by Stephanie Bickel
You are having a dinner with investors before the big management team presentation the next day. You are meeting for the first time in person and want to make a great first impression and connect with this important group of people. Here are the top ten practical tips we share when we engage in management team presentation coaching:
1. Review their LinkedIn bios.
Take a moment to look at their LinkedIn bios before you meet that night. What groups do they follow? Where have they lived and worked?
2. Get there early.
Get there early to ensure that you leave seats open so buyers sit between you. Do not sit next to your own team members if possible. Round tables at restaurants are better than rectangles for conversations.
3. Discuss people, passions, and dreams.
Try to discuss topics about their "PPD": People (family, friends), Passions (hobbies, joys), and Dreams (wishes, future plans).
4. Prepare your stories.
Stories are what people remember. They want to know you more personally, too. Prompt stories that put your team members in a good light. "Mary knows Jeff Besos from when she worked at Amazon."
5. Be "apolitical".
Stay away from politics and politically charged topics. If they come up, find ways to help steer the conversation to lighter topics.
6. Show off your team chemistry.
Demonstrate how you have fun together and how much you enjoy each other's company. Let them know that the business is not running you. Be rested and fun.
7. Be prepared for inquisitive questions.
Be prepared to answer questions about other swim lanes. They want to see how well you know the company and to see if you share vulnerabilities on the business.
Pre-ordering can help the dinner stay closer to 2 hours. Choose appetizers for the table and pick out bottles of wine. You can even pre-order a dessert sampler.
9. Encourage post-dinner coffee, tea, or desserts.
Encouraging an after dinner coffee, tea, or treat shows your desire to continue the experience. If people have expressed a desire to be health conscious, do not push dessert.
10. End on a high note.
Share a funny story or your excitement for the conversation tomorrow. Leave them with a yearning to hear more about you and your business.
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