Zoom Etiquettes to Practice for Fundraising
Speaking over the phone is easy for many, but sometimes when you’re live on video in the presence of hundreds of potential investors, the nerves can get the best of us. Here are some professional Zoom etiquettes to help you sail through virtual SaaS fundraising.
After the advent of COVID-19 virus, if there was one SaaS solution that shot past roof in terms of popularity, it was Zoom. When the planet was under shutdown, people had to move to the digital space if life had to go on. Schools, colleges, offices, food delivery, and many other industries which were interactive now had an app to bridge the gap between the users.
2020 also saw the boom of a lot of innovative and creative businesses which took advantage of being born amidst a lockdown and fully adapted to the internet. But companies still needed investors and funding. Since there are only so many friends and family members you could ask for investment, venture firms still proved to be essential.This is when fundraising events were held over Zoom calls and companies had to get creative and think of better ways to convey their message through a flat-screen. Excel sheets and powerpoints aside, here are some pointers that could help you seal that multi-million dollar deals.
…and a 1, and a 2
Zoom calls can sometimes be faced with network issues, or a bit chaotic by themselves. All these things make it harder for the end-user to get the message across and can often lead to miscommunication. Make sure to rehearse your pitch at least 15 times beforehand so everyone presenting gets it hardwired into their brains. This is what makes Steve Jobs’ Apple presentations so mesmerizing and smooth. He sometimes rehearsed it 200 times before delivering it.
Amongst the crowd, it can be hard to remember everybody’s names but make use of the name they use as their Zoom username and refer to them by their names. Referring to someone by their name not only builds a sense of personal rapport but also grabs their attention if they seem distracted. Use their appropriate title, Mr, Mrs., or any other title of their preference. Some people might explicitly request that you call them by just their first name, and if they do, it could be a great way to break the ice and get into a conversation. Be sure not to digress though.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Apart from the obvious visual aesthetic, having a clean room or background which will be in the frame will certainly prevent anyone watching from being distracted and also adds a touch of professionalism. Your mind can be at ease too and you can focus on the presentation better.
If all else fails, use the Zoom inbuilt background feature to let zoom edit out the background and add a background image of your choice. It’s not perfect but it gets the job done.
Nobody likes being distracted, especially not during a multi-million dollar video call. Phone calls, doorbells, people walking in/out of your room have the potential to make your attendees feel disrespected and therefore reduce their chances of investing in you. Turn your phone to DND, and ask your housemates not to disturb you until you are out of your room. Locking your room door helps.
Be aware of your camera
No, not the FBI agent is watching through your camera. Rather be aware of when your camera and microphone are on. Turn off your microphone and camera when you’re not presenting and learn the keyboard shortcuts to enable and disable the microphone and camera.
P.S. wear a pant!
It might be tempting to invite your close friends, parents, or coworkers to join the Zoom call. Limiting and monitoring access can be helpful as later you might need to send the minutes to the shareholders. Using a meeting password to enter is an effective way to limit unsolicited access.
Since you’ll be the host of the meeting, stick until everyone disconnects from the meeting before you disconnect. This accomplishes two tasks: when you disconnect as a host of the zoom meeting, the host control automatically goes to another person in the meeting. This is not a good look for the attendees. The other task is it allows all the attendees to disconnect at their own pace. If someone has a question, they will stick around.
Ready to launch
A day before the meeting, make sure you have all the presentations and figures required to woo the investors in a separate folder and no further edits are to be made. Though it might be quicker to name the file “asdasdasd” or “khjfdhdgj” any other combination of keyboard mashes, having all the files in one place, aptly named makes accessing and sharing them faster and easier.
Keep it casual
I know that I‘ve emphasized professionalism multiple times in this article but professionalism and casual can go hand in hand. They can in fact complement each other. Sitting through a 2-hour meeting with nothing but numbers and facts can drain the viewer and have negative and unfavorable impacts. Having a few light-hearted laughs, some appropriate humor, and small talk can go a long way.
To wrap it up…
Video calls have made it possible to feel like you’re in the same room as someone who’s thousands of kilometers away. Following the right etiquette helps you to be productive and create a more comfortable environment for all participants in the virtual meetings.