Times are tough, and we are all feeling the crunch of the economic slowdown. We feel it at the gas pump. We feel it in the aisles at the grocery store. We hear it in the voices of our colleagues and we see it every night on the six o’clock news. These times make it tough to plan the rest of the week, let alone the coming years. All too often, times like these leave their mark in efforts squandered and dreams deferred.

As hard as things are right now, it’s important to continue to make strides toward realizing our dreams. Perhaps more than ever it’s important to strive for innovation, entrepreneurship and new ways to solve old problems. We all know people who are having a hard go of it. We also know that there will be fortunes made during the next few years. Don’t put off your dreams. Put together a great presentation so that you can get the capital you need to make your visions real.

It takes money to make money, and in a tough economy you better be at your best if you’re going to compete at the edge. Venture capital is the name of the game when you are looking to get off the blocks with a new company or product, and a great presentation can mean the difference between having the funds you need and delaying your dreams

Here are lessons to help guide you to the perfect pitch. Enter the Seinfeld Lessons of Pitching.

The Seinfeld television show was one of the most successful programs of all time, and – although it was a “show about nothing” – you probably have favorite episodes that featured chocolate Babka’s, the New York Yankees, John F. Kennedy Jr., muffin tops, and Soup Nazi’s. The point is that every Seinfeld episode was packed with solid material – only the best stuff.

The same should be true for your next pitch.  Here are three principles that make up the Seinfeld Lessons of Pitching:

Lesson #1:  Make Your Presentation Move, Baby!
There is a great episode where the character of George (played by Jason Alexander) gets hit in the eye with a piece of pulp.  It is from this one scene where he states the very funny – “Pulp can move, baby.”  Every Seinfeld episode was packed with plots, subplots, and hijinx just like this, and – once you subtract for commercials – it delivered it all in under 20 minutes.  Your pitch should be delivered in the same fashion – quickly.  State the problem and why your product or service is the solution and then be done.

Lesson #2:  Even “Nothing” is a Story
Every product and every service has a story.  Even Seinfeld made 180 stories about nothing.  If you don’t have one for your new venture, then dig a bit deeper – it’s there.  Still no luck?  Maybe you need to reevaluate the value of your product or service?

Lesson #3:  Beware of Pitch Nazis
You are now ready to give your pitch.  You have spent hours working on your message, designing your PowerPoint, and practicing in front of a mirror only to find that by the time you make it to Slide 2 you get ambushed.  It’s inevitable so be prepared.  The lesson:  know your material inside and out.

Follow these lessons and you will practically foolproof your presentations. Spend some time making it great and you will be Master of the Presentation Domain!

2 responses to “Presentation Tips from Seinfeld”

  1. Every presentation must sell something, be it a product or an idea.

    Attention spans are short. So a presentation really has to “move, baby.” In his book, ‘How to Master the Art of Selling’, Tom Hopkins writes that a sales presentation should last no more than 20 minutes, whether the product is for a can of paint or an private jet.

    Sure, there may be exceptions. Some products and services are best sold with long copy. The point is that you can’t bore people into buying anything.

    You’ve got to “make it move, baby.”

  2. […] For complete details about the presentation tips, please head here. […]

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