How Presentation and Demeanor Can Increase Your Chances

Top Skills and Messages to Improve Your Odds

Everything from the messages you deliver and how you deliver them has an impact on your investment potential. Developing the skills to raise money is key for every entrepreneur. Even if you rely on outside direction, you need to develop some basic skills.

“You have one chance to make a good impression.” 

You must present your business and team as the right opportunity and deliver your message with clarity, confidence and creativity. Some things to keep in mind:

  • Clear and Concise. Everyone has heard they need the “elevator pitch”—a pitch that communicates the value of your business in the time it takes to make the trip in an elevator. The need to be clear and concise must permeate everything you do. This applies to every audience, but even more so to investors. You must be able to clearly and concisely explain the value of the business. You also must be able to concisely answer questions. When asked about a business model, your job is not to espouse the theory of business models, history of business models, properties of business models, etc. Simple. Short. To the point. If they want to know more, they will ask. Keep it simple. Investors look at hundreds of investments and will pass if they don’t quickly grasp the value of the business. In addition, investors want a leader that can communicate clearly and effectively. In a cluttered world, even if you have a good business idea, you must be able to succinctly cut through the noise and stand out from the crowd.
  • Proactively Bring Up, Acknowledge and Address Weaknesses. Every business has gaps. Every business has competitive risks. This is especially true of early stage businesses. The way you address these gaps, tells a lot about you and the business. Proactively bring up your deficits and your strategy for strengthening your weak points—before you are asked. This is a pleasant surprise for investors. They are used to leaders defending or minimizing their weaknesses. They will respect leaders who are honest with themselves and willing to put their talent on the line against the challenge at hand. If you acknowledge your weaknesses, and state a plan for dealing with them, it creates trust and credibility with investors.
  • Let the Business Sell Itself. Don’t hard sell your organization. Let your offering sell itself. How do you do that? Use points of validation by third parties—the market, customers, the press, and employees that have proactively joined your team. Investors won’t always believe what you say, but they will believe third party validation.
    • Market. Has the market shown interest? For example, “The Innovation Group at IBM featured our solution at their annual Innovation Event.”
    • Customers. Highlight customers. “Four of the largest banks in the country are using our solution.”
    • Key Team Members Who Have Joined. Mention key team members. Talented people joining your team is a point of validation. “Our head of technology used to lead the SAAS technology group at ABC Company.”

Obviously the fundamentals of your business are the key. But having the right messages can improve your chances.

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By | 2019-07-10T21:08:18-04:00 July 11th, 2019|Daily Perspective|0 Comments

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