INVESTOR PITCHING DURING COVID-19: SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS
A few months ago, I was asked to write an article for Women Founders Network’s blog because I had successfully coached several entrepreneurs to wins in their fast-pitch competition over the past few years. My article on “Setting Yourself Up for Success with Investors” is provided below, but I have prefaced it with some recommendations for pitching to investors during COVID-19.
We are living in a time of the greatest uncertainty that many of us have ever experienced. For most people, much of life beyond the present day is a question mark. Opacity and a lack of communication lead to mistrust and frustration.
The people who deliver clear information with genuine caring stand out and attract our attention. They represent the beacons of light, warm hearths, and steady presence that we crave at times like this. One doesn’t even need to have all the answers if a bit of direction, comfort, and confidence is conveyed. Some understanding of what lies ahead, even if it’s challenging, helps us to prepare.
Reputation Management and The PPP Loan Disaster: How Some Large Companies and Banks Alienated Small Businesses — An Opportunity to Make Amends
Update 4/23/20 — Since yesterday, more of the large companies that received PPP loans have vowed to return them, including Kura Sushi, Sweetgreen, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and DMC Global.
Four Steps to Prepare for Business Reopening During COVID-19
Now Is the Time to Plan for Changes in Procedures and Communications
How to Be Effective in Video Meetings and Presentations: Adjusting Your Communication Style
Video conferencing can be an extremely effective way to hold meetings and deliver presentations. People tend to try to focus solely on the meeting and ignore distractions because their face is zoomed in on, they are probably less likely to be looking at other devices or whispering to someone next to them.
With more people than ever conducting business from home, the use of video to hold meetings, media interviews, sales presentations, and investor pitches is becoming the norm. Even after social distancing measures are lifted, many business leaders are predicting that the use of video conferencing will replace many in-person meetings going forward for reasons of health, cost-savings, and efficiency.
This is part 1 of our series of blog posts to provide tips on not only how to set up your environment, but also the shifts you need to make to communicate effectively in video meetings and presentations.
You may have read about a Harvard University study that was published a year or so ago, which stated that sarcasm can increase your creativity. As references to this article continue to be passed around by bloggers and others, people are often forgetting to include the caveats about trust in the relationship and understanding when sarcasm is appropriate (i.e., sarcasm is not always great at work), which were included in Harvard’s article on the study.
Like most forms of humor, sarcasm is better received when you’re not insulting individuals, but rather making fun of circumstances or human nature. This is true in one-on-one conversations as well as in speeches and media interviews. It’s better to save sarcasm for the people in your life who know you best and will know when you are joking.
If you’re hosting a panel, it’s up to you to manage the audience.
If you open the floor to an audience Q&A, know that there will be some people who say they want to ask a question but then use their time with the mic to promote their agendas, rather than contribute to the discussion.
Sometimes a TV producer or editor from a media outlet contact experts in the hopes that the experts will share exactly the opinion they want in order to shape their story. If you’re an expert, it’s important that you maintain your integrity and only say what you truly believe. Otherwise, you simply become a mouthpiece for others, and a few minutes on TV isn’t worth compromising your integrity.
Know your boundaries and maintain them.