Friday, September 10, 2010

Close, close, close

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Now that I’m back in Cambridge I’m spending almost every day this week in London.  It’s been up early and down to the station for the early trains to the City, working in transit, angling for off-peak fares.

It’s all for a purpose,  of course.  There are three major funding opportunities in the next two weeks, and this will likely exhaust the short-term prospects among high net worth angel investors.  So, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

Fortunately, this has also been an intense week for learning.  We’re going through days of rehearsal and training prior to the upcoming events, and it’s making a difference.  We got a half day of coaching in how to follow-up with investors, negotiate a term sheet, and manage the early stages of the relationship.  There was another half-day of 1-1 work on presentation skills, ruthless Q&A critique, and thorough pitch evaluations.   I feel like the hard questions are coming out early, and am getting comfortable with how to stay poised under fire.  The 12-minute presentation has been groomed and strengthened, I see how to capture audience attention and hold it.  And we worked hard on voice, gestures, and expression: the prosody behind the presentation.  It makes me self-conscious after a while, because there’s so much to think about: the key will be to rehearse to where the coaching notes become second nature.

And, in the end, it will all come down to the close, as my colleagues keep reminding me.   It should be fun.

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