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3 Exercises for Staying Calm During Investment Presentations

A professional setting calls for a professional approach. During vital investment presentations, you don’t want to seem nervous and fidgety, nor do you want to appear hyper and overbearing. Anxiety ruins your integrity as a presenter, as an uncontrolled wave of emotion could end up expressing the wrong message. What you need is a cool and calm approach that doesn’t get in the way of what you’re trying to say.

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Here are three tips to get you up to the task:

1. Empty Your Mind

You don’t want to be overtaken by your fears and anxieties. You also don’t want to be distracted by your overenthusiasm and excitement. To find a calm middle ground, empty your mind of present thoughts. Imagine an image from nature. Think of the quietly rushing water of a babbling brook or the wind blowing through a field. Imagine a loved one voicing encouragement.

It doesn’t matter which image you use to relax yourself, whether it’s specific or general. What’s important is that you do this well before your presentation. Practice clearing your mind and imagining relaxing thoughts repeatedly so that you’re ready to use these techniques when you need them.

2. Inhale, Exhale

Don’t forget to breathe. Sounds easy, right? Without even thinking about it, our body already does the breathing for us. However, steady breathing is harder to do when your body is stressing out.

Fortunately, some oxygen can help calm you down, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions or by a bout of the presentation jitters. Similar to when you’re in life-threatening danger, your body releases stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline, which increase your heart rate and blood pressure.

They may have helped our more primitive ancestors in outrunning predators, but they inadvertently make modern public speaking harder, increasing your chances of committing mistakes. Controlled breathing, among many things, optimizes your oxygen intake, making it easier for you to focus and think clearly. When you’re feeling nervous or anxious, just take one long breath, stomach out, and you’ll be fine.

3. Move Around

Motion changes your emotion. It’s not just some rhyme – it actually works. When you’re feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities as a speaker, shift your stance or take a few steps in any direction. Making movements changes your perspective, helping you transition to a different state of mind.

If you’re frequently stiffening up due to nervousness, loosen your body up with some stretching exercises before a pitch, and move around during your pitch. Being mobile also allows you to better convey your message. In addition, effective use of body language communicates to your audience and to your subconscious self that you’re in control.

Conclusion

There are opportunities for you to let your emotions loose and be yourself. However, going overboard will make you look unprofessional and put a dent in your credibility. It can also confuse your audience into remembering your emotion instead of your core message. Freezing with nervousness will make you look even worse.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you find it difficult to present in front of an audience. Some nervousness is normal for important business presentations, but don’t be completely overcome with anxiety.

Instead of panicking even more, relax. Clear your mind of any present thoughts. The less you focus on worrisome possibilities, the more you can focus on actually getting your message across. Don’t forget to take deep breaths to optimize your oxygen intake and calm yourself down.

Lastly, move around, but don’t overdo it. Getting yourself in motion gives you a different perspective on things. Be cool, calm, and collected to ace your pitch and wow your listeners.

 

References

http://www.marionspeaks.com/_blog/Marions_Communication_Tips/post/3_Tips_to_Control_Emotions_When_Presenting/
http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/3-surprising-ways-a-deep-breath-can-reduce-your-anxiety/
http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2010/04/21/motions-influence-emotions/

 

Featured Image: Relaxing in Maldives” by Nattu on flickr.com

3 Acronyms to Attack Business Investment Presentations

So you’ve founded a start-up and are looking for investors to keep the ball rolling. You’re filled with confidence at this new, ground-breaking business proposal.

They just can’t say no.

…right?

Underestimating how much you need to prepare to ace investment preparations means you’ll fail. You can’t simply stroll in and blow people’s minds with your brilliant idea.

Starting to feel nervous?

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Here are three easy-to-remember acronyms to sail through that pitch.

T.A.

T.A. stands for Target Audience. Getting a beat on your potential investors should be the first thing on your to-do list.

We’ve previously discussed the importance of having good objectives that guide your presentation. For effective objectives, have a well-defined target audience.

Preparing an investment pitch doesn’t only mean narrowing down who benefits from your product or service. Zero in on who your investors could be.

Granted, you may not have easily-accessible information on who they are. Don’t be afraid to make educated guesses when your standard search engine results turn up with nil.

Take some tips from Sticky Marketing Club CEO, Grant Leboff, and examine your company and the market you want to enter before casting out the net.

Look for possible needs and wants they may have, then formulate questions or concerns they might bring up. This allows you to plan ahead with answers to best alleviate their worries. This also lets you highlight positives that they can relate with while spinning negatives that can turn them off.

Planning your pitch without even knowing who you’ll be talking to seals your start-up in a coffin.

U.S.P.

Now that you know who you’re selling to, define a specific niche your proposed solution intends to fill.

Before you write your speech, define your U.S.P. – Unique Selling Proposition. This idea was first developed by ad expert Rosser Reeves in his book “Reality in Advertising (1961),” stating that its uses were:

  1. to offer a valuable proposition.
  2. to demonstrate a quality that can’t be offered by a competitor, and
  3. be a strong and catchy “hook” to draw in new customers or investors.

It also helps to have a U.S.P. that can afford you a competitive advantage that’s sustainable for the near future – a characteristic that’s not easily copied or improved upon.

Don’t make these benefits up, as unsubstantiated claims can get you in trouble, or even make you lose investors.

Whatever the case, knowing your U.S.P. easily tells your audience two things: why they should care and how you can make their life easier.

C.A.P.

Be confident, assertive, and passionate. These three are all important virtues in any presentation that are your linchpin to success.

Dressing the part and proper body language gives you the confidence to win the crowd over.

Having firm and specific objectives allows you to focus your pitch, imparting a more assertive and persuasive tone.

Relay memorable personal stories that tie into your message to make for an impassioned speech.

Go beyond describing a business model with limitless potential. Why would an audience trust a presenter lacking in conviction? Believing in your product makes you sell your product.

Your audience is looking for an investment that’s poised profit financially.  Be worthy of their time, money, and trust.

Summing It Up

Investment presentations can be the most nerve-wracking of all the business opportunities.

Keep those fears in check with a proven three-pronged approach to get the best result from your pitch. All you need are three simple acronyms: T.A., U.S.P., and C.A.P.

Know who you’re selling to, what unique benefit you’re selling, and pitch with the confidence of a master presenter.

Are you in need of a deck to match your business proposal? Boost your chances by contacting our presentation experts for a free quote!

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References

Belch, G., & Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 5th ed. Boston, Mass.: Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2001.
Leboff, Grant. “Six Steps to Defining Your Target Market.” Marketing Donut. Accessed June 16, 2015.
Making S.M.A.R.T. PowerPoint Presentation Goals.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 16, 2015.
Reeves, R. Reality in Advertising. New York: Knopf, 1961.

 

Featured Image: “Wallis046 Fish Fork” by Gordon McDowell on Wikimedia Commons