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Even if you are only slightly familiar with the Dutch startup scene, you have probably heard of David Beckett already. If not, you should google him right after you are done reading this article. This man is an authority in the field of pitching and he developed a method that is easy to grasp. The energetic enthusiasm with which he delivers his teachings works infectious and inspiring. Silicon Canals is proud to collaborate with Amsterdam’s Pitch Guru as in the coming weeks he will give in-depth explanations for the pitch tricks he recorded in these little clips for Startup Amsterdam. In order to get a deeper understanding of the contents of his work, let’s first find out how a former Canon-marketeer became the Pitching Expert of the Amsterdam Startup Scene.
Practice makes pitch-perfect
Like with all other things you want to learn, practice is the key word when it comes to pitching. David spent hours and hours presenting Canon as a brand in his former career. With more than 1000 presentations throughout his 16 years working there, he is quite experienced now. But believe it or not, when David was first pushed into ‘just standing there in front of an audience’ by his boss Lance Miller he was actually a really shy guy. “With a lot of work, everyone can present themselves, ability or not” so he says. After his time there, the final thing he did for the camera-company was giving his swansong presentation called ‘The 16 things I learned in 16 years Canon’.
The open door to the Startup scene
After some wandering around and working 5 different jobs in 5 years that did not fit him quit right, David got this second book published. In this book ‘Three minute presentation’ he combined his two passions: coaching and presentation skills. “I thought, I have written one book ( The Essence of Amsterdam) , I’ll probably write another one. Let’s write something that people need instead of something they just like. So here it is, something that people need: presentation skills”. After publishing his book, David landed a position with Startup Bootcamp and that became the turning point that brought him where he is now. By giving workshops to young startups, boosting their stories and their confidence, David found something that is right up his alley.
Cornerstone of the Amsterdam ecosystem
When asked why he became an expert in this niche specifically in Amsterdam. David responds with his typical enthusiasm: ‘Amsterdam is big enough to feel like there is enough going on. There are a lot of events, a lot of places to go to where you can network. But it is actually not so big you get lost in it’. In Amsterdam he doesn’t feel like being one in a thousand, which may have happened if he lived in Silicon Valley for example: ‘I feel like I have a position in this ecosystem’.
The almighty power of three
It almost sounds like a religion, but David highly believes in the power of three. Three is a simple, clear and orderly number. With your presentation built around this power, you will get a more structured and appealing story. As a public you can consume it easily, as a pitcher you can remember it. After all these years of experience David sees that the point in giving presentations is to really go for the essence of the story. Skip the details, go straight to the point. With this philosophy he wrote his books, and developed his workshop for startups. David also gives various presentations on all kind of startup-related events. In addition he published a third book together with his wife Sheila ‘Zet jezelf op de kaart’ (Put yourself on the map), that provides practical tips on how how to get your message across and making others aware of you.
Together with StartUp Amsterdam David offered ‘pitch tricks’ in little clips that center around 8 different themes. In the next coming weeks we will take a closer look at each of these themes with plenty of tips and tricks.. So stay tuned for more David Beckett!
Want to profit from David knowledge of presentations skills? On Friday November 25th he provides a full day-workshop! For more information head to this website.