I discovered that executive speech coach and close colleague, Patricia Fripp has been helping entrepreneurs perfect their ten minute "speed dating" presentations to venture capitalists, so I asked her for seven of her best tips.
Here is what she shared with me:
- Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse, so you can internalize your speech, and not sound unsure or stilted.
- Speak to be remembered and
Choose your words carefully. Use short sentences and phrases, and eliminate unnecessary words. Example: You need to make a decision today. Today is the unnecessary word. Get rid of it. Decision is the "punch word," and will be remembered. Every comedian knows that if you step on the punch word you kill the laugh.
- Don’t be too technical. If they don’t understand your idea, you won’t get any money.
- Use your best story, which is how you came to your idea and the realization of its viability.
- Do a dry run for a friend who is willing to poke holes in your presentation and point out the weaknesses.
- Probe the market and do your research so you can be prepared for any question.
- Close with the same idea you started with and leave on a high note. Your passion needs to be contagious.
All of these principles need to be used in business, sales or leadership communications, as well as in venture capitalist speed dating, if we believe in our work and want to engage, enlist and influence others.
I also understood why her clients usually get the funding they are seeking.