Mountain View


Dawn, thank you for coming on Silicon Valley Successes. Quick question. What information do you wish you'd had time to say on the show? Or a question that I forgot to ask you that you wish I had?



Well, Shawn, I think you covered all the really good points. I thought of a few more things, but it wasn't because of any Mrs. on your part. Oh, great. Smile, by the way,



those compliments on it.



Yeah, well, um, I think it probably like to mention a couple of the programs I didn't have the opportunity to mention. And we were talking earlier, and three examples of things that I'd like to mention our our professionals, women's, our professional women series, okay, our fuel SV, which is future Emerging Leaders of Silicon Valley. So that's for young professionals. And then also I failed to mention that this very weekend coming up. We're throwing a little street party for 170,000 of our closest friends. Are you coming this weekend? By the way? Probably not. Okay. Alright, well, we'll miss you. That would have been a lot nicer to have you there. But



you know what, it's actually was going through the camera.



No, it's okay. It's a good business showcase. Yeah, right. 170,000 people are walking past they are a captive audience for a weekend. Was that incredible? Yes. So there's that. And to double back to the fuel s fee. That is a happy hour that we host for young professionals. People come for a variety of reasons. We market it through meetup. And what is different about that on meetup and other groups is that we are industry agnostic, and people are there for whatever reason suits them. They may be looking for a job, they may be looking for an investor, they may be looking for partners, strategic partner, I've seen so many different kinds of connections made at that particular event. So it's, it's a wonderful, and then we have a professional live in series. So we weren't people in at all stages of their career so that they can connect and network and kind of make some meaningful transformative connections. Wow. Yeah. So so what you just mentioned there is access to possibly 170,000 onlookers to your company.



Yes, networking events where you'll get to meet other young entrepreneurs that maybe focus on different areas of technology that maybe you can collaborate, right? And if you're a woman, founder, extra special attention that could be given to help you out



correct box. Yeah, that's huge. Right? Anything else you'd like to add? Um, those were some of the highlights I wanted to cover. But um,



you're speechless.



I am. Oh, yeah.



Well Dawne. Thank you for the extra time. Yeah. And I look forward for the next time that you're on SIlicon Valley Successes and thank you for also mentioned all those great other people that we we should interview from score, SB DC and all these other groups. Yeah, so I'd love a warm introduction. Happy to happy to do that. Shawn. Thank you. And thank you, again from SIlicon Valley Successes.



All right. Thank you, Shawn. appreciate being here.


What is Silicon Valley Speaks


Welcome to Silicon Valley Successes, we interview experts and entrepreneurs to give the world access to the knowledge and experience that is here in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to create opportunities for those who seek them and to help you to become the next Silicon Valley success.


Welcome to Silicon Valley Successes, where we interview experts in Silicon Valley to bring you the knowledge of years’ experience here to help you at home with your startup. So, we're creating this reference… that reference library that can be accessed anywhere in the world. And today, our guest is Doris Pickering, who is the founder Silicon Valley Speaks, Doris, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me, Shawn. Please tell us a little bit about what Silicon Valley Speaks is.


Well, Silicon Valley Speaks was founded to help executives and professionals embrace how they speak and how they communicate their value propositions to whoever is listening, what's value propositions, what they do in their essence. So, for example, if you are a startup and you're selling, whatever you're selling, get to the heart of what it is, and why would anybody want to buy it. And so you're not wasting a lot of people's time going to places where they don't care, get to the point quickly and move on. Okay, so


if I had a startup, and I was pitching to an investor,


what would that structure kinda look like? Would it just be me talking about why I formed this company for five or 10 minutes? Is that getting to the point? Or is it like a problem? Or what do you mean by getting to the point? Well, It


 depends on who your audience is. So, for example, if you're just said a networking event, say like you're at the Mountain View chamber at one of their events. And if you're just saying, hey, so what do you do? That would be a different conversation, then if you're doing a formal pitch to a, venture capitalist where you're seeking money? Ok, so again, what I work with people is what are you trying to say? Who is your audience, and then I help them crystallize and get to the very nitty gritty of what they're saying, because again, the audiences are very different. So, if you go in and you have one message, and you just say the same message to everybody you're talking to, that's the wrong approach. So, you're saying, I have to tailor my message for who I'm speaking to? Correct? Correct.

