionally advises:

When you're pitching a VC, pay attention to their stomach.

No, not to decide whether or not you should ask for their workout tips. But because if you do, you will notice the subtle shifts in their muscles and posture that indicate when they want to say something.

That's when you know to shut up, Gassée says.

Pausing to let someone speak or ask a question instead of making them interrupt you impresses your audience and makes start-up pitches more effective for all parties. It turns it into a conversation instead of a presentation, and can help surface the best questions.

Gassée's other piece of advice: If you're bringing a pitch-deck, then make it as dead simple as possible, with all the most important information on only three slides.

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