The strongest predictor of who gets venture capital investment is not the credentials or the content of the pitch. The strongest predictors are the traits: confidence, comfort level and passionate enthusiasm.
Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy reveals data from Lakshmi Balachandra in her new Presence book. Balachandra investigated the way entrepreneurs made 185 pitches to potential investors and the way investors responded.
This is relevant for all of us as we go into budget meeting season, whatever industry we’re in. The clear message is that it’s important to focus as much time on your own ‘professional presence’ as on your content. But how many times do you find your teams pouring over the final slides at the last minute rather than working on how they communicate? It’s like going into bat with your hand tied behind your back.
The data may sound puzzling but it makes a great deal of sense. What the investors are looking for is a person who will deliver the plan. If the entrepreneur looks like they don’t genuinely believe in the proposition or isn’t genuinely confident, why should the investor believe?
The other interesting part of this research is that the investors distrusted ‘slick’ communicators and were looking for the genuine person.
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