Visualization of a speaker and episode 4 recap


So so you're selling kind of the vision of where the company's going, right? Okay. How, how important is visualization in … being a good speaker? So what


do you mean by by the visualization scene where you want the company to grow, where you want it to be one day in the future, I think it's very important. But again, a lot of times, you don't want to be able, a lot of people aren't set up to think 20 years out. So again, when you say, visualize the future, how far out are you really thinking, because, again, you know, to get seated, and, you know, round a round be around, see, you have to think in those terms that always around, you know, the end goal that you may not know what the end goal really is, you may be starting your company go, I want to be sold to Google for 100 million dollars. And then five years in, you're going, I never want to sell my company. I love my company. So that may shift. But to start out, you really want to end goal interested. Yeah.


Now, let's recap a little bit of what we've talked about today. We've talked about having a different presentation for different stages of your company, whether it's with friends and family Angel, or later investment, how important it is to have confidence and to sell yourself when you're speaking, right. Also, the pitch deck, how important a nice clean pitch deck is to talk about your message and how important it is to be able to communicate your message to your your team, right? What, what else is what am I missing here? There's a lot


Well, I again, we could go on all day. But for me, the number one thing is to have Believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself. Because when you don't have confidence yourself, people can feel it. And people want to work with confident people. What are some tips or tricks that you'd give a founder to gain confidence to gain confidence is, again, what I said earlier, is practice. You need to be able to have a clear, compelling crystal clear of message, you need several messages, and they need to be practiced enough. Or you can just pull this one out of your pocket and then pull that one out of your pocket. But it doesn't sound rehearsed. But you know it well enough that Wow, it's it's sounds great. Wow, that's great. Because you've done it enough where you won't have to go, who am I talking to you? Which 1am I going to say now it was mentioned TED Talks is a great resource area, or is there any particular speakers or CEOs or anyone that you'd recommend people to really pay attention to and try to gain knowledge from it or emulate you mean away from TED talks or talks. So Amy. So if you look at TED Talk, Amy Cuddy, she has she's one of the most watched TED Talks ever. So she does a great talk on your body language, and how, even if you're not confident, you can pretend you're confident and it actually changes your chemical makeup, which will then change your body image about yourself. So that's a very, very good one. So, Amy Cuddy, Amy Cuddy, really good business leaders or people such as Meg Whitman and just pick your political person that you want to choose. When then what I also say is pick a political leader that you don't choose, because no matter who they are, part of our challenge that I always say is incumbent upon people is you need to be able to not be resistant to somebody that you're coming across. Because resistance is an energy that's very negative, interested, and what would be one piece of advice you'd give a founder starter startup, believe in yourself and go for it. Great advice. Go for it.


All right. So I'd like to thank everyone for watching us and Silicon Valley Successes. If you'd like to find out more information visit Silicon Valley But before we end the show for today, doors, could you please give a little bit of recap on your, what you work on, and how people can reach you. Sure.


So my business name of Silicon Valley Speaks and at Silicon Valley Speaks calm. So that's nice and easy. But I work with executives and professionals, startups, people who want to either create a speech or a pitch deck I work with PowerPoint slides with, but basically, I can create your speech, edit your speech work with your body language, so people go away from you going, that was an awesome person. Oh, I will sign up for that guy.


I can't wait to to learn more about presenting myself a little bit better. And do you have any suggestions for me after watching or being interviewed on this show? Now, I


love your smile. You have an awesome natural smile. And believe it or not, that's one of the biggest challenges people have. They think they're smiling when they're not someone. Just one brownie points. We're good. We're have to get it. Oh, okay.


We didn't need makeup for today. Hey. So we're definitely have to get you back on the show. And then there's still a little bit of time left. Okay, so one more tip you'd give to a startup


to a startup is video yourself giving your pitch before you go to a VC? Great advice.


Thank you doors.


Thank you. From all of us at Silicon Valley Successes. We hope you found the information presented today useful in your path to success. For further information on accessing the resources in Silicon Valley. You may visit us on the web at Silicon Valley Successes. com on Facebook and YouTube. Thank you. And remember, we want to help you in your journey to become the next success.


Coaching a Frustrated Founder


So, so as founder, Mm hmm. They have a product. Mm hmm. They've gone to a few investors, they've not raised any funding. And they're frustrated, right? They come to you for help, come to


