This article is written by Munira Hussein, a Contributor Author at Startup Istanbul.
There is nervousness and anxiety associated with presenting and it is only human. You do not have a problem. You are not a coward. You are not a failure. Far from it. You are courageous, game changer, trendsetter and a transformer. That is why you have had such a great opportunity to go before people, to share your disruptive idea with them.
We all have voices in our heads saying this is not good enough or you are not enough. Don’t listen to them. When the voice of fear wins, you lose the moment. You lose your presence. That will definitely mean that you will lose the pitch. You went out there to win. Don’t lose even before you get started.
Consider yoga and mindfulness. It will help you detach from the voice of fear. Reframe the limiting stories you tell yourself. Talk to yourself in a positive way and counter the negative voice. Focus on your voice of vision. build it up and share that with the world.
Give yourself a chance to make mistakes. Allow yourself to mess up as much as possible. Don’t seek to get it right. Just focus on grabbing attention and drawing people in. Forget the voice that wants to play by the rules.
Imposter syndrome is the part of yourself that thinks you are a fraud. We are all human. We feel the same. If you are in a scenario where you are trying to win, put everyone in the same level as you. So that you do not feel like everyone is better than you. Imagine that even those investors seated before you feel like they are a fraud and you are all in the feeling together.
The only thing you can do is never ever give up, you can show that in your pitch. Speak from a point of conviction. You cannot stop being nervous, there is no cure. Believe in what you are doing and show that it matters to you. Don’t let your nerves overcome you. When you get too nervous, stop, take a deep breath, it calms the system. Gather your thoughts and you’ll know what to say.
Make people wait. Everyone is afraid of silence. Embrace silence when you speak. Say something of value, let it land, let everyone digest what you just said. Pausing is important. It gives people time to understand you, it also gives you a chance to assess your pitch and decide on the way forward.
If you can have the courage to be authentic, to bring your personality to the room and on to the stage and not leave it at the door, to do and say it the way you want to do and say it, you will bring your pitches alive. That liveliness is what investors look for. You can have a brilliant idea but the way you present it might be so dull that people miss out on the next big thing.