Certain rules should be followed when making a pitch to VCs. I’m a big fan of Presentation Zen for its minimalist philosophy on presentations. Jason Mendelson, of Ask the VC, recently posted some common sense advice from communications consultant Matt Eventoff about pitching to investors. Carin Canale, President of Porter Novelli Life Sciences, recently wrote a more specific article in Nature Biotechnology about how to organize your slide presentation. It’s worth saying over and over again that a clear message is critical when presenting to investors. While different VCs will focus on different risks (e.g. market, management, technology, financing, etc.), if the value proposition isn’t clear, these other issues won’t matter. I often hear pitches that focus mostly on technology but never really address how the technology solves a problem. Pitching to investors is kind of like trying to pick up someone at a bar – someone that gets a lot of suitors. The initial few minutes are critical to make a good impression, and you better show some value. That being said, don’t be too disheartened if you get rejected. As in the dating world, becoming a PUA (pick up artist) takes practice. If you have time, read The Game.