Facing redundancy? Now may not seem the right time to start a new business but sometimes your best option is to start up on your own. However, attracting funding is going to be particularly hard this year – so the best way to get a loan is to do it face-to-face if you can. Being able to communicate your idea is as important, if not more important, than having the idea in the first place.
Here are a few tips:
Standing in front of a potential investor and reading off PowerPoint slides will get you nowhere. People buy people as well as ideas so your job is to entertain, enlighten and enthuse your investor. Be as much like yourself as possible, you obviously believe in your idea so let that shine through.
Targeting the audience
Target your audience, research the people you are presenting to, what makes them tick? It may be that you tweak your presentation for different meetings, different investors.
See how others do it
You can learn a great deal from how others speak. Watch a couple of TED speakers on line and see how they engage the audience, judge the reaction and take notes that you can use for reference when you are planning your presentation.
Believe in yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, it will be tricky to make others do so either. There’s a famous saying: “Fake it ‘till you make it”. You may not be the best public speaker yet, but believe that you are, and confidence will follow.
Your content needs to be well researched and accurate, if you use stats, make sure they stack up under questioning.
Make them remember you
People like people who like them so a great way to be remembered is to be interested in the people and company you are talking to. Make sure you give a compliment in your presentation and prepare some questions that will show you know who they are and why they will be a good fit with you.
The good news is that presenting skills can be learned. We’re not innately good at birth, we start learning with our first cries and gurgles. By the time we get to adults we will all have picked up some bad habits.
You can read as many books as you like, and scour the internet for tips, but nothing beats a session with a professional who can give you can make you aware of your tone, pace, and body language and give essential feedback. Knowing what you are doing will make the difference between an OK presentation and a fantastic one that gets you the funding you need for your start up.