1. Practice and Role Play
By rehearsing different types of investor meetings and filming them you can understand the impact you are making with investors. For example, what do you do in the first 20 seconds to connect and engage. How do you start the meeting? And how do you make yourself more likeable?
Research by Professor Amy Cuddy at HBS showed that to be successful when pitching to VCs, entrepreneurs had to demonstrate equal credibility and likeability. Fortunately, you can coach people to appear more likeable. For example, at it simplest: smiling, open body position and using inclusive language can all have a massive impact on how likable you appear.
2. Show Your Passion
When pitching to investors you need to demonstrate that you are truely passionate about what you are saying. Research at Pace University identified that passion shown by entrepreneurs was the third most important criteria used by angel investors, when making investment decisions. The other two criteria were the investment opportunity and the people. Again, passion is something that can be taught, improved and embedded.
3. How You Say It is as Important as What You Say
Many managers do not appreciate how important preparing for pitch meetings really is. They sometimes need reminding that most serious CEOs spend an incredible amount of time making sure their communications are fully prepared. For example, we work with some CEOs a few times every year before any major announcement or shareholder communication.
It’s a bit like being a top tennis player. They never stop using a coach to ensure they are on peak form.
So, before your next investor meeting, don’t be an amateur and hope to rely on natural skill.
Instead, prepare yourself properly, just like any other professional.
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Michelle Elstein Head of Business Development, Olswang LLP
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Ed Coulthard CEO, Blast Films