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創業者如何向風投講故事?試試這五招

Anne Sraders 2019年12月30日

對于創業公司而言,講故事的能力決定生死。

20191211日(星期三),《財富》新一代最具影響力的商界女性2019大會在加州拉古納尼古爾召開,期間舉辦了關于“完美故事”的研討會。

圖片來源:PHOTOGRAPH BY STUART ISETT FOR FORTUNE

對于創業公司而言,有一些決定命運的時刻。無論是60秒、10分鐘還是半小時,這是可以決定一家公司能否得到它成長所需資金的時刻——風險極高,因此在風投資本家或合作伙伴面前的那幾分鐘就成了決定成敗的時刻。

12月11日,《財富》雜志在加州拉古納尼古埃爾舉辦的“新一代最具影響力的商界女性”大會上,頂級企業家和風險投資家在分組座談會上討論了如何講故事。

以下是專家們所說的必勝秘訣。

1、說明你為什么是唯一一個可以實現業務增長的人

對一些風險投資家來說,成功推薦自我的關鍵不只是漂亮的數字,也不是針對每個問題都能侃侃而談,而是要說明你有什么獨特優勢可以帶動公司發展。

替代融資供應商Clearbanc的聯合創始人及總裁米歇爾·羅曼諾說:“你要抓住故事的關鍵——說明你是世界上唯一真正能建起來這項業務的人?!薄罢f明這一點……會以一種非常不一樣的方式迫使人們想要支持這樣一位創始人?!?

羅曼諾建議創業家們可以講述一個感人的故事或者分享一點他們獨有的專業知識,來傳達這個論點。

“不管是什么行業,萬事萬物……都需要競爭,所以最重要的是說明你為什么是唯一能做這件事的人,你為什么有勇氣和毅力去做這件事?!彼a充說。哪怕你面臨諸多競爭,但擁有一個獨一無二的合作伙伴,在價格上有競爭優勢,詳細說明單位經濟效益可以幫助你脫穎而出。

2、不要過度關注PPT本身,要更注意與人建立聯系

雖然專家們說,做一個精美的PPT很重要,但最終吸引投資者注意力的可能不是PPT。

這也是為什么LIVELY內衣品牌的創始人及首席執行官米歇爾·科代羅·格蘭特建議創業者“在PPT上少花點時間,多花點時間(情商)思考如何和觀眾建立情感上的連接,要抓住能對這個故事進行情感包裝的數據下功夫?!?

格蘭特已經為自己的公司籌集了1500多萬美元,她指出,短視頻是觀察觀眾的好方法,甚至在你開口說話前就可以建立起人際互動。她說,在風投提案前播的那段20秒的視頻才是她成功的真正原因。

3、做好功課

專家表示,這點似乎毋庸置疑,但研究你想要爭取的公司和投資者是這個過程中至關重要的一步,而有些創始人卻忽略了這一步。

“做好功課是非常重要的,你在籌集資金時,應該過一遍這個流程:你應該想到最好的投資者是誰,哪些會面是你用來練手的,在每一次會面中你都應該充分了解這家公司,這樣你就可以向投資者感興趣的東西傾斜調整?!蔽挥诔跫夒A段的風險資本公司BBG的一般合伙人尼莎·杜瓦說。

她建議研究一下公司的決策者是誰,你實際上是在向誰做介紹(是合伙人嗎?),了解投資者或公司是否投資了你的競爭對手,這是確保雙方都不浪費時間的關鍵。

風險投資公司Lux Capital的合伙人蒂娜·夏奇爾說,也就是說,如果不對競爭對手進行研究,甚至可能會在這家投資公司這里敲響了喪鐘。

她說:“如果這家風投公司知道你連基本的功課都沒做,你甚至不知道他們是否投資了一家和你有直接競爭關系的公司,你馬上就會被列入黑名單?!?

4、包裝是關鍵

可以肯定的是,有一個有吸引力的、深思熟慮的PPT和包裝是向潛在投資者展示你的企業能吸引客戶、投資者和后續估值的關鍵。正如夏奇爾所說:“做好包裝是你獲得下一輪融資以及(投資者)投資回報的關鍵?!?

但是,各種花哨賣點并不一定是最重要的,這不是最終目的。

“重要的不是最漂亮的PPT、最漂亮的視頻、最能言善辯滔滔不絕的演講者,”杜瓦說,“對我們來說,包裝可以歸結為:這個人能不能講好一個故事,他們能不能提出一個宏大的愿景,他們是否對自己的材料了如指掌?”

杜瓦建議你要熟悉自己介紹的內容——無論是60秒還是30分鐘——還要了解附錄中的所有內容,這是許多風投公司十分看重的。在非靜態介紹中,適應聽眾提出的問題、能從聽眾那獲得提示至關重要。

“所謂的包裝指的是:我能走進來,進行20分鐘的談話,說出我的故事,并在有人問我問題時做出調整,我可以用PPT,也可以不用……在某種程度上,講故事的人本身就是包裝?!彼f。

5、跟進時不要簡單地復制粘貼

發送一個跟進信息已經成為了基本的禮節,但是發送一個無聊的或者復制粘貼的跟進信息對維持這段關系毫無益處。

“確保你能迅速跟進,而且不是用那種‘很高興能和你聯系,讓我們保持跟進’之類的標準格式?!毕钠鏍栒f,“試著和他們聊一些私人的話題,這樣你就可以跳出某一個話題繼續聊天,這實際上就是在向他們繼續講故事。我發現這樣做很有幫助?!庇脕斫⒙撓档狞c可以是你們曾經討論過的某支球隊,也可以是你在見面中談及的一篇文章。

但是要找到一些不那么煩人的方法。夏奇爾建議不要說:“‘我想聽聽你的意見’,因為沒人有時間給你意見?!?(財富中文網)

譯者:Agatha

?

