“What is something that is crucial for me to successfully pitch and gain funding?” my client, Allen, asked.
“For both your pitch and for every other interaction you have with investors, you’ll use the Powerful Secret of Success,” I said.
“What is it?”
“What? I’m the one doing the speaking. I’ve got 20 minutes to pitch. What are you talking about?”
I looked calmly in Allen’s eyes. I assured him, “You can listen to the investors even if they do not say anything.”
“Listening means opening your awareness,” I said.
For many of us, it’s hard enough just to close our mouths, let alone to slow down and open our awareness.
Realize that people don’t pay attention if you’re not demonstrating your focus and concern for what they value. People need to know you, like you and trust you. We trust people who listen to us and respond warmly and actively.
First, in over 16 years as a professional speaker, I’ve learned that it’s crucial to shift one’s attention from “How am I doing?” to “How are YOU doing?”
Second, here are three methods for you to Listen Well. I recommend the B.A.T process – as in “up at bat.”
B – begin and connect
A – ask a question
T – try dialogue
1. Begin and connect
Before you deliver your pitch, connect with people. Greet them at the door. Mingle. Stand near the refreshments. How can you start listening? Begin with “Gentle Questions.” Some examples include:
- Have you been to a number of these events?
- How are things going for you?
- Are you looking forward to something in particular during this process?
2. Ask a question
Sometimes, during a presentation, I’ll ask a question like: “Who here has become frustrated with _____________ sometime in your life? You don’t have to raise your hand. You could nod …”
As I mentioned, listening is opening your awareness. My question gives me the opportunity to watch faces and body language. Then, I can gauge what’s going on for the investors in the room.
3. Try dialogue
One of my clients had 20 minutes to pitch. I suggested, “Consider giving the pitch for 10 minutes and engage in some form of dialogue for the other 10 minutes. You want to, metaphorically, invite the person to lean in—to engage with you. See if you can include the person’s name.”
“How do I do that?”
Here’s a method I use. I say, “Oh. I see that’s important to you. I’m Tom and you are? … Susan? Susan, what’s most important to you about investing in project like what I’m offering here?”
A while ago, during my breakfast with a prominent venture capitalist, he told me, “Dialogue is important. But everybody just wants to pitch. They just want to talk.”
In summary, develop your skills so that you listen and open your awareness. Take your cues from the investors you see before you.
Spoken Word Strategist
This material is on my mind because I have now opened a special opportunity. When you CLICK HERE, you can go to my questionnaire-webpage and apply for a free consultation with me (limited number available) titled: “Increase Your Pitch Power for Funding – Strategy Session.”
Here are Your BENEFITS of such a free consultation.
- Gain Clarity and Peace of Mind about Pitching so You Gain the Funding you really want
- Discover the essential building blocks for having the Pitch that FUNDS your business or project
- Determine the #1 thing stopping you from having the Successful PITCH you want
- Identify the most powerful actions that will move you toward giving your Pitch with Total Confidence
- Complete the consultation with the excitement of knowing EXACTLY what to do next to create the Pitch for Funding that Gets You Great Results
I invite you to apply.
Let’s see if we might get the chance to work together … as a free opportunity to you.
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