“Now then, that is the tale. Some of it is true.” – Mark Twain

This sentence is how Mark Twain chose to close his autobiography.  Twain was the consummate story teller and even his autobiography was dictated to a stenographer in order to maintain a conversational feel to the work.

CEO’s do wear a lot of hats but perhaps one of the most important things a CEO must do is communicate.  For the startup, that means telling your story over and over;  to customers, prospective staff, partners, and of course, investors.

Great story tellers get to be great because they tell a lot of stories.  As Twain’s quote seems to imply, the stories get better over time as the teller practices, getting feedback from the audience and refining the message so it resonates with the listener.

Guy Kawasaki says you need to practice your pitch 25 times before it’s ready to unleash in the world.  By that time, you have it memorized and your mind can begin to focus on the delivery of the message rather than the words of the message.  Only then can people really see the passion of your ideas.

Start pitching as early and often as you can.  Look for angels groups, tech councils, inventors clubs Rotary Groups.  Every club struggles to fill their programs.

If it’s been a few weeks, go find an opportunity.  Keep it fresh.  Make sure that some of it is true.

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