me. Because typically what I will do will say, OK, pretend I'm the investor. And I want you to give me the pitch that you've been giving. And usually I will say, if you have a slide deck, send it to me before we meet so I can glean a lot, again, from people slide decks, okay, because, again, it's not a little bit about the slide, right? So for me, it's not so much because there's a lot of different opinions out there. You know, a good rule of thumb is 10 to 12 slides, you don't want to slide what people some people are going, you need to start with the team. Other people are saying, you need to start with what it is and why people should care and end with the team for me, I've asked many, many, many people, and it doesn't, in my opinion, doesn't really matter as long as the information you need is there somewhere and also that you're comfortable presenting the information, okay, but for me, I can look at their slide deck. Is it too busy? If it's all text? That's the kiss of death? If there's too many graphs, and there's 18 bars on a graph is too busy? Because people don't think that way. So again, is it clean? Is it too busy? Is it messy? If if you're just handed the slide deck with somebody know what you're trying to say, right? And if it doesn't, then that's where I can start. Okay. And the other thing I'll do is say, Okay, I'm an investor, you know, tell me your pitch. And I'm going to give you 100 million dollars if I liked your pitch, right? No pressure. Yeah. But again, it's like I can tell a lot are they Amanda, we're so like, here's their slide deck and their first slide, but as it takes 10 minutes to talk about this slide, okay. And then they're going, Oh, I know I'm at a time and they fast forward it, but this slide, and then they meander, right. So I can tell a lot by how I think they're losing the investors by how they're presenting. And it could be your like, a lot of people they get nervous they'll do is they'll do they'll do this or like the early messing with their hair or, and it's all usually they don't know they're doing it? Well, it could be clearing their throat, they could if they're standing up, they get the shifting, you know, I know a couple of people and they just have this this action around their throat, right? But they don't know how long would it take them to untrained one of these habits, after you've pointed out to us on what habit is because, again, different habits are formed for different reasons. If they've been doing something since they were a little kid, it'll be harder to end do that habit than if they just started it recently. And surprisingly, people start pick up and lose habits all the time. Unaware typically, the worst habit that people pick up quickly is that the tick with the words like like, you know, you could go for 20 years and never saying like, and all of a sudden by osmosis, who knows where they just start saying, like all the time, that's an easier habit to break then if you've been like doing your eyebrows since you're six years old, okay? Because again, that's a lot longer that you have. So it'll take a lot longer to break that if it's just a stance. Like if you're like, for me, I realized and I didn't know it that I caught my head all the time. Well, so I didn't realize that until I saw myself on camera because I started doing this am I Why am I croc in my head all the time. So now I can through learning that took about six months. Yeah. So again, it just depends on what it is and how long you've been doing it and the big key for me is how coachable you are. Okay, and are you willing to change it and going you can't tell me anything. I already know everything.


10 words tell everything


And it's brilliant. So


when you work with a brand new client, what's kind of the process? Is it Tell me about your business. Now, let's get your 10 words. And now let's take those 10 words and do them in 10 different situations that are now we're doing too much like, what, right? What a new client work with you. I what's the process. So for


me, it's very organic and very individualized. So some people may come to me, I work a lot with one on one and a lot with businesses. So if you come to me, Sean as an individual, and you want to work with me, one on one. And you what we do is basically this right, so I will be just talking, having a casual conversation, because I can glean a lot of information about you in this conversation that you don't even know I'm gleaning. So I will ask questions about so you know, why did you want to seek me out? But tell me about your business? Okay, are you from here? Have you lived overseas? You know, are you married? You like pets? What was the chat, most challenged thing you've ever done? What do you love about doing what you're doing? you're collecting information, collecting information and body language? Because I'm collecting art? Do you talk fast? Do you? Are you talking in a way that's halting? Do you have to stop and think about things before you continue? Are you slow and methodical Are you just like, so I can gather all that information just by a casual conversation, okay. And then I'm also getting more about how I think I could help you and a lot of it is you don't even know it. Okay. So you may have flinches or body movements that you're not aware of. Most people are not aware of what they're doing, because we don't think about it.


Now, when you're getting all this knowledge from a person. Are you later taken notes? Or how would you How would you remember this for the second time you meet the person. So it


depends again, on who I'm with some people, I will meet with them. It's a formal meeting, I will have my notebook out there with their name, because it's customized. And I will tell them I'm By the way, I'm taking notes. And I always photocopy it so they can know the notes that I'm taking, because I'm taking notes not only for me, but also for them. Oh, right. Like they're really good about this, you know, I'm noticing they're doing this, oh, they said, this is their goal. They went to law school for 10 months, but dropped it because and I'll say Why? Because again, all of this is information about what kind of person are they if you're an engineer or a law school person, you have a different way of thinking then if you're an artist, and yet if you're a startup, a lot of startups maybe around art or a creative bat if your startup is around an engineering app you think differently than this person so again it's all about information for me and then also about you that's it yeah


so we're here today on Silicon Valley Successes interview and doors Pickering who is the founder of social Cavalli speaks


