I love an encore. An encore means the audience loved every minute of the experience and wants even more. I love going to concerts, hearing all my favorite hits, and not wanting it to end, cheering for the band to come back out and play one last song.
And the honor of GIVING an encore is just as exciting: there's nothing more inspiring and validating than speaking to hundreds and hundreds of people at a virtual conference for a 45-minute engagement then sticking around for another NINETY minutes for live Q&A because even though there were other speakers in other zoom rooms, nobody wanted to leave!
That's why I'm so excited about this week's Speaking to Influence episode: It's an encore performance you won't want to miss.
Today I'm bringing back my very first podcast guest, Ellen Weber, executive director of Robin Hood Ventures, for a down-and-dirty crash course on the do's and don'ts of nailing the investor pitch.
Now wait – before some of you tune out, thinking, “I'm not a business owner; why do I care about an investor pitch?”, the simple fact is that the principles that underlie an investor pitch are the same ones that underlie ANY pitch.
- Ever try to get funding for a new initiative in your department?
- Or convince an organization to try something new when they're perfectly content with the comfort of “the way we've always done it”?
- Or even merely apply for a promotion?
If so, you've tried to convince investors to put their faith (and time, money and other resources) in you.
One thing I love about Ellen is that she shoots straight from the hip. So when she got down to business, explaining some of the core philosophies of the investor and what pitfalls to avoid when pitching, I knew I would need to take notes! To share just a few key insights:
- Investors look at three core components: your product, market, and leadership team; Don't focus so much on explaining your product or service that you neglect to get specific about your people, because more often than not, the team is the most important factor in anchoring investors' trust.
- “If you want money, ask for advice; if you want advice, ask for money.” (Tune in to see how this pearl of wisdom applies to just about everything and why!)
- Don't get caught in so many details and “specs” that you forget to share your motivation or “your why”; the more you have a personal connection with the product or service, the more people want to connect together.
- Don't preface your answer to every question with “That's a great question!”.
- and so many more!
Going back to Episode 2, Ellen's first influence challenge to everyone was simply to pull the proverbial trigger and make the ask you've been sitting on, for whatever reason. Still solid advice.
But before you take her up on that challenge, catch her new interview appearance HERE , so when you do make the ask, it hits the mark and has the positive impact you want it to have, so others are ready to make an investment in you.