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better eye contact for better presentations

Investor meetings. How big is your perception gap?

February 5, 2020

What are your investor meetings like – for the person on the opposite side of the table?

Most days, we only see ourselves when we glance in the mirror as we’re brushing our teeth or combing our hair. There’s rarely anything different each time we look (perhaps a new grey hair, or one less maybe!). So we check we’re presentable and then carry on.

What’s your body language like in investor meetings?

What expressions pass over your face when you’re asked a challenging question? And does your team interact like collaborators or competitors when under pressure?

One of the CEOs we worked with, Julia, prided herself on her effective communication and mentally filed her pitch and presentation skills under ‘strengths’.

We filmed her when preparing for an investor meeting, and noticed that she’d gone quiet after watching the footage. She was in shock.

How she actually came across when viewed onscreen was very different to how she thought she would. She noticed she made very little eye contact when presenting. She realised she conveyed annoyance when we asked follow-up questions. She saw that she looked bored when her colleagues spoke. She was an otherwise excellent leader who was simply not aware of how she came across in investor meetings.

This is the investor meeting perception gap

None of us know exactly how we come across, so we all have a gap – the only thing that varies is the size of it.

All this talk of body language may seem vague and fluffy compared to your P&L forecasts. But actually, Amy Cuddy from Harvard Business School has found that the warmth you demonstrate is as important as your competence when investors are deciding whether or not to invest.

After all, a pitch is the start of a long-term relationship

How you come across influences whether or not you’ll get invited back for a second date.

The shock of discovering a wide perception gap is not a pleasant experience. But if you don’t know it exists, you can’t do anything about it. And whether you’re aware of it or not, it’s still undermining your efforts to seek and secure investment.

So instead of looking in the bathroom mirror, consider how you reflect in the investors’ mirror. Be brave and ask for feedback from those around you. Film your meetings and watch the footage back with a critical eye.

And invite my team in to chat about how we can help.

Our expert coaching will ensure that great investors want you as much as you want them. We’ll hold up a mirror that gently, kindly and constructively puts you back in control of how you come across to the person on the opposite side of the table.

Find out how we can help you today
Photo by bruce marsfrom Pexels

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Louise Angus
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