back yeah


Chamber of Commerce and SCORE for Entrepreneurs


More though, about the other resources, because, yeah,


sure. I mean, it runs the gamut. There's a lot of nonprofits that we have, as that we have partnerships with, okay, that have a variety of tools. And I'm not even I'm drawing a blank on what's really specific on like, the score, for example, oh, that's a great mentors that you can come in, that will come in and meet with you individually, learn about your business, and help give you some guidance as you're moving forward. Okay, so they are so when they come into our office and meet with people room twice a month business owners twice a month to help get them started. So that's really a great first step when you're very young. Okay, and building out your concept and not quite sure how to proceed. And if you just have an idea,


are you able to meet with these mentors at the chamber? Yeah,


that's it, you come in with your concept, okay. And they begin to help you figure out how to flesh that out and how to move it forward. interested in


what if I've already opened up my business or started developing my app or platform? Can I then go to them there? Is it too late now,


you can still consult with them at that point it and any point you can we want to put you in touch with somebody who really understands what it is that you hope to accomplish, okay. And so that's what we try to do is kind of guide you towards somebody who's going to have valuable information. We don't want the counselors to waste their time or you to waste your time as you're exploring the ideas and then


there are like, there's so many nonprofits that are out there without going into the names of all of them at once you come in and we understand what you need. There's someplace that we can guide you for whatever the next step is in your business, so

Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Development Center SBDC


And more detail about some of those resources for sure.


So for example, we we work with a lot of local partners like the Small Business Development Center, okay. And so they talk about them. Okay,


most people, I'm sure, I've never even heard of the Small Business Development Center. So what do they do?


I'll stop you three more time.


The Small Business Development Center is a resource that's actually a federal resource, it's completely free. And there are generalists and specialists that are available. And again, it's one of those hairy audacious tools that are out there that are hard to describe. But they do everything from helping with mentoring creating a business plan, they have a magazine or any online, they do,


as a matter of fact, have a resource guide that lets you know what it is that you need, who you need to connect with, depending on what your what industry you're in, okay. And some of the tools that are available through their website site and through the agents that they have working in all of the regions, all the local regions here. So what happens is you contact an SB DC agent, and they come out they learn a little bit more about your business, what you intend to do, okay, your goals and then they set you up with a specialist. So if it's a technology resource that you need, they have technology investor group that we can connect you with, they have access to capital, both resource both seminars and actual traditional and non traditional funding available, okay,


and they will see you all the way through the process from beginning to end, and that's absolutely free. Okay,


so that's one resource that's partnering with the chamber, right? And we're definitely on Silicon Valley success is we're gonna have someone from SB DC here. Oh, awesome.


That will be fantastic. Tell me

Analyzing the situation before speaking.


That little bit more about analyzing the situation before you speak, right?


So that takes a lot of experience. And the one of the biggest things that it takes is confidence in yourself. So that's, it's all like your mindset. So again, people think that you can just practice practice, which I always encourage that you do on a practice that is practicing, what what are you practicing? So it could be, I need to nail my 32nd elevator pitch. Like if you're in a networking meeting, or if you're at the chamber and you're going to an event and 50 people say, so, Sean, what is it that you do you want to have a good pitch that will pique their interest, not bore them and not think as it can pitch. But again, if you're talking to Sally, and she's an insurance agent, and you're talking to Joe, and he's a fellow startup, hopefully, you'd be saying two different things because they're their experience and their understanding level is different. So again, if you know who you're talking to, you can tailor your pitch. So say


it's a room of strangers. Uh huh. Would you ask them questions first, before going into your pitch? Or how would you kind of analyze who you're talking to, if they're all strangers right


before you before speaking to them? Well, that's helpful if they have a name tag, and you can kind of sort of see what they do. But a lot of times, people's names of their business don't give you much guidance on what they do. So if someone says, So, Sean, what do you do, then? You Silicon Valley Successes? Yeah, you could have Silicon Valley Successes. So I'm going oh, well, what is what does that tell me more about that. So like, in 10 or 15 seconds, you can tell me a little bit. Oh, that's really great. Because this is what I do. And that that's how a really good conversation starts at a networking event. So it's not just your can 30 seconds, because people's attention span is seven seconds. Oh, if you go into 30 seconds, they're going to go. What a dunderhead, right? I'm tired of listening this guy already. And it's only been 20 seconds. So people's attention spans is 22nd, I mean, at seven seconds, which is why a standard elevator pitch of 30 seconds is often too long. Interesting. So do you practice a short as I can. So I teach people how to say what you do in 10 words or less. So people freak out going 10 words. I can never say what I do in 10 words, but it's actually very easy once you get to what is the compelling thing about what is it that you have to say and again that the other trick is you don't want just one again, you went several of them depending on who you're talking to. And the beautiful thing is once you get the great tan words statement that seven seconds if you're talking in a normal pace and so that somebody's attention span