“You’re saying that the wrong body language can destroy my chance to pitch and get funding?” my client, Matthew asked.
“The wrong body language can affect the investors on the subconscious level. They won’t believe you have the confidence to be successful. That means that they’ll fund someone else’s project,” I said.
Learn Two Critical Elements of Body Language
- Do NOT Dismiss an Investor who seems to have “Closed Body Language”
If you step into a bookstore, you can find books on body language that proclaim that if a person has her arms crossed, she might be “closed off” to your idea.
She could also be cold. Or she simply finds that crossing her arms feels comfortable to her.
Here’s the point: The folded arms provide you with only one data point.
Some researchers refer to a form of “resting face” that unintentionally appears as if a person is irritated, contemptuous, angry, or simply annoyed. This expression is known as RBF — “Resting B__ch Face.”
I’ve seen some audience members (with folded arms and frowns) come up after a speech then break into a smile and tell me: “Tom, I really like the ideas you shared with us! The material is so useful.”
So be careful. Do not stop talking to people who look “closed off.” Address the whole audience because you want every chance to connect with potential investors.
- Make Your Body Language Congruent with What You Say
If you say, “I’m confident that my product can solve your situation,” while you’re wringing your hands, what will the investors believe—your words or your hands?
Your hands will be “too loud” and their actions will “drown out” your words.
Here’s another vital point: Do NOT take a step backwards when hit with a tough question.
Taking a step backwards makes you look scared and lacking in confidence. When I share this in workshops, a number of audience members nod their heads. That’s fine.
Then I raise the conversation up to a better place. I say: “Explanation does NOT equal transformation. … we’re now going to practice walking toward the person who asks a question.”
[In my workshops, people address a small audience of two—because the audience is divided into “Teams of Three.”]
The truth is you need to practice and rehearse effective body language.
Additionally, in my work as the Spoken Word Strategist and Executive Coach, I have my private clients practice taking one or two steps forward toward the person who asked the question. Just one or two steps forward—and not too close. The Effective Body Language says, “I’m devoting my full attention to you. I am not intimidated by your question. I am confident.”
In summary, pay close attention to the vital elements of body language.
With good, strong body language, you can be winning during a pitch even before you open your mouth. Additionally, make sure to keep the investors’ perception of you as confident by taking a couple of steps toward a person who asks you a question.
Remember, body language can drown out your words. Keep your words and body language congruent.
Spoken Word Strategist – Executive Coach
Speaker-Author, 44 books so far 🙂
PitchPowerFest.com * GetTheBigYes.com
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