This is your time to shine and show the best of you and you only get one chance.
Investors and VCs have made an initial judgement about you from your plan. This next step when they get you in to meet you is all about finding out who you are as a person, almost like a first date. If you are successful they are going to be working together with you for a number of years so they want to get a sense of you. It’s about chemistry and who can work well with who. Are you compatible with this person or are they going to drive you mad? Investors look for people who will make good partners, who are open to feedback and don’t get too defensive. They want to see YOU and YOUR personality. They DO NOT want to watch you read through a power point presentation. They can do this themselves.
Investors are going to be judging you from the moment they see you to the moment you open your mouth and start speaking. They want to see how passionate and enthusiastic you are about your proposed business and the industry you have chosen to work in. How much you genuinely know and have experience of. Are you dying to do this business and work hard with strong, solid commitment to the project?
- Do you have the charisma to sell ideas and products?
- Do you have the charisma and energy to lead and inspire teams?
- Have you got the stamina to take this business through into the long term?
- Are you calm under pressure, solid and trustworthy?
Your investor pitch has got to communicate the best of you.
REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE
Consider first how you want to be perceived. How do you think an investor wants you to come across?
If you are a very exuberant, bubbly person with oozes of energy you most likely need to tone down the excitement and balance your exuberance with a calm presence which shows you are serious and committed to business.
If you are a serious character who is more process driven, you most likely need to practice speaking with energy and enthusiasm as you want to inspire this investor audience.
If you are a softer character, who can be emotional, you need to prove that you have the strength to drive a business through the ups and downs which all businesses go through without losing control.
Looks aren’t everything but first impressions are so carefully choose how you present yourself. If you would never where a suit and tie then don’t start wearing one now as it won’t look or feel like you. Most people can’t get away with dressing in a white t-shirt and jeans as Mark Zukkerberg but you can dress as the smartest version of your best self. Dress to impress in the most relevant way to you and your business.
How to do your best performance
- Be the best of yourself
- Look the part
- Be enthusiastic
- Be calm
- Be considered
- Show strength
- Show charisma
- Show flexibility
- Show stamina
- Don’t rely on powerpoint
- Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse
Overall you’ve got to get the investor to trust in you and to like you. You’ve got to create rapport to get them to invest in you. A CEO who lacks a skill based competency such as a financial or technical can overcome this through training or by hiring the right complimentary talent, but character is less malleable.
TRUST BEATS COMPETENCY. COMPETENCY BEATS LIKE. LIKE IS WHERE IT BEGINS.
Sartaj Garewal is the founder of Dynamic Presenting – a creative, leadership development consultancy, adapting theatre training to create leadership programs for business.
Dynamic Presenting – Enabling Powerful Communication
Tags: Communication Skills Training
, Investor Pitching
, Presentation Skills Training