“If you want investors and audiences to care; show F.L.A.I.R.” – Sam Horn, Intrigue Expert, pitch strategist and author of POP!
What a pleasure it was coaching Springboard Enterprise entrepreneurs yesterday in Boston at Microsoft’s NERD location overlooking the waterfront.
Springboard has helped entrepreneurs such as Robin Chase of Zipcar and Gail Goodman of Constant Contact receive more than $5 B in funding.
As their official Pitch Coach, my role is to help them prepare 10 minute pitches that intrigue and favorably impress potential financial partners.
I don’t waste their valuable time talking about how many words to put on their power point slides. That informaiton can be found in many other books or programs.
As The Intrigue Expert and Pitch Strategist, my specialty is showing clients how to pleasantly surprise jaded investors with approaches they haven’t heard before – approaches that quickly, compellingly communicate a convincing competitive edge and commercial viability that get eyebrows up and smartphones down.
In the next few blogs, I’ll be sharing some of the tips that had participants saying, “You’re a hero. I can finally describe my company in 60 seconds so investors get it and want it.”
First, let me keep my promise to participants to finish sharing what F.L.A.I.R. stands for.
F = FUN!
“Most of the time I don’t have much fun. The rest of the time I don’t have any fun at all.” – Woody Allen
Sound familiar? Many entrepreneurs are so tight and tense during their pitch; it’s almost painful to watch.
The thing is, “likability” plays a role in whether you land funding.
Some investors have so much money; it’s no longer strictly about the money.
There’s thousands of start-ups that could potentially make them money. The question is, “Would I like to work with this person for the next few years?”
Frankly, fun is a sign of confidence. Not only do you command more atention when you’re having fun, it shows you’re comfortable in your own skin and can wield authority confidently.
The ability to relax, perform optimally and enjoy yourself in front of a group of decision-makers is a sign you won’t panic under pressure or “choke” as the leader of a multi-million dollar company.
So, yes, even though asking for 6 or 7 figures is “serious business;” don’t make it SO serious you lack personality or passion.
Check out the next blog to find out what the “L” stands for in F.L.A.I.R.