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Doing a Presentation: Dealing with the Hecklers

It's been a long time since I've done a presentation to a general audience.   But last week I did one at the University of New Mexico about doing a startup on the cheap.   50% of the people in attendance came from outside the University.  It was a lot of fun. 

From past experience I knew there would be a ringer in the crowd who would ask me deep questions to see if I knew my stuff.  Sure enough, there was one, and I answered all of his questions.   So far, so good.

Then I kept getting questions from someone who kept challenging me on corporate entity types.  For investors, you always do a "C" corporation.  Period.  They insisted that an LLC was a better format.  I strongly disagreed because we were talking about venture type businesses, not lifestyle.  After about the third time an angel investor in the audience stood up and said they would never invest in an LLC and explained why.  Finally that ended that discussion.

Never ran into that before, but it was good that the audience was engaged enough to back up the key points.  

Afterward I decided to check up on the heckler's company.   They did "Internet marketing" and "Search Engine Optimization".   So just for grins, I put in those key words in Google and added "Albuquerque".   Guess which company did not show up in the search results?  And I looked back three pages.  

So here are my definitions.  A heckler just makes noise but has no substance.  A ringer has substance and just wants to make sure you do too.  So if you run into a heckler, ask them to see you after the presentation.  If that doesn't work, walk up to them and ask them to leave.   You owe that much to the people who want to learn something.


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