Holding public presentations in front of people can be terrifying. Sadly, if you’re in the business environment you can’t escape it. Whether you’re a business owner, CEO, entrepreneur, or manager, speaking in front of an audience or board of investors is a skill you have to master.
Health conferences, for example, are formal events that demand a lot of knowledge. People in the audience will need clearance, and they’ll want you to explain technical ideas they can’t fully grasp. How do you make a pitch in front of a group of directors or investors? Check out these tips and find out.
Highlight operational and financial expectations from the very beginning.
Make yourself clear from the very beginning, and emphasize your main points during the final outcome of the presentation. This will give your listeners a chance to picture your bottom line. Highlight both operational and financial results, and don’t forget to focus on the audience. They’re the ones that matter. Make your pitch easy to understand; even if you’re talking in front of specialists who know what you’re talking about, it’s still important to have a fluid speech. Try not to focus so much on the numbers, and center your attention on goals. What can your business do for them that other businesses can’t?
Explain how you’re going to use their resources.
A business presentation in front of a board of directors usually means that you want something. That something can be financial or non-financial; either way, you should make yourself clear about the way you intend to use their resources. If you need cash, offer some deeper insight on spending plans for operations, marketing & advertising, recruitment, etc. On the other hand, if you need human resources (experts in your domain), then you should be able to identify project goals and work schedule, as well as be able to evaluate results. Don’t forget that resource providers are assessing your particular action plan, not necessarily the general business idea.
Don’t be greedy.
Try not to be greedy when asking for resources, and make sure that the resources you present on are enough to cover your plan’s next phase. Even though it might be tempting to talk about your vision and plans for creating a business worth millions of dollars, they won’t be very keen on providing funding after a first business speech. Think lean and only ask for the basics. This will be a chance for you to push yourself and come up with the brightest idea.
Stay in touch.
As soon as the presentation has ended you should do everything you can to stay in touch. Contact the members of your audience individually and express your gratitude. Thank them for their time and don’t hesitate to ask for feedback. A fruitful business needs time to grow and develop, so you have to be prepared. Approach the board members with a positive attitude, and don’t take bad criticism the wrong way. Nobody means to make anything personal with you; better yet, negative feedback is a chance to show you’re willing to correct mistakes and do whatever’s necessary to improve.
Don’t wait for a yes/no reply.
A business person holding a speech in front of the board of directors must learn to control his or her enthusiasm. You may believe that your ideas are innovative and ingenious, but that doesn’t mean the other party thinks the same. It can take forever to get a deal, particularly a deal in writing. That’s because investors want to see if you can handle the pressure–if you can sell the idea and the product before they agree to fund your project.
Be ready for a lot of “maybes” from board members and potential investors. Even if you are certain that your speech touched their hearts, you should still have patience. Don’t call them to get an answer and try not to be persistent with emails either. Be patient! If your presentation went well and they actually gave positive feedback, they most likely want to hear from you. A good presentation is a fluid presentation; packed with accurate, proven information and researched case studies. On top of that, the person giving the speech should have a positive attitude, be coherent, and have an upbeat attitude.
By William Taylor and LondonSpeakerBureau.com