My first job out of college, I worked for a small high tech PR firm. The agency was primarily comprised of women. I learned a lot about epidurals and birthing, among other things.
One thing I realized early on was women notice when other women get hair cuts. And compliment them on it.
I eventually put a sign up on my desk that said, “Something’s different. Did you get your hair cut? You look great!” Aside from boosting egos and getting an indirect, but invaluable dating and relationship tip, I also learned an extremely valuable lesson about paying more attention. Seeing more.
Do you notice anything different about me? Yes, I did get a hair cut. I also shaved. I’m not looking for compliments, although if you want to drop one in the comments below, I’ll take it.
I bring it up because it’s easy to operate on autopilot and miss things. Things that can have major implications on the success of pitches, presentations and relationships.
For example, how do you know if you’re inspiring confidence and trust among your audience if you’re not actively paying attention to their body language. Are they frowning? Bored? Checking their phones? If so, you need change something. Quickly.
Or are they with you? Smiling? Nodding? Leaning forward? That’s a good sign. But if you’re operating on autopilot, you’re going to miss the buy signs.
The power of presence. Slow down. See more.
Do you feel like you’re operating on autopilot when you pitch or present? If you want to work on it, give me a shout and we’ll figure it out.Be Brilliant!
The three strongest predictors for securing venture capital
Lakshmi Balachandra is the assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Babson College. Before Babson, she was a research associate at Harvard Business School.
As part of her research, she meticulously analyzed videos of 185 venture capital presentations. She looked at both verbal and nonverbal behavior. Guess what she found. The three strongest predictors of who received funding – confidence, comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm. Not credentials. Not pitch content.
Investors aren’t just buying the opportunity. They’re buying you. Do they believe you and in you.
Side note – this research was conducted in 2015ish before WeWork, Theranos, and other high profile companies scrapped their IPOs or imploded.
As a result of those companies, the pendulum seems to be swinging back in the other direction. A great story will get you in the door, and a calm, comfortable and confident pitch with set the table, and solid numbers will seal the deal.
They still have to believe in the opportunity. They still have to believe in you. And that means you have to believe in you. And the best to convey that is to deliver your pitch with unbridled confidence, a calm comfort level, and passionate enthusiasm.
If you feel like you have the numbers, but you don’t feel confident, comfortable, and passionately enthusiastic in your pitch, give me a shout and we’ll figure it out.