The business news is full of new start-up enterprises with what appear to be great ideas. However, attracting funding for these ideas is becoming harder as investors are more careful with their money, having seen heavy losses in the past.
Entrepreneurs, therefore, need to do more to secure the necessary investment in order to realise their ideas, and this means going beyond fancy websites and funky presentations. They need to approach their potential investors and engage with them.
They need to speak.
Investors now want to see and hear the people and personalities behind the latest new thing; they want to know that the company, as well as being technically astute, is able to communicate its ideas clearly.
With the thought of standing in front of a crowd and presenting to them enough to strike fear into most people, it is, therefore, important that key members of the team are trained properly. They need to be confident and able to present ideas clearly as well as answer questions confidently.
But how can public speaking training help?
Being able to engage an audience is clearly important. So many people will just stand in front of a group and read off PowerPoint slides, and it puts people off.
If you’re trying to attract funding and your representative is only reading things out to the crowd, you’re unlikely to be successful.
If the presenter, however, can entertain, enlighten and enthuse the audience, you have a better chance of being remembered. They will be impressed; they will want to know more, and they are far more likely to wish to invest in your ideas.
Many technology based start-ups are based on dry ideas. They are clever, they are ingenious, even, but are they sexy?
Like it or not, someone within your team is going to have to be able to sell the idea to investors and the public alike. It’s a sales job to get the funding in the first place, but you’re also going to have to sell the product.
Although training can’t help build a personality, it can certainly help develop it. We all have one, and being able to bring that to the fore so people can see it, is an essential ingredient of great companies.
Targeting the audience
You need to be able to target your audience effectively. Knowing what to say and how to say it is critical. If you hit the wrong note, you could end your chances there and then.
How to perfect your public speaking skills
Your start-up needs to have someone who can speak to investors, the public, and your customers, and if they’re not a confident public speaker, they need to become one.
Here are a few tips that will help them in their journey.
Work on the presentation
You need to ensure you have planned and practiced your talk. You can’t just rock up on stage and give the best presentation in your life if you’ve never rehearsed it.
Practice, practice, practice.
See how others do it
You can learn a great deal from how others speak. Go to local events, as many as possible, and see how they engage the audience, judge the reaction and make as many notes as you can.
Believe in yourself
When you’re up on stage, you’re essentially performing to a crowd, and just like an actor, you need to ensure the audience believes in you. If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t be able to persuade them to 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.
You need to know everything you can about your product so you can answer any questions posed during the presentation.
Some companies make the mistake of choosing someone with great presence and personality up on stage, only to come undone when it turns out they know nothing about the product.
To be a success you need both!
Make them remember you
Your audience should leave remembering who you are. That means you need to stand out, be different and make an impression.
Be careful with this. Unless you’re absolutely sure, don’t crack jokes, they can fall flat, and stay away from being controversial; it can backfire spectacularly
Instead, try to engage with your audience. Involve them in the presentation and interact with them. Some great ways to do this are to ask questions or invite some of the participants to share their experiences. All of these interactions will help cement what you’re saying in their minds and shows that you understand them at their level.
This level of empathy will help them warm to you and yours will be the presentation they’ll remember when they get back to the office.
Nothing can prepare you more than good training. You can read as many books as you like, and scour the Internet for tips, but great training can help you become the presenter you need to be by providing essential feedback.
Great training can and does make the difference between an OK presentation and a fantastic presentation that gets you the money you need to fund your business.