Playing Catch: Pitch Perfect Presentations for Entrepreneurs
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Playing Catch: Pitch Perfect Presentations for Entrepreneurs

Start up entrepreneurs: transform yourself and the way you communicate. Present with authenticity and impact.
5.0 (1 rating)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
8 students enrolled
Created by David Evans
Last updated 10/2016
Current price: $12 Original price: $95 Discount: 87% off
3 days left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 5 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion

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What Will I Learn?
  • Pitch to investors, customers and partners with impact
  • Speak persuasively without being fake or sleazy
  • Be authentically you and sell powerfully
View Curriculum
  • You can be at any stage of your business but should have at least an idea of what your product or service is.

Course Description

What's possible for you and your business if you speak to customers, partners and investors with authenticity and impact?

This course is not like other public speaking courses. It's designed for startups, entrepreneurs and change leaders to give you the skills you need to deliver compelling pitches, presentations and talks that change the world.

The course is based on day-long in-person workshops designed and delivered by David Evans to entrepreneurs and  innovation leaders around the world.

Learn new tools that will empower you to:

  • connect with your audience
  • tell compelling stories
  • communicate with charisma
  • improve your physical presence
  • use your authentic voice for maximum effect

Course Overview

The course is designed for speakers at both a beginner and intermediate level. The materials will give you all you need to become a master presenter. 

Each of the four sections: Your Audience, You, The Story, Your Voice, comes with video instruction and exercises, so you can put your new skills to good use immediately.

The course is broken down into bite sized chunks so you can choose whether to complete the whole thing in a day or spread it out over several days, weeks or even months. The exercises and supplementary materials provided will keep you improving for years after you've completed the course.

Presenting with power to sell successfully doesn't mean being fake or sleazy. You can learn to be persuasive with integrity.

Who is the target audience?
  • This presentation skills course is designed for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders with innovative products, services or business models. This course will transform you and the way you communicate. It is not for people looking for a template for a pitch deck - you can search Google and find that in 30 seconds.
Compare to Other Presentation Skills Courses
Curriculum For This Course
26 Lectures
1 Lecture 06:33

Content doesn't matter. Or does it?

Watch the video to learn the key concepts relating to persuasion:

  • the three main modes of persuasion: pathos, ethos and logos
  • which modes are the most important to being persuasive
  • an overview of the tools this course will teach you to improve your ability to be persuasive
  • a cool narrative trick to keep your audience listening to the end of your presentation

Practice: Harnessing the Power of Logos

Make a list the key arguments you're making in your presentation. Are they deductive or inductive? Do you clearly state that the conclusions from the inductive arguments are hypotheses based on available evidence? Your presentation is a great opportunity to gather more evidence or enlist the help of your audience to validate your hypotheses!

Want to test your ability to tell the difference between deductive and inductive arguments? Check out the quiz in the external resources.

You'll get lots of practice on pathos and ethos in the next section!

Preview 06:33
The Audience
4 Lectures 16:07

Building credibility or ethos is critical to meeting your audience where they're at and having them be willing to follow you where you want to take them.

Watch the video and learn the four key ways to build ethos/credibility with your audience.

Ethos/credibility is built by demonstrating:

  • competence - be well researched, show relevant past experience and achievements, surround yourself with a quality team
  • trustworthiness - present a balanced argument, don’t be coercive, cite credible sources and be friendly and warm
  • dynamism - be energetic, enthusiastic, use vocal range and make eye contact

Other great ways to build ethos/credibility:

  • dress like your audience
  • use a presentation structure appropriate/expected (or show that you know it and break it)
  • use words that your audience uses: insider words, jargon
  • use evidence from sources your audience trusts
  • tell stories with a protagonist that your audience knows
  • use visuals your audience can relate to
  • customize your call to action

    Practice: Building Ethos/Credibility
  1. What will you do to build ethos before your presentation/meeting? What will your audience see and hear about you before they meet you?
  2. What will you do build ethos at the presentation/meeting? How will you show up/behave? What will you say and do? What will you wear? What materials will you show?
  3. What will you do to build ethos after the presentation/meeting? How will you follow up?
Build Ethos/Credibility

To move an audience from where they are now to where you want them to be, you need to inhabit their perspective.

Practice: Inhabiting Your Audience's Perspective

  1. What excites your audience?
  2. What keeps them up at night?
  3. What do they believe about your topic?
  4. What does it feel like to be them?

