Everyone has had a co-worker with less than awesome hygiene habits. Take a second and think about that person. Is there anything about that person that stands out more in your mind than their body odor? In our experience, the answer is usually no. And that’s why we always tell our clients to wear deodorant when they are giving an investor pitch.
Rolling your eyes yet?
The most important part of that advice is not actually remembering to apply deodorant, but rather to think about your personal habits and ticks before going into a pitch. There are many little things that can end up taking away from your overall presentation; the good news is most of them can be mitigated if you diagnose them and take corrective measures beforehand.
If not wearing deodorant is an issue for you, takes steps to make sure that you don’t leave an odor-related impression on the investor. By the same token, if you’re in the habit of stuttering or resorting to sweeping arm motions when you ad-lib a presentation, make sure you get enough practice to roll through smoothly without doing either of those things.
There are two key steps in your preparation process that will allow you avoid problems of this nature:
- Practice your pitch in front of anyone who will watch. Advisors, friends, neighbors; it doesn’t matter. Anyone who will give an honest assessment of your presentation style is a good person to use as a sounding board.
- Listen to their advice, even if it comes at the expense of your pride. It’s not fun to have people tell you that you look ridiculous when you wave your arms too much. But if you swallow your pride and implement their advice, it could make all the difference for your pitch.
What presentation ticks have you fixed, and how did you fix them? We’d love to hear in the comments.