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How to Build an Online Business by Bernadette Schwerdt

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Chapter 21How to prepare a great presentation

A one-to-one meeting with a serious investor can be every bit as nerve wracking as delivering a TED talk beamed live to millions. It’s not the number of people at the presentation that makes it nerve wracking; it’s about what’s at stake, and sometimes the stakes are high and all that’s standing between you and catastrophic failure is your ability to influence.

If you’ve read Richard Branson’s autobiography Losing My Virginity, you’ll recall a story he tells about the early days of his business. He owed a lot of people a lot of money and Mike Oldfield, the singer, was due to be paid his royalty for his smash hit, Tubular Bells. But Branson didn’t have the money and knew that if Oldfield called in the payment, he would go broke. That phone call asking Oldfield to hold off was perhaps the most important phone call of Branson’s life and he needed to summon every ounce of persuasion to convince Oldfield to concede. Branson did convince him to hold off, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It’s moments like these where you wish you had a fool-proof system for creating a persuasive pitch. That’s what the Preparation Pyramid is for.

Welcome to the Preparation Pyramid, the fast-track solution to creating presentations that rock.

The Preparation Pyramid: A 3-step formula for pitching and persuading

Just as hope is not a marketing strategy, ‘winging it’ is not a presentation skills strategy. I’ve rarely heard someone say after a presentation, ...

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