If you're pitching investors, be sure to check out David S. Rose's TED Talk on How to Pitch a VC (link in this lecture's external resources). David says that the most important things he looks for in a CEO are:

  • integrity
  • coachability/ability to listen
  • realism
  • vision
  • commitment
  • leadership
  • skills
  • knowledge
  • experience
  • passion

    It’s also important to note the two things investors are afraid of:
  • losing their money
  • missing out on a deal that makes a lot of money

    Preview 02:50

    In this lecture you'll learn how to ask powerful questions to help you inhabit your audiences perspective.

    Practice: Asking Powerful Questions

    1. What closed, qualifying questions are important to ask?
    2. What open questions are you most curious about find out the answers to?
    Ask Powerful Questions

    Learn how to listen deeply at three levels:

    1. to yourself
    2. to another
    3. to the system/space

    Practice: Listening

    1. Ask a friend to tell you a story and, as he or she talks, whenever a thought comes to mind, say it out loud. Ask your friend what the experience he or she is describing was like. How was it?
    2. Now ask the friend to tell the same story and, as he or she talks, reflect back the words used to show you're listening. Whenever you hear your own thoughts, start saying the words your friend is saying back to yourself in your head to get out of Level 1 listening. Ask your friend what the experience was like. How is this different from Level 1 listening?
    3. Go to a busy place, take a seat, and listen. First, zone into the actual words that someone close by is saying. Then, let that individual fade away into the whole. Notice the energy in the room. Does it feel warm or cool, calm or excited, light or heavy? Move back and forth between an individual's words and the whole room. What's different about listening at Levels 2 and 3?
    4. How will listening at level 3 help you in meetings and presentations?
    4 Lectures 13:17

    Learn why it's critical to connect with what's really important to you.

    What's Important to You?

    Our will is directly affected by the super-objective, by other objectives, by a through line of action. – Constantin Stanislavski (legendary director)

    Your Super-Objective is your purpose as an individual, your raison d’etre, combined with your company’s mission.
    One of my favorite ways to structure my purpose is, “I use my [insert your key strengths] to [your impact].” So, my statement of purpose is: “I use my presence and intuition to liberate people from the behavior patterns that hold them back from success.”
    Your mission is a measurable state; e.g., Microsoft’s mission was: a computer on every desk.
    Your Objective is your singular goal for this presentation/meeting; e.g., get the venture capitalist interested in me and my company.
    Your Action is your singular goal for this slide/section/period of time; e.g., in connecting with the venture capitalist, how does it serve your objective?

    Practice: Break Down What's Important to You

    1. What is your Super-Objective, your purpose and your mission?
    2. What is your objective for this presentation or meeting?
    3. How does your Objective serve your Super-Objective? If it doesn't, rethink your Objective.
    4. What is your action, the impact you want to have with this slide or in this section of the presentation/meeting?
    5. How does your Action serve your Objective? If it doesn't, rethink your Action ;)
    Break Down What's Important

    Guided visualizations to help you get clear on your purpose, values, mission and strengths.

    Practice: Get Clear on What's Important to You

    In a notebook or journal, write stream-of-consciousness, for at least 60 seconds on each of the following questions:

    1. What's your new planet going to be?
    2. What do you put on Google's homepages?
    3. It is 7 years in the future. What about your company excites you? Why does your company still exist? What's the impact you're having on the world in 7 years?
    4. Read back over your answers above. What are the common threads? What's important to you personally in all of those visualizations? What's the impact you want to have? What strengths are you using?
    5. What are your values? The stuff of life that makes you go HELL YEAH e.g. discovery, love, chocolate. Make a list of your top 7. If you're having trouble, take a look at the List of Values in the external resources.
    6. What are your superpowers? The personal traits that you know you can rely on to have impact e.g. humor, critical thinking, passion. These are your signature strengths. List of your top 1 or 2. If you're not clear, take the free strengths assessment in the external resources.
    7. If you could make anything happen, what would it be? What will your impact on the world be? This is your core purpose. Type it now and, for bonus points, print it out and put it on your wall!
    8. What result do you want to see from pursuing your purpose? Is it measurable? e.g. cure cancer. That is your mission or Super Objective. Type it now and focus on achieving it with every objective and action!
    Visualize What's Important to You

    Learn how to center yourself by connecting with your wise self before a presentation.