When it comes to startups, the defining moment in many entrepreneurs' lives is the all-important pitch. That time, be it 60 seconds, 10 minutes, or half an hour, can determine whether or not a company will get the funds it needs to grow—and such high stakes can often make those minutes spent in front of venture capitalists or partners feel like a make-it-or-break-it moment.

Top entrepreneurs and venture capitalists shared their tips on how to deliver the perfect pitch—and a successful follow-up—during a panel at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Next Gen conference in Laguna Niguel, Calif. on December 11.

Here's what experts are saying is the perfect recipe for a winning pitch.

1. Explain why you're the only one who can grow the business

For some venture capitalists, the key to delivering a successful pitch isn't just about nailing down your numbers and having an eloquent answer to every question—it's about explaining why you are uniquely positioned to develop the company.

“Really nail the part of the story why you are the only person in the world that can really build this business,” Michele Romanow, the co-founder and president of alternative funding provider Clearbanc, said. “Sharing that ... actually compels you in a very different way to want to back a founder.”

Romanow suggests entrepreneurs can relay this through telling an emotional story or sharing a unique piece of expertise they have.

“Regardless of industry, everything ... gets competitive, so it's ultimately showing why you are the only person that's going to get to do this, and why you have the grit and perseverance to do that,” she said. Having a unique partner, a competitive advantage in pricing, and detailing unit economics can help differentiate you even if your space is crowded, she added.

2. Less focus on the deck, more focus on connecting

While experts say having a sophisticated, well-put-together deck is important, it ultimately might not be the thing that will get an investor's attention in a pitch.

In fact, that's why Michelle Cordeiro Grant, the founder and CEO of bra brand LIVELY, suggested founders “spend less time on the deck and spend more time on the [emotional quotient] of how you're going to emotionally connect with the people you're presenting to, and really just zone in on the three nuggets of data that are going to emotionally wrap that story.”

Having raised over $15 million for her company herself, Grant noted things like short videos can be a good way to observe your audience and build human interaction even before you begin to speak. A 20-second video at the start of her pitch was what Grant said "actually made me successful" during her pitches.

3. Do your homework

It may seem obvious, but researching the firms and investors you're pitching is a crucial step in the process that some founders actually miss, the panel said.

“Homework is really important because when you're raising money, you should be running the process: You should've thought about who are the best investors for you, who are your practice meetings, and at each of those meetings you should know enough about the firm so you can lean into the things the investors are interested in,” Nisha Dua, general partner at early-stage venture capital firm BBG Ventures, said.

She suggested researching who the decision makers are at the firm, who you are actually pitching to (is it a partner?), and knowing if the investor or firm has invested in your competitors are keys in making sure neither of the parties waste their time.

To wit, Deena Shakir, a partner at venture capital firm Lux Capital, said that failing to doing research on your competitors can even be a death-knell with that investment firm.

“You are immediately almost blacklisted from ever communicating with anybody else at this VC if this VC knows you haven't even done the basic homework to see if they've invested in a company that is directly competitive,” she said.

4. Packaging your pitch is key

To be sure, having an attractive, well-thought out pitch deck and packaging is a key in showing potential investors your business will be able to attract customers, investors, and further valuations. As Shakir puts it, “packaging is what gets you the next round of fundraising ... and a return on [investors'] investment.”

But a pitch with all the bells and whistles is not necessarily the end-all, be-all.

“It's not about the prettiest deck, the prettiest video, the most eloquent and articulate speaker,” Dua says. “Packaging for us comes down to, can this person tell a story with narrative arc, can they pitch a big vision, and do they know their material back to front?”

Dua suggests knowing your pitch—from a 60-second version to a 30-minute version—and knowing all the material in your appendix back to front is what stands out for many VCs. Adapting to questions and taking cues from your audience is critical in delivering a non-static pitch.

“The packaging is: I can come in and have a 20-minute conversation and nail my story and adjust as someone is asking me questions, and I can do that with a deck, without a deck, technical difficulties ... In a way, the package is the person telling the story,” she said.

5. Don't do a copy/paste follow-up

Sending a follow-up has become basic etiquette—but sending a boring or copy-and-paste follow-up can be of little help in securing that connection.

“Make sure you have a quick follow up and make sure it's not some standard, 'great to connect, let's follow up' type of thing,” Shakir said. “Try and have something personal you can engage with them on so you can continue the conversation outside of the specific top that you actually were pitching them on. I've found that to be really helpful as well.” Those connection points could be anything from a sports team you discussed to an article you connected over during your meeting.

But find ways to check in that are not annoying. Shakir recommended avoiding saying, “'I want to pick your brain,' because nobody has time for that.”

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