4 Feb BUILDING RAPPORT QUICKLY

Investor meetings are difficult enough because you need to tell your story, what makes you unique, and why you are the right company for them to invest. In reality, though, the most difficult and important part is building the necessary rapport with the investors.

Investors need to see a potential business relationship that they can develop. Do you have goals, values, beliefs, and drivers that align? How do you know what those are for your investors? How do you connect in this way?

It is not easy. It is one of the reasons our executive communication coaches are brought in to help. It goes beyond process and structure into the psychology of communication and how to apply it. There are three steps you can take to better position yourself to build rapport quickly with investors. (more…)

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19 Jan Strategically Authentic Communication 

To be successful in business communication, you must be authentic. Authenticity, though, is not magic. It is strategic. For any communication you have, here are three steps you can follow to be strategically authentic. 

– Better understand your listeners. The best advice I give to clients is to remember that it’s not about you; it’s about the listeners, so before you speak, ask yourself:

  • To whom are you speaking? What is their title? 
  • How much time do they have for you? 
  • What is your goal for the conversation? What do you think are the roadblocks to getting to your goal? 
  • How does your listener listen – do they want to get to the point or get all the information?  

(more…)

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17 Dec The Cornerstone of Success

If you don’t put in the work, your communication cannot improve. Have you ever heard of the often-quoted business statement “anything worth doing is worth doing badly”?  Whether you have or have not, the question you should ask is, what is this quotation saying to us as professionals?

The quote is urging us to do. Very inspirational and successful people generally speak statements like this. The kinds of people we want to emulate. The problem is that statements like this don’t reflect the years of work that went into developing the authenticity to say these statements. If Steve Jobs took a risk, it’s genius. If a middle manager with little to no experience or history at Apple takes that same risk, what a mistake!  (more…)

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10 Dec If you don’t put in the work, your communication cannot improve

Have you ever heard of the often-quoted business statement “anything worth doing is worth doing badly”?  Whether you have or have not, the question you should ask is, what is this quotation saying to us as professional.

The quote is urging us to do. Very inspirational and successful people generally speak statements like this. People, we want to emulate. The problem is that statements like this don’t reflect the years of work that went into developing the authenticity to say these statements. If Steve Jobs took a risk, it’s genius. If a middle manager with little to no experience or history at Apple takes that same risk, what a mistake!  My concern for businesspeople everywhere – if we follow statements like that, we assume success.

Let us listen to Thomas Edison when he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” This especially applies to our communication skills.  It is not something people are just good at, it’s not impossible to improve, and it’s not something that is a soft skill.

Everyone needs communication today to advance in business. You must establish relationships, be persuasive and motivational, be situational in leadership, show initiative, and acknowledge that communication is the cornerstone of your job. Essentially, to be successful at communication, also known as the cornerstone of your job, you must put in the effort to develop the skill, practice it, and nurture it to see success. Don’t just do it badly and expect results.

 

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7 Dec YOUR BIOTECH IDEA ALONE WILL NOT GET YOU FUNDED

When biotech start-ups go to present, the common belief is that the technology, biologic, assay, or molecule will be the catalyst for awarding funding.

No, it won’t. The fact that you have something that might work and be beneficial to some subset of people worldwide who suffer from a specific condition is how you got in the room. Whether you leave the room with funding is based entirely on what you focus on for the investors.

Today I will share with you the three things to focus on in VC meetings to get funding. There is one overarching factor in every one of these – you MUST provide value for the investor. (more…)

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25 Nov PERFECT BIOTECH INVESTMENT PRESENTATIONS ARE IMPERFECT

The concept of perfection in science is prolific. You want your research to suggest that your drug, therapy, etc. will work 100% of the time. That is impossible, but the goal is to get it as close as possible to every time on every patient with the fewest side effects. Most scientists in startups began as highly successful students who experienced some success at larger biotech companies or post-doc labs and then ventured out on their own. It’s in your makeup to win, to be successful in research, and to strive for perfection. Unfortunately, you are in business, where perfection is unattainable and often stands in the way of success. In a Huffington Post article published in 2013 by Carolyn Gregoire, she explains that the research on success shows that a focus on perfection correlates to a high amount of failure.

