Investor meetings are among the most important you will have as a businessperson. Your business case could fly or die on the strength of a single meeting.
So, it’s crucial to make the best possible impression!
Before Covid-19, most investor meetings would have been in person. Now, however, it’s likely that most of your meetings will be via conference call apps or remote networking software.
In many ways, this is a good thing. It means you can meet with investors worldwide who may not otherwise have been able to make an in-person meeting. This opens you up to all kinds of investment opportunities.
On the other hand, a virtual meeting is a very different event from an in-person meeting. You can’t make an impression by shaking the investor’s hand or showing them through your nicely-appointed offices. Instead, everything rides on the strength of your presentation and personality.
Here, we’ll give you our three best tips for handling remote investor meetings like a pro. From tech to etiquette, we’ll show you how to bring out your best via video link.
Let’s get stuck in.
Invest in the right tech
Some of the biggest challenges with online meetings revolve around tech. Few things are more frustrating than making a beautifully-worded point, only to find that nobody else heard it because of lag or ‘freezing.’ When communication breakdown happens remotely, it may be hard to recover.
Of course, tech issues may not be your fault. The success of any online meeting depends on the tech of other participants and your own. You may have the best business phone system VoIP in the game, but if your investor logs in via 4G on the train, there will be issues.
However, you can at least ensure that no tech problems are your fault by investing in the best tech around. Even if your investor doesn’t match your tech prowess, having this software and connectivity will show them that you’re committed to what you do and want to be the best.
The platform you choose for your remote meetings is up to you. They all have advantages and disadvantages – the right one for you will depend on what your business does and what your specific needs are. However, whichever you choose, the premium package is always recommended.
Supplement your platform with the best camera and microphone you can find. For the best possible effect, you need to look and sound clear.
Look also for a platform with good support options. If things do start going wrong, you want the brand to be able to fix things—and quickly!
If you’re worried about the outlay on all this, there are plenty of options to lease or subscribe to platforms on a pay-as-you-go basis. Explore the market, and see what’s available.
Outside of software, ensure that your internet speed and connectivity are as high as possible.
This ‘good tech’ thing extends beyond the meeting itself. If your remote conferencing tech is the thing that impresses your investor, you need to be consistent with the best, most efficient stuff in the game.
For example, don’t fax them a hand-drawn contract or email them something to print out. Look up the best contract management software provider and use that.
There’s a lot to online meeting etiquette (and we’ll be getting into it in more detail down the line!) But you can set the standard by presenting yourself well.
This means dressing appropriately and holding the meeting in an appropriate space.
What constitutes ‘appropriate’ attire depends on you, your investor, the relationship you already have, and the kind of business you run. However, we recommend trying to dress and groom yourself as you would if this meeting were in person.
Yes, that means putting on the right trousers or skirt! Even if they can’t see below your head and shoulders, wearing the right clothes will help to get you in the right headspace for this meeting.
Then there’s the space you meet. Sure, it’s not always easy to find a quiet, well-appointed spot to virtually meet, but do your best. Pick somewhere with a tidy background.
A neutral background is often best—unless you want to show off some aspect of your business or need something close to hand. For example, at remote testing conferences, the neutrality of the background has to come second to the proximity of tools and tech being tested.
Also, think about the lighting. If you sit with your back to a window, for example, it will be hard for your investor to make out your features due to the backlight silhouetting your head.
Ideally, the lighting will illuminate your face clearly but not sharply (you don’t want to be all shadows and angles, like a Halloween carving!) It may help to get a ring light, which diffuses light evenly over your features.
If your business is fully remote, it’s probably worth making a dedicated meeting space for yourself, with good lighting, a neutral background, everything you need to hand in, and few distractions.
Respect the etiquette
For something relatively new, there’s already a lot of etiquette for online meetings. Here are some of the top points to respect:
- Give out the meeting details in plenty of time. This includes details of the agenda, the participants, and the link or VoIP phone number.
- Arrive on time. If possible, arrive early. Nobody wants to sit around staring at a blank screen until you come.
- Make eye contact. This isn’t easy or intuitive with remote tech, as you’ll instinctively look at your window or the window of whoever is speaking. Usually, this results in your eyes appearing somewhat downcast. You can limit this problem by moving the window you’re looking at nearer to your camera.
- Limit distractions. Keep pets, colleagues, family members, or anything else that could interrupt or distract you out of the way. If it’s impossible to completely remove distractions, explain and apologise for potential interruptions in advance.
- Be understanding. Tech issues happen, as do interruptions. It’s not always possible to eliminate these from a remote setting. If someone in your meeting has a laggy connection (or a cat that won’t leave them alone), give them some grace. Remember also that some participants may have accessibility issues that require a certain lighting or sound format. So, be understanding when things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d like.
- Practice microphone etiquette. Put yourself on mute when you’re not talking to distract others with your background noise.
Use Remote Tech Right, and You’ll Rule at Investor Meetings and Conferences
There are plenty of advantages to remote meetings. They’re flexible and focused, and they can connect people all over the world. If you have the right tech, the right attitude, and etiquette, you can put yourself ahead of the game and make the best possible remote impression.
Impressions are everything with investors – so use what we’ve taught you here to go out (or, in this case, stay in!) and wow them!
“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."