Pitch perfect: Strategic language use maximizes the chances of influencing an audience

phys.org | 2/12/2019 | Staff
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For even the most stoic entrepreneur, facing a panel of potential investors can be like walking onto the set of 'Dragon's Den'.

But a new study, co-authored by Cass Business School academic Dr. Ruben van Werven, suggests there are ways to connect with even the most imposing investors.

Study - Language - Entrepreneurs - Business - Incubator

The study analysed the language used by entrepreneurs at an Amsterdam-based business incubator and has determined four interconnected language strategies found in the most influential pitches.

The study found that entrepreneurs who successfully influenced their audience often implied a point without actually making it when talking about the future; they encouraged their audience to fill in the blanks.

Audience - Part - Argument - Dr - Van

"The audience becomes engaged, they start becoming a part of the argument, they actually even complete it, so they're more likely to be convinced by it," Dr. van Werven said.

"Entrepreneurs would say 'In my market, globally, 90-billion dollars is earned every single year' and that's all they said.

Anything - Implications - Success - Business - Investors

"In itself that doesn't mean anything and has no implications for the success of their business, but what they're hoping is that investors would think 'Wow, that's a big number. If this company is going to do well they might become very profitable'."

The study found entrepreneurs whose pitches are well received by investors most often present their idea as if it already exists, even when the venture is only in the idea phase.

Researchers - Findings - Idea - Venture - Tense

The researchers' findings suggest that by presenting an idea or venture in the present tense entrepreneurs take away its sense of novelty and remove the audience's impression that it is yet to exist.

"In our paper we call it a logical time gap, which basically refers to the idea that if someone pitches an idea to you and you start thinking about how it plays out in the future, then these things don't match because you don't know what the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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