Opening your pitch strong by connecting as a human
This is the first in a series of three hacks that in my experience are essential to start your pitch off strong. The opening of your pitch is unbelievably important. You never get a 2nd chance at a first impression. In those first few minutes, your potential investors are going to form a lot of opinions that can be very difficult to change.
The first hack to starting your fundraising pitch strong is connection. Connecting as humans and demonstrating you can form relationships is a cornerstone of good business. As you start to speak your investors will consciously and subconsciously be asking themselves 3 questions.
Do I like you?
Do I trust you?
Do I want to do business with you?
If you can’t make friends with your investors then you won’t secure their investment. While you may think otherwise, business is rarely transactional. It is almost always about building relationships. Psychologists suggest that a person forms these views within 3 minutes of meeting someone.
Here is what you need to do to create the human connection.
Be likable – It may seem easier said than done and to some, it comes naturally. All the same, the simple things you can do to be more likable are smile, make eye contact, be confident but not cocky, be warm before being smart, actively listen and act with energy.
Get to know them – Get to know your potential investors. Connect with them on social, ask about their current projects or their opinion on a topic. Finally, engage in some small talk, ask about their family or pets etc.
Share common ground – Given you are in a business setting, start to find common ground by talking about occupations and career backgrounds. From there you can move into other more personal areas such as family and recreation and then even to future dreams and aspirations.
You must create a human connection with your investors. They are unlikely to invest in even the best business proposition if they do not feel like they could work with you. If it doesn’t come naturally to you, then take some time in advance to practice. Do some backgrounding on your investors to make engaging in small talk a little easier.