Does that mean you’re out of luck if you are not a gifted orator, or if speaking in front of a group of people is one of your biggest fears? Not at all!
In fact, I myself am very shy and, some might say, I am not a great natural speaker. But with preparation and practice, I have become very comfortable and effective at making presentations to the qualified investors I seek for my syndication deals. So, I would like to share some techniques that I think may be able to help you, too, conquer your fear of public speaking in front of potential investors. You see, I believe we all get a little scared when imagining ourselves all alone in the spotlight with everyone else’s eyes and ears focused on what we are about to say. But you will start to gain confidence after you are able to rehearse in front of a mirror so you can see the effectiveness of body language, voice inflection and “talking with your eyes and your hands.”
When you know your material and are able to relay the benefits of your syndication deal — the returns to the investors, the numbers, the ratios — it will all come together and you will become a great speaker.
Here are seven tips for delivering a winning sales presentation in front of a crowd.
After all your research and your practice, you know the investment proposal inside and out. And you are naturally excited because you know that its benefits will far exceed your potential investors’ wildest dreams. So be sure your enthusiasm comes across. The result? They will be begging you to accept their offers of investment. Wouldn’t that be great? That’s the end result you want. However, there is a little more work to do to make the sale.
You also need to establish the value of the whole package that you have put together by presenting the benefits. The investors want to see why they should invest with you, why it’s beneficial for them. Investors are very savvy. So, show them how your proposal will meet their needs and wants and offer good returns without an excess of risk.
A secondary goal of this whole step is to create in the potential investors the desire to invest with you now. See that’s the thing: Investors often say, “I will catch the next deal.” That’s not what you want; you want them to invest right now because you only have a limited amount of time to raise the money necessary for the deal. You need to have a good list of many investors with whom you already have established relationships. Otherwise, it would be kind of difficult when the time comes to close.
Remember, people, retain 20% of what they hear, 50% of what they see and up to 90% of what they touch or feel. This means that you have to plan your presentation to specifically match their needs and wants so that they retain the information they need to make their investment decision in the right way. You know, we humans tend to put more trust in what we see than in what we hear. Seeing is believing. Use colorful imagery of the investment real estate —a collage of pictures, graphically interesting Powerpoints, etc.
Emotion is a major factor in all decision-making, and particularly when it comes to investing. Therefore, you want to address the emotional benefits for the investor. Show what will it do for them in three to five years as compared to the ups and downs of the stock market, or purchasing CDs or bonds and so forth. Logic exists purely to justify emotional decisions in our life … in everybody’s life. If investors do not believe you emotionally, you have lost the opportunity to get them happily involved in your investment. No amount of logical rational debate will counter that if you have not fulfilled their emotional needs. You have got to involve their family, their spouse, and make sure everyone is right there with you to ask you anything and everything, any question about the syndication deal. Recommend and demonstrate opportunity as vividly as you possibly can.
What I have really come to realize is the effectiveness of body language, including tone of voice. Content is, of course, important, but how you deliver your message is just as important as what you say. Your tone and the volume of your voice can communicate immensely and drive the point across with your audience. Look into their faces, look into their eyes and make sure that they are understanding your message. As you rehearse, practice both whispering and speaking loudly. Body language is very crucial, also. It deeply captures audience eyes and attention as you move your hands and arms and your body. In essence, your body movement expresses what your attitudes and thoughts really are. Don’t plant yourself in one place for too long but move around to interact with the audience throughout the presentation. Whenever you have two or three people or you are giving a webinar, video conferencing, or a lunch or dinner presentation, use body language. Talk with your eyes and with your hands.
And finally, remember that first impressions really do matter. The audience often senses your attitude through your appearance, so dress appropriately for the occasion. When you are meeting with clients and investors, make sure that you look professional, that you really listen to them and that you convey the benefits of investing with you.