This week we spoke to another group of international entrepreneurs at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley. Our presentation topic was Essential Communication Skills for Silicon Valley Success. Here are three tips we shared with the group.
1. Be ready. You should be ready to explain what you do to anyone that asks at a moment’s notice. In other words, you shouldn’t struggle over your elevator pitch. Be prepared to explain in one sentence what your company does, for whom (your customer segment), and why (your value proposition).
2. Be clear. Potential investors, partners, and customers are looking for a reason to say no to you. Don’t let poor pronunciation or language skills be that reason. Spending time with a coach or advisor who can help you clearly pronounce, at minimum, your company name, your product/service description, and key words that relate to your industry is essential. You want your future investors to judge you on your ideas and potential, not on your pronunciation.
3. Be concise. When answering questions about your company, be brief. Start with a topic sentence, keep your answers organized, and try to wrap up your answers in 90 seconds or less. If necessary, give one (and only one) example, then stop talking. If you don’t stop talking, your listener can’t ask additional questions or clarify what you have said.
Good luck with your venture!