What makes a business successful? This question seems to be extremely broad that any entrepreneurs can answer it differently based on their personal stories and past experiences. Sharon Sinnott, the Director of Babson Speech Center, thinks that communication is one of the most important elements that can make a business thrive. On Thursday, June 1, the 2017 Summer Venture Program teams were are very excited to have their first Lunch & Learn, where we welcomed Sharon and Paul F. D’Adamo, a Speech Consultant, to join us for lunch, and deliver an insightful presentation of how to effectively communicate with prospecting customers and potential investors to accelerate the business.
People tend to think that numbers and statics about a venture weighs a ton lot more than other factors when it comes to pitching to investors. However, many investors, in fact, often make decisions emotionally. In the end it is your voice, your present, and the ability to move people, are what can make you successful (Sharon Sinnott).
Besides indicating what communication is within a business and the importance of it, Sharon also mentioned about the gap between perception and reality that lies between customers and businesses, also known as the perception gap. In order to close this perception gap, you have to be mindful of the way you deliver the information – be sure to be persuasive but not forceful.
Clarity is also important during a presentation. You don’t want your customer or investor fall asleep in the middle of a presentation that is tedious and boring. That’s why we need visuals to assist us and capture and hold audiences’ attention. With that been said, having an audience analysis before the pitch is also a great way to help gain more tractions while presenting. In order to do so, presenter need to do some research and get to know the audience group beforehand. For example, presenter should consider audiences’ gender, age, economics status, educational level, and even beliefs on certain relatable subjects. It is also good to know the audiences’ attitudes towards you – do you have enough credibility when presenting in front of a group of audiences who are thirty years older than you on average? Most importantly, presenter must know the needs and wants of the audience group.
Last but not least, Sharon and Paul gave some useful tips on dealing with the presentation monster – stage fright.
- Do not bring attention to a word stutter or a misuse of the word;
- Check facts and numbers for accuracy
- Make message as simple and clear as possible
- Conduct audience analysis and adjust to various audiences
- Practice, practice, practice.
Your voice is your power. As entrepreneurs, learning basic communication and presentation skills to make your voice been heard not only helps your businesses, but also help people around you. Our voice is the tool that we should utilize to revolutionize and make social impacts.