Guest Blog: Investing in YOU by Lorraine O’ Mullane
So the time has come for you to go out there, into the daunting arena of VCs, angel investors and the ‘money men’.
It should be easy, shouldn’t it? You have an amazing product, you’ve got your figures straight, and you can change the world with your business as long as the investors part with their cash and allow you to do so … right?
Why then do so many start-ups fail to move beyond this point?
The simple reason is that entrepreneurs like you often fail to convince VCs et al that YOU are the person they can put their money on!
The good news is that you can learn techniques and strategies that will allow you to communicate effectively and powerfully with these people to get the result you want. Of course you need to have a great product, but making sure you get beyond this critical introduction is all down to YOU!
Things you need to know:
People invest in people!
VCs and investors ultimately buy into people. That means you — someone they believe in, trust, understand and LIKE.
This is something you can ensure happens the first time you walk in and stand in front of potential investors, because most people will not get a second chance.
It’s worth remembering that research conducted by Princeton psychologists Janine Willis and Alexander Todorov, presented in their article “First Impressions” (Psychological Science), reveals that it takes a tenth of a second to form an impression of a stranger from their face, and that longer exposure won’t significantly alter that impression.
Think about this. Plan for that first impression and make it a good one by using your physiology to show a relaxed, open, powerful and charismatic presence. We talk about charisma as if it is a ‘thing’ that some lucky souls have and some don’t. I’m here to tell you it’s not — you can have it too! Charisma is energy, a powerful sense of energy which allows you to grab your audience’s attention and take control.
The people sitting in front of you want to be there, they want to hear what you have to say. So now is the time to build rapport and connect with them to get the outcome you desire — their investment in you.
Remember people will always prefer to be entertained than educated, so now you need to be an entertaining educator. We connect as human beings through story telling, and it’s time to connect through your story.
What is your story? Who is your customer? What do you do? Who is your team? What is the market? What is the problem you solve? How will this make money? What benefit or social impact will your product have? Why do you do it?
This story needs to be interesting, simple, to the point, and — most importantly — a story that you enjoy sharing.
Your communication and conversation needs to be effective and clear and to inspire your audience with your own inspiration. If you’re not inspired you can’t expect to inspire other people!
Always remember we communicate in many ways other than words — using all of your audience’s senses through what you are showing them, what they can hear and most importantly what they can feel allows you to communicate with more energy and power.
You don’t have to be perfect because when you are comfortable with your story you communicate it well. There is rarely any need for a script when you communicate in this way. Equally, there is no need to memorise verbatim (you’re not getting married to them!); it is just your story.
Finally: practice, practice and more practice!
Consign the facts, figures and details of your story to the dark recesses of your subconscious brain (the part that remembers to change gear when you’re driving without you needing to think about it).
Invite questions and enjoy sharing as much as you can about what you do; use this moment as an opportunity to begin the next chapter of your story.
Lorraine is one of the few fully certified Havening ADT practitioners in the UK and Ireland. She is also a Cognitive Hypnotherapist and NLP Practitioner having trained with Trevor Silvester at the internationally acclaimed Quest Institute, Regents University in London. Prior to that Lorraine studied Clinical Hypnotherapy at St. Mary’s University, London.
Having spent many years working as a coach and therapist, Lorraine is passionate about helping each of her clients achieve what they are aiming for, and much more.
Lorraine’s broad skill set and experience allows her to tailor an individual approach for each and every client, utilising the most up to date techniques in the field of coaching and therapy. This solution focused approach allows for positive change in the shortest time possible, to achieve permanent results.