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Emergence Capital’s Doug Landis explains how to identify (and tell) your startup story – TechCrunch

How do you go beyond the names and numbers with your startup pitch deck? For Doug Landis, the answer is a straightforward compound gerund: storytelling. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot of late in Silicon Valley, but it could legitimately help your startup stand out from the pack amid the pile of pitches.

Landis knows a fair bit about the concept. Following stints at Salesforce and Google, he served as the “chief storyteller” at Box. These days, Landis is the growth partner at Emergence Capital, where he helps tell the stories of the firm’s portfolio companies.

Landis joined us on the first day of the TechCrunch Early Stage: Marketing and Fundraising event to offer a presentation about the value of storytelling for startups, whittling down the standard two-hour conversation to a 30-minute version. Though he still managed to rewind things pretty far, opening with, “400,000 years ago, men and women used to sit around the fire pit and tell stories about their day, about their hunt, about the one that got away.”

Connect the dots

More often than not, decks include a series of numbers and charts. The job of a story pitch is weaving a good narrative around these figures.

Get to the point

They don’t call it an elevator pitch for nothing. And sometimes, even the best storytellers have a habit of rambling. Here’s an exercise for cutting away some excess when attempting to get your story in front of VCs.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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