Since failure is not an option when it comes to funding, the goal is to mediate the anxiety that surrounds this contradiction between scientific training/success and business expectation. This anxiety correlates to a fear of speaking. I am not suggesting that anyone is afraid to talk to people, but that this speaking environment creates a fear response in us. This response can make us put off practice, focus on content and structure rather than delivery, and exhibit physical reactions – physically shaking, not breathing effectively, and potentially changing how we would normally speak.

We can help. First, don’t worry. Many people have this same fear. We recommend that you approach it both psychologically and physiologically.

  • The Psychology – When dealing with this fear response, it is important to physically write down the irrational beliefs you are dealing with and the corresponding rational reality you know to be true.
  • The Physiology – When you are dealing with the physical responses to fear, the best response is to relax. Our most effective relaxation tool at the moment is Diaphragmatic Breathing. When you breathe in, make sure your shoulders are relaxed, and your stomach moves out when you breathe. That means you are using the diaphragm. Each time you practice take one deep breath and try to count to 20 by saying “one by one and two by two and three by three” and so on until you reach 20. Practice this technique 10 minutes at a time, three times a week.

You cannot have a perfect presentation that will always get you the outcome you want. This is why you have a fear response. Using these tools, and many others will help you deal with the imperfection and present significantly better.

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4 Nov How to present as a team

Team presentations are difficult. They are even more so when there is $10 to $50 million in funding on the line. The presentation sets the tone for the next year or years of your business. So, getting it wrong, messing up, or not presenting as a cohesive unit is not an option. The pressure is high, and the stress over getting it wrong is higher.

When we coach teams, who are looking for that essential round of VC funding, we find that one of the keys to relieving the pressure is working on the transition between different sections of the presentation and various members of the team. There are three steps to good transitions between people: (more…)

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28 Oct Practice Strategies for a Biotech CEO: Demystified

One of the statements most often spoken by anyone faced with a big investor presentation is “I need to practice.” For life science start-up CEOs and leadership teams, this is in many cases, a topic of conversation. “I need to practice.” “We need to practice.” “We need to schedule practice.” “This presentation is critical because it influences our funding.” It is common to think practice is easy, but it is not. It is not easy to schedule; it is not easy to do as a team; it is not easy … period. While this is good for people like me because it is part of what we offer, it is time to demystify practice. I will outline five best practices of practice…so you can practice better!

Strategize and write

The first step to good practice is to take the time to purposefully consider, structure, and write what is going to be said. The biggest problem for most people is they believe their “story” is easy to tell and easy to understand. It is not. Without consideration and strategic writing, your message will be confusing to listeners. Remember, the goal is to write something that is for your listeners, NOT you. (more…)

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19 Sep Practice Strategies for a Biotech CEO Demystified

One of the statements most often spoken by anyone faced with a big presentation is “I need to practice.” For life science startup CEOs and leadership teams, this is in many cases, a topic of conversation. “I need to practice.” “We need to practice.” “We need to schedule practice.” “This presentation is critical because it influences our funding.” It is common to think practice is easy, but it is not. It is not easy to schedule; it is not easy to do as a team; it is not easy … period. While this is good for people like me because it is part of what we offer, it is time to demystify practice. I will outline five best practices of practice…so you can practice better!

Strategize and write

The first step to good practice is to take the time to purposefully consider, structure, and write what is going to be said. The biggest problem for most people is they believe their “story” is easy to tell and easy to understand. It is not. Without consideration and strategic writing, your message will be confusing to listeners. Remember, the goal is to write something that is for your listeners, NOT you.

Readout loud and consider

One of the most significant issues with most presentations is that the nonverbal presentation is not considered. Before you practice your presentation, you should read it out loud to yourself and others. Consider how you want to sound. What needs emphasis? What is important? How do you want to say that? Make notes of these things in your presentation. Nonverbal communication is not something that happens; it requires planning as well when communication is essential.

Schedule and commit to a realistic time (more…)

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