Lawyers can earn from other disciplines, so I read the February issue of Fast Company magazine with interest. This month has a section called The Art of Dialogue, which includes a piece on how venture capitalists decide which idea to pursue.
Here’s the skinny from Theresia Gouw, an investor with Accel Partners, on how to give such a pitch. First off, in addition to brevity, she wants the pitch to include how and why the idea presented itself (a personal anecdote works if it’s authentic). Second, she does not want the pitch to overwhelm her with facts and numbers. It should cut through the noise, not crank up the volume. And, third, those who use a lot of jargon will face this question: “OK, let’s pretend we can't use that word.”
The Fast Company issue also has advice on improving business banter from an improv comedy group and how to visualize a verbal exchange from Judith Donath, a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, whose forthcoming book is "Signals, Truth & Design." Want to get better? Look outside ourselves.