Our client’s investment firm was hearing pitches nearly weekly, from a variety of industries, all seeking to receive funding. His partners both being fluent English speakers, our client needed to improve his skills to strengthen his position in the company, but also to hear and critique investment pitches that were increasingly happening in English.
We devised a program that had two main goals. The first goal was in dealing with the pitches themselves. Our client needed to improve his listening skills and questioning abilities. We first reviewed many different forms of media, including both audio and visual, parsing out the details afterward, training our ears to find the most important pieces of information within a long passage.
We further trained this goal with weekly phone calls in which our instructors posed as investors with a pitch. To ensure that our client understood our pitch and the potential (or lack thereof) that it had, our client always sent us a follow-up letter detailing why he would or would not be investing. This also gave us the opportunity to work on our client’s ability to give bad news politely, but firmly, focusing on professionalism but eliminating any tone or vocabulary that might be easily misinterpreted.
The second goal was to improve our student’s ability to accurately verbalize his reasons for or against investing in an idea that his partners seem interested in. We went through a variety of pitches, each time focusing on asking the right questions and finding the right tone as we discussed “the pros” and “the cons” of each opportunity.
This also gave us an opportunity to work on our client’s knowledge and proficiency of conditional sentences and questions, allowing him to ask that most vital question in investing: “What if…?”
With renewed confidence, our student has found it easier to take a more active role in pitches and the analysis that follows, and is more vocal about the direction his firm takes.
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