Be confident. Right out the gate. This includes dressing well, carrying yourself well and speaking well. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, with your own product, it’s going to show and it’s going to be a long presentation, for everyone. If you’re a nervous nancy about something you’ve just risked your life savings and a lot of time on, why would someone with a lot of money spend it on something that you don’t seem so sure of?
Dress well. Potential investors are going to question your follow-through and attention to detail if you can’t even anticipate that you will be judged by how you look and solve that problem. How can you be trusted to problem solve a big problem when you can’t problem solve that you need to iron your shirt or you miss details like procuring proper fitting pants? Dressing bad is distracting and creates a first impression (that you don’t quite believe in yourself or your product) that’s hard to shake when the focus should be elsewhere–like on your product and why it’s great. (I understand irons and properly fitting pants.)
Carry yourself well. Failing to carry yourself well ends up a lot like dressing poorly. If you fidget, pace, avoid eye contact, appear uncomfortable, etc., it burns up energy in the room that potential investors could’ve put into excitement about your product. It’s exhausting to watch someone be nervous about something they should know well and be excited about. (If I’m comfortable with the material I carry myself well and am engaging. But, I tend to talk with my hands.)
Speak well. If you stammer, repeat yourself, employ strings of ums and uhs, or say a lot of words without actually saying anything–potential investors are going to miss your point and really struggle to care about something that you need them to care a lot about. If you don’t even know how to talk about your product how can you be trusted to know what to do with thousands of someone else’s dollars? (I can be wordy if I’m not dialed into the details.)
Be passionate. Let potential investors know that you really give a shit. If you seem watery and uncommitted about something you’ve just spent months and money on, building and tweaking–people are going to feel watery and uncommitted about you. Especially the people with they money. (I can be extremely passionate.)
Tell your story. Take everything great about your product–while employing everything above– and do it supreme justice by telling your story. Tell the crap out of it. Give the potential investors the who, what, where, why, when. Who it matters to. What problem it solves. Where it came from and where it’s going. Why people need it in their lives. Why it will make them money. When? Right now. Telling your story well is your opportunity to connect with investors and leave them wanting to invest. (I can tell a damn story.)
Be clear and concise. Know the all details of your product and distill them down to what’s most important. Then use your words and deliver the message of your product with such command of the English language that there is no confusion as to who you are or what your product is doing. (I can clear and concise–if prepared and practiced ahead of time.)