    Practice: Center Yourself

    Here are the questions asked in the visualization:

    1. What's important for me to know about you?
    2. What do you know about my greatest strengths?
    3. What do you know about my purpose?
    4. How can I easily connect with your wisdom any time I need it?
    5. What name shall I call you by?
    6. What was the gift you were given?
    7. What's the significance of this gift?Y

    You can reconnect with your wise self just by calling their name, anytime you wish.

    Center Yourself
    7 Lectures 11:07

    Research shows that human beings are much more easily persuaded by stories than statements of fact. When listening to a story, the same parts of the brain are active as if the listener were experiencing the story in reality, whereas facts merely light up the brain’s language processing centers. Further reading can be found in the external resources.

    Practice: Create Stories that Build Pathos

    1. What are the stories behind why your company is important to you? List the titles of these stories as if they are the titles of blockbuster movies. These are personal experiences that have led you to want to help your customers solve their pain. Practice telling the stories like a movie trailer.
    2. What are the stories behind the formation of your team? List the titles of these stories as if they are the titles of blockbuster movies. How did you meet key team members and/or advisors and why are they on board with your mission? Practice telling the stories like a movie trailer.
    3. What are the stories behind the struggle to solve your customers' problem? List the titles of these stories as if they are the titles of blockbuster movies and practice telling them like a movie trailer.
    4. What are the stories of happy customers whose problems you've solved? List the titles of these stories as if they are the titles of blockbuster movies and tell them like a movie trailer and practice telling them like a movie trailer.
    5. What are the stories of your previous successes, either in this domain or as an entrepreneur/leader? List the titles like they're blockbuster movies and tell them like a movie trailer and practice telling them like a movie trailer.
    Preview 01:28

    Creating suspense has your audience hanging off every word. Learn the trick master story tellers have in their toolbox to engage their audiences.

    Practice: Creating Suspenseful Stories

    • Write a story in the mystery box format. Build the suspense then reveal what's inside. A story where you struggle and in the end succeed, perhaps in solving your customers' pain, makes a great mystery box.
    Create Suspense with Stories

    Creating a real relationship with your audience is critical to being successful in business. Here is the scientifically tested way to tell stories that create deep connections with your audience.

    For more on the research behind connection, see Brené Brown's TED talk in the external resources.

    Practice: Create a Connecting Story

    • Write a story that reveals something about you that you previously considered a weakness. This might be a time that you failed to achieve a goal and what you learned from failing.
    • Tell that story to 5 people who haven't heard it. How did it affect your connection?
    Create Connection with Stories

    Creating the tension between what exists now and the change you want to create in the world is critical to your success as an entrepreneur. Learn how to inspire your audience with your vision.

    The best vision stories begin with what is, then take the audience to what could be (with as big a gap as possible), then tack back and forth between what is and what could be, ending with the ultimate utopia and a call to action. To watch Nancy Duarte’s TED talk on vision stories, follow the link in the external resources.

    Practice: Creating an Inspiring Vision Story

    1. Write a bare bones vision story for your company. Try starting with, "What if..." or "Imagine if...." Outline a future in which your customers' pain is solved by your business. Remember to skimp on the detail to let your audience paint in the color.
    2. For extra credit, write this story, tacking back and forth from what is to what could be, ending with utopia and a call to action.
    Inspire with Vision Stories

    Learn how to create a killer demo using the, "why, what, how, what, why," narrative structure.

    Practice: Creating a Killer Demo with Stories

    Write your demo script:

    1. Why is your product important to customers, what is their pain?
    2. What does your product do to solve their pain?
    3. How does it work?
    4. Reiterate the what.
    5. Reiterate the why.
    Use Stories to Create a Killer Demo

    Learn how to tell stories that are the catalyst for change.

    Practice: Catalyzing Change Using Stories

    Write a catalyzing story about how one of your customers made a change that led to success. Keep the texture light to allow people’s minds the space to connect the story to their present circumstance.

    Catalyze Change Using Stories

    Communicating company culture during a presentation can be done much more effectively than by listing your values on a slide. Learn how to tell stories that teach and communicate what's important to your company culture.

    Practice: Communicating Culture with Stories

    Create a parable that communicates your most important values. Start with the moral of the story and then brainstorm real life examples that illustrate the importance of that moral.

    Communicate Your Culture with Stories
    9 Lectures 38:28

    How the human voice works, a layperson’s version.

