Pitching- we all need toFebruary 24, 2015
I recently attended the ABN AMRO Conference in Amsterdam. This was divided into two parts. The first day was a lesson from expects on the 10 big lessons from their field on starting and managing an Alternate Investment Fund which was aimed as a practical guide to managers. The second was a look at some interesting strategies and also provided a 3 minute pitch for 6 funds to the audience and a group of early stage Fund investors. The investment panel was drawn from the Fund of Fund and consultant world.
Each pitch was purely verbal with no props except a lectern and microphone. A fairly daunting task in front of an expert panel and an audience of 250 in an Auditorium waiting to go to lunch!. So who stood out and why?
Firstly three minutes is much longer than you think. Much Longer. In fact I would urge most to practice this as an exercise on how to explain who you are and what your fund does and how it performs etc. Only one however gave a bit of a story about the history of the team, how they interact, where they had worked before, how they had been scalable in the past and could be with the resources available in the future. They had the confidence to come out from behind the lectern and engage with the audience and also with the panel.
What struck me on reflection was not so much was encapsulated in such a short period of time but it actually gave an outline of the company which I am sure will succeed. Part of that reason is because I am sure that others in the group will also be able to make the same pitch and not just an Investor Relations Person. In a small company talent and resources are expensive and opening doors is very important. Everyone is a marketing person.
Should all not be putting your people through a three minute test and see what they are able to say and the way they act when describing their job and the company they are working with. It might be a revelation to you but as you grow this core message and strength will be put to the test by the Due Diligence process. It is as well more than likely to become more useful in the future when the regulator comes to make a thematic visit. Time spent at the start getting the messages right will be invaluable in the long run. You never know it may also open a door to a new client.
Congratulations Artic Blue a pitch well done! See www.articbluecapital.com