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.
You can learn these business skills with KineticFuture. We have a new training programme called ‘Professional Presence. The power of the truth’, which blends skills from psychology, brain science and theatre. Call us if you would like to know more.
If you’re one of those people who has no qualms asking for a pay rise. Well done – please do share your advice. However, for many people it’s a source of dread. They either don’t ask at all or they waste lots of energy making themselves have the conversation.
Here are some great tips from the front line to help you have that conversation for a pay rise:
If you don’t ask, you don’t get: remember that others will be succeeding, despite all protestations of budget caps, grades, time in service. Don’t delay.
Don’t wait until you are perfect: there is a big gender divide here. Men rate their ability higher than co-workers, women rate them as equal. Men tend to apply for open positions when they tick 60% of the requirements, women only when they feel they tick 100% of the requirements. You will see men apply the same logic to pay rises too.
Do your homework: you need the facts internally around the pay for your position and externally and a very clear idea of what you feel you are worth. Remember you will be knocked down so start higher and have a few back up ‘asks’. There are obviously factors which help your cause – if the company is short of talent or has just secured a good contract that will help. Early soft soundings will also give you good ideas on how to make your case and the opportunities available.
Write down a strong ‘pitch’: remember that your ‘boss’ has to sell your pay rise upstream internally, so give them clear evidence to do this. Writing down your pitch in bullet points on one piece of paper outlining what you want and your ‘pitch’ creates clarity. Put yourself in the company’s shoes. Why would they want to give you the pay rise you want? Demonstrate your achievements and experience – explaining why it will be useful in the future and what you can offer them. Keep emotion and any hint of ‘blackmail’ out of the pitch.
KineticFuture has designed 6 new coaching modules very relevant post Brexit:
- Confidence & resilience
- Dealing with uncertainty, fears & conflict
- Energising leadership
- One Tribe Behaviours.
Do call us for more information or to book a course.