    Free Your Authentic Voice

    The first step in relaxing your body is awareness. Learn to focus your attention on your body.

    Practice: Connecting With Your Body

    1. What did you notice when you scanned your body?
    Connect With Your Body

    Once you're able to place your awareness on different parts of your body, now it's time to register the difference between the sensation of tension and the sensation of relaxation. Doing this once is great information. Doing it repeatedly, say 3 times per week for a few months, makes a huge difference to your self awareness and your mindfulness of your body.

    Practice: Registering Tension and Relaxation

    1. What does tension feel like? 
    2. What does relaxation feel like?

    Remember that using metaphor and analogy will activate more areas of the brain and create deeper learning, more quickly.

    Register Tension and Relaxation

    Your spine holds your torso and head upright. Relaxing the musculature around your spine is critical to freeing your powerful, authentic voice.

    Practice: Relaxing Your Spine

    1. What parts of your spine could you see really clearly in your mind's eye?
    2. What parts of your spine were less clear? Focus on visualizing these parts when you are scanning your skeleton.
    Relax Your Spine

    Learn how to rebuild your spine from a relaxed state, with free breath.

    Practice: Rebuilding Your Spine

    1. What happened to your breath as you rebuilt your spine?
    2. When did your breath stay free?
    3. When did your breath become obstructed? Focus on your breath when you rebuild these parts of your spine.
    Rebuild Your Spine

    Watching your breath is the first step in being able to watch your thoughts and feelings and impulses to speak. This practice is different from most meditation practices in that it is focused on breathing to support your authentic, connected voice.

    Watching your breath also transforms your brain. It calms the 'fight or flight' part of the brain and strengthens its connection to the pre-frontal cortex or executive functioning center of the brain. This provides you the space to choose which impulses, thoughts and feelings your follow - a superpower when speaking to an audience of 1 or 100,000.

    Practice: Watching Your Breath

    1. How do you feel in the space between breaths? Use 3 adjectives and a metaphor to describe how you feel.
    2. What's different now that you know you have that space to choose?
    Watch Your Breath

    Not only is it possible to choose which impulses, thoughts and feelings you follow, you can also learn to generate impulses, which generate authentic emotional and cognitive content as you speak.

    Practice: Generating an Impulse

    1. What did you notice as you breathed in the sighs?

    Generate an Impulse

    The breath is the basis for the voice. Now learn to connect the breath with your impulses, feelings and thoughts on sound.

    Practice: Connecting With Sound

    1. What’s different about the quality of your voice when the impulse is clear?
    Connect With Sound

    Your articulators are critical to the clarity of what you say and your resonators create the quality of how it sounds. Learn how to warm them up for maximum vocal impact. See the downloadable materials for a vocal warm up cheat sheet.

    Practice: Resonating and Articulating

    1. What's different about your voice after warming up your resonators and articulators?
    2. What's possible for your voice if you practice this daily for the next 3 months?
    3. Will you warm up your resonators and articulators daily for the next 3 months? Schedule it in your calendar!
    Resonate and Articulate
    One Last Thing...
    1 Lecture 01:11

    You have two ears and one mouth.

    Practice: Locking in the Learning

    1. What are the 3 most important things you want to remember from this course?
    2. What's different now, after having taken this course?
    3. What do you want to commit to doing for your next presentation?
    4. How do you want to commit to showing up in the lead up to and during your next presentation?
    One Last Thing...
    About the Instructor
    David Evans
    5.0 Average rating
    1 Review
    8 Students
    1 Course
    Executive Coach for Entrepreneurial Leaders

    David has coached CEOs through successful acquisitions, first time leaders developing new product lines who more than 20x-ed their revenue targets and middle managers being promoted to run a location that became the company's most profitable inside 6 months. As a leader, David has founded and participated at the C-level in multiple companies across business development, HR, product development and finance, raising millions in capital and building profitable enterprises. He has also trained leaders in emotional intelligence for some of the biggest names in technology. David has negotiated 8-9 figure M&A deals with multi-billion dollar companies, been acquired as well learning the hard way, surviving deals that went south, bouncing back to play a bigger game. David studied acting and writing as an undergraduate, has performed on stage, film and television and spoken at conferences around the world. He has been a mindfulness practitioner for over 20 years and is a Certified Practicing Co-Active® Coach.