How to win over investors even before you say a word
How research, preparation and the right first impression can help entrepreneurs secure funding
The art of pitching doesn't come easily for everyone. For some people it comes naturally while others get anxious at the idea of having to present their idea.
However, for entrepreneurs being able to give a good pitch can make or break their business. Being able to present and sell your idea to the next person is vital in getting investors on board.
Preparation, practice and focus
According to Musa Kalenga, an entrepreneur, speaker and digital marketer, research, preparation and focus are some of the most important tools that entrepreneurs can use when presenting their proposal.
However, as Kalenga explains, entrepreneurs should not ignore the kind of first impression they make and also the importance of confidence and resilience.
Here are Kalenga's four tips to help entrepreneurs prepare a winning business pitch.
1. Dress to impress
Kalenga says looking presentable plays a major role. He adds that one’s dress code goes a long way in creating a lasting first impression before they can even say a word. "The reality is that most entrepreneurs have to sell their ideas off the back of what is in their head and not how they look, but I believe that it's a simple variable to control, and one should always ensure that they look context appropriate," he says.
2. Know the audience
Kalenga says that in preparing to present their business proposal, entrepreneurs should also do research on the people they will be presenting to. He adds that during the presentation it is vital for the entrepreneur to be able to read their audience.
"The ability to read an audience goes a long way in helping a speaker understand the kind of body language, verbal language and tone that would convey the message most appropriately. There is a skill in getting this right, but the more you practice the better you get," he says.
3. Lose the bad habits
Kalenga says some people may have bad language habits and that those habits could cost them. He adds that during a presentation entrepreneurs should avoid using phrases like "you know what I am saying", or "like". Other no-nos he says, are entrepreneurs who are either overenthusiastic, or not confident in their material.
4. Mistakes happen, move on
Making a mistake during a presentation can break someone’s confidence even when they have prepared themselves. Kalenga says recovering from a mistake is important. "If you make a mistake, never say, I am sorry. Rather carry on and pick up where you left off," he says.
During your business presentation always remember that people hear information differently than they read it. If you happen to use a wrong word while speaking it might go unnoticeable but using wrong words in a visual presentation stands out, he adds.