3 Ways to Boost Your 'Executive Presence' While Pitching for Funding

Having "presence" and a personal brand are must-have attributes in our noisy me-too world of neck-and-neck competition. Alas, it's often not enough to clinch the deal or make the sale. 

Even with a proven track record and a well-established reputation, an entrepreneur has precious little time to convince anyone -- not just the skeptics -- that they and their ideas are the real deal.

Here are three strategies that have served thousands of entrepreneurs and corporate managers in selling their ideas and proposals to even the most critical audiences. Combine them and boost your chances for funding, no matter how high the stakes.

Offer real value right away. With adult attention spans maxing out anywhere from eight seconds to 20 minutes, presentations that fail to capture interest immediately and sustain it through the critical parts have a slim chance of winning converts.

Say you're the flip-flop wearing nerd with a comic-con T-shirt and a haircut that says "past-due," and you really have no business addressing more civilized audiences, except that you're a genius and you have something to offer that would change lives for the better. Your look may give you some "Silicon-Valley street cred," but that's going to expire like yesterday's milk unless some really good stuff comes out of your mouth from the start.

More than anything else, influential decision-makers want to know how you think, whether your ideas make sense, whether you should be trusted, whether you have the confidence to pull it all off, what the numbers really mean to them and the company, and most importantly, what the business outcome is if your proposals are accepted and turned into projects. They have a lot of questions on their minds and the quicker you answer them, the more they'll like you, dirty fingernails and all.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230803