I’m a bad public speaker. How can I successfully pitch for capital?
This article first appeared on May 17th, 2011.
I get really nervous when I have to pitch to others.
I hate public speaking and forcing myself on others. I previously didn’t have to interact with clients, which I quite enjoyed.
How can I get around this, or should I hire someone who is better at that kind of thing?
Having a partnership model when starting a new business can really have its advantages. Splitting responsibilities by (for example) people, product and profit can prove fruitful.
This way, one person looks after the people, one the product, and the third the numbers. It allows people to play to their strengths, and recognises that there are very few people who are really good at everything.
If you are one of these people, then good luck to you. If you are not, then you need to weigh up if the benefits outweigh the costs. In your instance it sounds like they will.
There are certain people who love the limelight, who want to be out there pitching, and finding platforms to speak on, and there are others who don’t.
If you don’t, and it doesn’t come naturally to you, I’d get someone to do it for you and ensure they are remunerated based on success.
This could be via profit share, bonus schemes, or indeed equity (the magic word!).
Having another senior person to help make decisions, and bounce things around with will also help in other ways not yet identified. Find others who fill in any skills gaps you have. Not every entrepreneur can do it all themselves.
Best of luck.