The Do's and Don'ts of a Demo Day

With UpTech’s Demo Day this Thursday, March 12 and OCEAN’s Demo Day right around the corner we wanted to give #StartupCincy some tips and tricks for presenting on a Demo Day.

Here are five DOs and DON’Ts when it comes to presenting your company to an audience.


1. Create a Linear NarrativeStory Arc for UpTech Demo Day

You’re not just presenting your company, you’re presenting your story. So you need to know what the story is and, more importantly, how to make it compelling. If people don’t like your story; they won’t like your company.

2. Be Direct

It’s hard for people to follow a complex narratives so stick to the basics. A successful presentation should cover all of these points.

  • Problem – What is the unmet need?
  • Solution – What specific solution do you provide?
  • Go-to-market – How will you get this solution to your customers in scale?
  • Market Opportunity – How many targets can you reach and at what cost?
  • Team – Why is this the team to execute the idea? What market and/or industry experience do you have?

3. Be Visual

A picture is worth a thousand words. This is a popular saying because it’s true. Your presentation should have powerful images that complement your words. People came to see your presentation – not to read it.

4. Speak Slowly

When people are passionate about something, they talk quickly. You need to resist this urge. Each word matters so take the time to talk slowly and deliberately. And don’t be afraid to pause. Pauses allow the audience to catch up and digest everything you’ve told them.

5. Practice

Practice, practice, practice. And then practice some more. Confidence is key and you’ll only be confidant if you’re prepared. Know what you want to say and deliver it with gusto!


1. Try to Explain Everything

Your audience doesn’t need to know everything. Don’t get caught up in the explicit detail of your PCC campaign or why you choose blue instead of red for your logo. Only select information is relevant to your audience.

2. Re-purpose an Old Presentation

Knowing your audience is paramount. It might mean you have to change one slide, it might mean you have to create a whole new deck. Either way, make sure your presentation is tailored to that audience that day.

3. Dress FlashyFlashy man is Flashy UpTech Demo Day

You want your presentation to be memorable – not your clothes. If your dress is part of your presentation, great, but don’t be so loud that it takes away from your content.

4. Reveal Proprietary Information

If individuals or investors are interested in learning more about your company they can do it offline. Talk to your strenghts but don’t give away anything unnecessarily.

5. Over Ask

Some presentation formats are OK with fundraising, some aren’t. This is a legal consideration so make sure you know in advance what you can ask the audience for.

But perhaps the best advice is to have fun. You’ve worked hard to get where you are. Now it’s your time to show your stuff.

Everyone at Cintrifuse is looking forward to seeing all the great UpTech startups present this Thursday and we want to wish them all the best of luck!

Photo Credit:

The Story Arc – Hsin-Cheng Lin

Doctor Faciler – Robert Miller





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