He can research who he’s playing and watch footage of that person in previous matches. But he cannot predict what they will do.
This is the opposite of a professional wrestling match, where every move and outcome is pre-determined.
The two sports require dramatically different preparation processes.
Professional wrestlers plan, rehearse and fine-tune each move. Tennis players, however, need to prepare for the unpredictable.Pitching to investors is like tennis.
Investors will slam tough questions over the net that you need to return with a poised volley. It can be intimidating. Many of our clients have told us that investor Q&A is the part they dread most. It is, however, essential to the process.
After all, any pitch suffers from information asymmetry – one party knows a lot more about the deal than the other.
They have a duty to peel back the curtain and look behind-the-scenes before reaching a decision, like financial detectives conducting a forensic exam.
That’s because the stakes are high. If investors receive a defensive or aggressive response to a particular line of enquiry, investors get wary. They worry that you’re hiding something, and that the deal could backfire.
So how do you prepare for questions you can’t predict? Like Roger Federer, you practice, preferably with an expert coach.
At BBA, your coach will pose a tough question and you respond. Your coach asks a second question and you respond, and then your coach gives feedback on your first few answers.
You discuss potential stumbling blocks and your coach shares practical advice and insight that helps you shape a clear and coherent path through your thoughts.
Your coach puts the first question to you again in a slightly different form, and you give a slightly more concise, confident and persuasive response.
You take time to think them through, try out some answers and practise delivering them out loud on your own. You identify gaps in your knowledge and pick up a few additional facts and figures to use in your answers next time round.
You meet with your coach again, and he or she starts pounding the balls over the net. But this time, you’re ready to return them more swiftly and gracefully.
Instead of wincing when you hear a particularly aggressive question, you relax and smile, responding honestly but positively.
Within a few sessions, you’ll feel ready for whatever happens on Centre Court.
After all, Roger Federer doesn’t start a tennis match hoping for a series of easy and predictable shots.
Likewise, invest in preparation and you’ll be able to embrace the tough questions as a challenging – but perhaps even enjoyable – part of the pitching process.
Find out how we can help you today
Benjamin Ball Associates helps clients to communicate better.
Over 10+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached hundreds of funds and firms globally to present powerfully. We have developed a robust toolbox of techniques that we use to help our clients become clear, confident communicators.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately and we’ll coach you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and discuss your upcoming investor pitch.
Contact us to improve your investor presentations
Fundraising presentations are hard work. You're bombarded with challenging questions from investors, worn out by long days, and struggling to...
Five ways to create the best investor presentation If you want investment, you need the best investor presentation. But investment...
Do your leadership public speaking skills inspire, motivate and influence others? They should. Many leaders are nervous of public speaking....
A great investor pitch book is at the heart of successful fundraising. You use it to capture the essence of...
Better Body Language We all know that body language is important in business. But how important? And does is really...
Five Top Fundraising Tips At SuperReturn Emerging Markets in Amsterdam, experienced LPs and advisors shared their private equity fundraising tips...
A great elevator pitch is an essential part of your toolkit Last month I chaired the Quickfire Showcase at Berlin’s...
You must prepare for media interviews The excruciating Newsnight interview with Treasury Minister Chloe Smith this summer is one example of...
How do you write well for business? Could you be more impressive with better writing? These days, we are writing...
How to answer difficult investor questions When an investor questions how you calculated your Private Equity fund's performance, how do...
How do you choose a public speaking coach? When selecting a public speaking coach or presentation trainer, you want to work...
How To Use Powerful Language For Leadership Communications Great leaders use Power Language. It adds interest and colour to...
So What? is probably your most important question. When you put your talk or presentation together, how do you decide what...
What do LPs want from private equity funds at first investor meetings? That's the question I put to the panel...
What do investors really want? Six tips We wrote this piece with our Private Equity clients in mind. But there...
Do you want to give high impact talks and presentations? Do you want to engage your audience? And do you want...
How do you tell a great business story? Leaders use storytelling so that audiences listen, remember and act on what...
How do you make your investment pitch more memorable? It's a real challenge these days. Investors have more opportunities than...
Your leadership talks need to be persuasive As a leader, every talk or presentation you give is an exercise in persuasion....
A well-crafted private equity pitch book can make the difference between securing a first meeting with investors and getting a...
Client Services Director
+44 (0)20 7018 0922