After Dinner Speech for Potential Investors
Unfortunately it’s quite easy for an after dinner speech to potential investors to go wrong. This is because of the temptation to go over the top, giving the hard sell in the wrong situation – it just ends up putting people off. Of course, you can’t pretend that you’re not trying to win business, after all, everyone knows why you’re there and there’s no such thing as a free lunch.
In order to strike the right balance between encouragement to invest and the dreaded hard sell, you need to make sure your speech is appropriate to your audience and the circumstances. Do your homework – you need to know about the personalities and positions of the investors who will be at the dinner; know exactly what type of investment you are looking for and be able to answer any questions that may crop up.
Template for an After Dinner Speech to Potential InvestorsHere is a template to help you get the balance right and increase your chances of gaining the funding that you need.
1. Reflect the MoodStart by giving an upbeat welcome to everyone and acknowledge the meal you have just eaten. This is a simple and relaxed way to get into the main body of the speech. Unless there are more than about thirty people present, simply standing up will get enough attention for everyone to listen, if not, a little cough or tap of the glass may be required.
- Thank everyone for coming
- A positive comment about the meal
Example: Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to have a couple of minutes of your time before we take port and stilton. I really appreciate you all coming here this evening and sharing with us the delicious food. I was recommended this members' club by a friend of mine and I am very pleased to say they’ve done us proud!
2. Give a Positive Business OverviewDon’t pretend that you are all simply gathered for an evening with friends. You’ll all know the purpose of the dinner and most people, if not all, will be thoroughly used to this type of event. Be professional and straight-forward, but remember the business saying, ‘people buy from people’ – allow your own personality to come though or you will come across as some sort of corporate robot.
- Talk about the current successes of the business
- Explain why you need investment
- No hard sell!
Example: As you all know, we are here to talk about the exciting future of Page Associates and how, potentially with your help, we can increase market share and revenue quite considerably. We are looking for financial investment in order to take our innovative services to the next level by maximising the opportunities of the expanding markets. Our R&D already shows that we are in a strong position and, with increased investment, our market presence will rapidly progress.
3. Leave Them Wanting MoreOf course, that sounds like a terrible cliché, but the truth is that you need to make sure your potential investors are interested in your project. You really don’t need to get people signing up this evening – it’s supposed to be a relaxed yet effective networking event – so you don’t have to spell everything out now. Be clear, open and honest and ensure you say how people can find out more – perhaps give a date of a follow up evening. End the speech by explaining how people can get in touch with you to discuss the matter further and then end the speech on a positive note.
- Don’t go into too much detail
- Give out relevant literature
- Ensure contact details are available
- Continue the relaxed feel of the evening
Example: There is a pile of information available here for anyone wanting to read through the proposal in more detail and I am also available to answer any of your questions. I suggest we all meet again in a couple of weeks time to see how we’re progressing, but in the meantime, I’d like to thank you all again for coming and inform you that there is a decanter of rather delicious port waiting for us in the members’ lounge.