You can say all the right words, but if you don’t exude confidence, investors won’t believe in you -- or your product.
By Diane Allen (Speaker, Author & Coach, Eloquent Expression)
Pitching your business to investors can bring on a wave of unwanted reactions: nerves, anxiety and worry. Then because you’re stressed, you lose sleep. Which makes you even more jittery and off your game.
Unfortunately, you can say all the right things with a flawless by-the-book presentation. But if you come across as nervous or unsure, you undermine every word that comes out of your mouth.
What does it take to exude confidence naturally, feel like yourself and be in control when the moment has come to pitch your business? Follow these five tips.
1. Know Your Role
Your role is the seed of your confidence! Who is the person that emerges when you love what you’re doing and are contributing your personal touch to the world?
The best way to describe this is by example. I worked with a gentleman who is a mentor at a startup accelerator. He was looking to gain confidence when speaking to audiences of 100+.
While his previous style didn’t show any anxiety, his voice was quiet and his energy was low. He was not projecting confidence. What he loves most about his job is “being the connector” — connecting people with people as well as resources. The larger the audience, the more he disconnected he felt with his role of connecting.
Knowing his role became the source of stepping into his power in front of larger audiences. He now speaks effortlessly with volume, exuberant energy and projects confidence. Examples of roles I’ve helped identify: Problem solver, the grounding force, bringer of joy, sharing, caring and many more.
Identify your role (seed). Plant that seed of confidence in all the landscapes of your life. Be that role and be confident!
Practice = Confidence. More practice = More confidence. Practice alone. Practice in front of a video camera. Practice in front of others. Did you know Steve Jobs would practice for weeks prior to any of his speeches?
3. Determine Your Physical Release
You can reduce those unwanted physical symptoms (butterflies, feeling quivery, sweat). Incorporate action that will ground you and calm you. Jog. Meditate. Find what works for you. Do not skip this step. Make it part of your presentation routine.
4. Get in the Right Mental Mindset
Notice – Acknowledge – Be Neutral.
Your mental mindset pertains to the way you handle your thoughts while speaking. Notice any self talk or physical reactions. Acknowledge them, be neutral and let it be.
Example: Your hands are shaking. Don’t fixate on your hands shaking and try to stop them from shaking. Instead, notice it… but then let go. The shaking dissipates quickly and naturally without you mentally keeping track.
5. Pull It All Together
The time has come for you to pitch your business. Follow the steps:
- Get into your “role” with the intensity of a Shakespearean actor.
- Lean on the confidence you’ve built from your stellar practicing.
- Ease your jitters through physical release.
- Allow your senses to be on complete alert, but juggle the sensory overload with ease, acknowledging distractions and releasing your attention to them.
You are confident and comfortable because you’re living your role. The excitement this time is fun instead of terror. Triumph!
Use these steps to exude confidence naturally. Join the wave of confident entrepreneurs who speak from the heart and with impact. The time has arrived for people to benefit from what you have to offer! The time has arrived for you to speak with confidence!
How confident are you? Take this fun and enlightening assessment quiz!
What’s your go-to pre-pitch ritual that boosts your confidence?
About the guest blogger: As an award-winning speaker, Diane Allen delivers powerful Keynote speeches, leads transformative workshops and helps individuals through results-oriented coaching programs. Her book, “Exude Confidence Naturally When Speaking In Public – Tips from a New York City Trained Violinist” is now available on Amazon.