- Startup founders have to know how to pitch well in order to secure funding.
- Henry Ward, founder and CEO of Carta, a company that helps with equity and ownership management, raised $300 million in series E funding this year.
- At a Business Insider webinar, he identified "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience", as the book he used to learn how to pitch.
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Founders are always certain that they have the next big idea. Communicating that certainty, however, requires more than just passion. Henry Ward found a book that helped him gain the skills to raise $448 million from investors like Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
In a recent webinar with Business Insider’s Shana Lebowitz, Ward explained that the key to presenting a pitch deck, demo script, or anything related to communicating material in front of an audience, is crafting a narrative.
"Figuring out how to clearly, cleanly, simply, and concisely articulate what you’re trying to do may be your most important job," Ward said, if you’re the founder of a company.
Ward estimates that he pitches Carta 12 to 15 times a week in one way or another. He uses it in everything from fundraising to recruiting, and pitches to investors, executives, and new hires.
Yet crafting a digestible, compelling story that people remember requires skill.
When Ward was working on his series A deck, he hand-wrote his presentation as a script, memorized it, and practiced it over and over. That effort yielded a $7 million series A. He’s based his technique on the book The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.
A top VC expressed a similar recommendation. Bill Gurley, a Silicon Valley investor who’s taken stakes in Uber , GrubHub, Zillow, writes that using a pitch deck, and learning from entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs who have pitched effectively, can help founders secure funding.
In "The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs," the communications coach Carmine Gallo, who more recently wrote "Talk Like TED", offers techniques and examples from his analysis of the best of Jobs’s performances in 272 pages.
"I can do it in my sleep now," he said of pitching.
"You can do it too," he added. "You just have to go out and do the reps."
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