"Oh -- I get it."
Dylan pointed me to a nice writeup by Seth Levine on putting together a good venture presentation. My favorite two DO's are the first two:
DO have a 2 or 3 sentence description of what you do. This should be simple and straightforward. Your grandparents should hear you say this and say ‘oh – I get it’.One thing not addressed in that writeup is whether or not a company needs venture capital. This is a question for which there is no definitive answer in all cases. Just last week, Joe Kraus (of JotSpot) and David Heinemeier Hansson (of 37 Signals) chimed in with their perspectives on the subject.
DO make sure you start your presentation by telling the people who you are talking to what it is you do. (I’m truly amazed by the number of times it takes 6 or 10 powerpoint slides to get to the part of the presentation where I finally understand what it is the company that is presenting actually does...)