Ever wonder what to do in those first few seconds before your pitch starts?
You’re introduced and the next thing you know, you’re standing in front of investors. Some are smiling. Others are writing things down or texting.
Let’s talk about The New Secret Weapon of Today’s Venture Capitalist. Because there’s a new kind of meeting today’s investor is having. It saves them many hours of valuable time and sometimes millions of dollars. As an entrepreneur searching for investment for your new idea, here’s how it will look to you…
As you arrive at one of the many investor pitch meetings you’ll be invited to, especially one made up of a small group of 3 or 4, there will be a guy who gets there just as you do.
Do you make these mistakes when pitching? I was asked to help judge student pitching at Vanderbilt University for a class of entrepreneurs. One pitch team was comprised of three guys and one girl. The girl was just to the right of the screen, standing very straight with her hands clasped in front. Next to her was Guy #1, on the far right, with his hands clasped behind his back and his legs planted wide and firm.
He spoke first, intro’d the idea, and hit two slides. When he finished, he slightly nodded to Guy #2 at the far left of the screen.
Guy #2 took his hands out of his pockets, took one step forward, hit his two slides, returned to his spot and placed his hands back in his pockets as he took a deep breath and exhaled.
The girl took one step forward, her hands still clasped in front of her, hit her two slides and took one step back to her original spot.
We’ve all been in a theater watching an actress inside a haunted house, walking slowly toward the room where a hatchet murderer was hiding.
The music got louder as the girl’s hand got closer to the door knob… and people started squirming in their seats preparing for the inevitable.
After an entrepreneur I’ve trained pitches to a room packed with several hundred investors, like this year’s Jumpstart Foundry Investor Day Pitches, no less than 10 people always ask me the same question… “Why do I have the feeling that he/she is into Spirituality or something?” And I always answer “That’s hilarious. I have no idea.”
Actually, I do have an idea. As a matter of fact, I know exactly why they feel that way. It’s due to a calculated and well timed series of moves and cues that Yogis use during meditation, and “charismatics” from India use when speaking to their followers. You’ll also see many of the same hand gestures, or “Mudras” as they’re called, used by those practicing Yoga and Transcendental Meditation.
When I’m attempting to secure effective communication between an entrepreneur with a startup idea, to a room full of possible investors, it’s important to equip them with every possible tool I can find or create. So I do that.
In most cases, Science can’t tell us why these gestures create the feelings they do in humans. Or why some humans feel compelled to do specific tasks when they are presented with them in a specific fashion. I’ve found them to be extremely potent when used properly in an interrogation setting, as well as in a presentation or pitch setting.
It’s such a rewarding feeling when you see a pitch containing these gestures and movements executed flawlessly, like the pitch Trevor McCormick, of Spotwise, gave at the Jumpstart Foundry pitches this year.
Watch this video of several sections of that pitch and you’ll see, from a different point of view, the same things the investors saw that made them ask me “Why do I have the feeling he’s into Spirituality or something?” If you have any questions, or if there’s anything you’d like to learn more about, please email me or ask in the comments.
This is one of those videos you watch and think “Nah… I wouldn’t do that”. Guess what? You probably would. Watch and you’ll see why these people did something they never thought they would do.
When pitching, or participating in a meeting, there are many non-verbal cues that can click the investor’s “Gut Feeling Controls” to the “Something’s Not Right Here” setting.
And even though the entrepreneur is being honest, his or her facial expressions, subtle body language, and even sentence structure, may inadvertently be saying to the investor’s Limbic Brain “Heads up, this person is up to something… I don’t know what it is, but it feels like something’s just not right here“.
We’re all familiar with that feeling. And again, it happens because the entrepreneur is stressed and or nervous. The investor’s Limbic Brain is relaying what it believes to be correct information to the rest of the brain, just like it’s supposed to, and that makes the investor act just as you would expect.
Want to get past that? Do you want to look and be confident no matter what happens in any meeting? Then check out my FREE eBook “Your Body Language Frankenstein“. It covers the same concept as the TEDx Talk I did earlier this year.
Building a Body Language Frankenstein isn’t something you do all by yourself. You may start by yourself, and have the best intentions about discovering the intricacies of human behavior.
However, if you’re not aware of the pitfalls, and you begin believing that everything anyone tells you about body language has been researched and is factual… EVEN IF YOU’VE HEARD IT A THOUSAND TIMES BEFORE… You’re gonna run into some real problems in the very near future communication-wise.
So here’s a short, easy to understand, SlideShare presentation that will help you get a handle on who and what to be on the look out for as you educate yourself in non-verbal communication.