Joint Venture Financing – How to Present Yourself and Your Project to Get Funded

Welcome to 2010, the defacto year of Joint Venture (JV) financing. Institutional financing is not available so developers are looking outside the box to fund their projects. The most common form of favorable financing is JV. This financing comes in more shapes, sizes, and terms than colors of the rainbow. There are, however, a few common things that all JV funders look for, regardless of the project, location or dollar amount. The purpose of this article is to share with you what these common denominators are and how you should present your project to get the most favorable terms.

Let’s look at this from your potential funder’s perspective. What does he want? The answer is simple, but arriving at achieving his goals involves a tremendous amount of scrutiny and due diligence on you, the developer. Quite simply, the JV funder wants a return on his investment. You must speak his language. What he wants is a pro forma that shows what his internal rate of return (IRR) is at two and five years. If you cannot prepare one of these, find someone who can. This document or spreadsheet shows vision and the common goal of making money.

Everything else is secondary, but also very important. You need to prepare a package that consists of the following items:

an executive summary of the project that is no more than 5 pages (no funder will read a 120 page business plan before reading an executive summary)
the proforma
bios and resumes of all of the key players, including your contractors
the entire business plan
an appraisal if you have one
Logically, the funder has the money. You have to prove that you have the brains, muscle and integrity to be a great and cooperative partner. Your opportunity is not the only one on his desk, but it will certainly be the most presentable. Sloppy presentations make for sloppy projects.
Finally, the worst thing you can do is put pressure on the funder to act or fund immediately. Desperation only indicates weakness and poor planning.

Point, Turn And Talk – Essential PowerPoint Presentation Technique For Business

Typified by the ever present PowerPoint slide deck the modern business presentation can be an exhausting affair for both speaker and audience. Barraged by information overload an exhausted audience is in no position to listen, participate in or understand our presentation.

But without laboring either the problems of PowerPoint or its many advantages there are some essential techniques with which we can improve our own performance. Our control over the images and text projected on to the screen give us a mastery that is too often overlooked.

You should recognize the following scenario. Our speaker starts their talk, looks down at their notebook, looks across to the screen seeking inspiration and then, fleetingly, looks at the audience. In looking at the screen the speaker has made no reference to its content. And the speaker has missed two opportunities.

By not referencing the content on the projection screen our speaker missed an opportunity to demonstrate subject knowledge and expertise. And our speaker missed the opportunity to ensure that the audience was listening, participating and understanding. The scenario is not uncommon. It is repeated every day coast to coast. And it makes one question whether there is in fact a link between the presenter’s words and their slide deck. Well there is a link and it is of vital importance.

But the link is often lost with busy and complex slides that neither reinforce nor support the speaker’s words. And it is essential that they do either one or both functions. A slide deck that performs neither is wasted work. A better plan might include:

  • Build less busy slides with less text and fewer bullet points.
  • Make one main point for each slide.
  • Use the picture and graphing components in PowerPoint to greater effect.
  • Use the build function within the PowerPoint package.
  • Learn the material and practice.
  • Develop a familiarity with the subject.

But the plan is incomplete without some technique that can also be used. It’s a technique that should be familiar to most of us from our school days – though it was a case of chalk and blackboard in my days – and is easily learned.

The technique is used to reference the contents of the slide deck projected onto the screen. The justification for its use is simple. Surely, if the slide content merits display then it also merits both reference and explanation. And explanation is essential as we look for the slide content to support and reinforce our own words.

The technique involves:

  • Speak.
  • Pause.
  • Point at the content – using a pointer.
  • Turn to look at the audience.
  • Talk – and explain.

This overlooked technique -point, turn & talk -gives us the opportunity to reinforce eye contact with the audience. As we establish eye contact with the audience we project our knowledge of the subject, we build participation and, importantly, we develop understanding. Understanding is greatly improved since eye contact allows us to gauge the clarity of our words and be alert to puzzled expressions in the audience. Coupled with clearer and less busy slide content this effective technique is invaluable for the typical business PowerPoint presentation.

\”Do You Know How To Be A Powerful Negotiator” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

He was pompous, screamed at others while demeaning them, and not well-liked – most of his associates detested him! Some wondered if that was why he’d been stuck in the same management position for over a decade. Plus, he was not a good negotiator – he lacked insight on how to use power. He used bullying tactics with his subordinates (i.e. you’d better do this or else), and veiled threats to delude his peers to get what he wanted. Everyone collectively swore they’d get even with him. And one day they did.

Do you know how to be a powerful negotiator?

Sources of Power and How To Use It:

Voice inflection – There’s power, or lack of, in the way you speak. You can make a statement that sounds like a question or a question that sounds like a statement simply by the inflection in your voice. To sound more powerfully, apply a deeper tone to your voice when emphasizing words of greater importance. This is especially true when negotiating. A deeper tone on, that’s my best price, conveys more conviction to your statement.

Positioning - Whether it’s your physical proximity to others or the proximity of your words, what proceeds your words impacts their perception. Therefore, be mindful of when you speak. If you speak after someone has delivered a rousing proposal, your words may be received with less enthusiasm. The same is true of your physical proximity to others. If you’re physically close to someone with power, your words will carry greater weight simply because of that proximity. Others will assume that there’s a sense of power bestowed upon you from the power person in the environment.

When negotiating, consider the order of your offers and their alignment with people of power. You can also make a prior offer appear to be better by downgrading the one that follows it – in that case, your message states that the trajectory of the offers to follow will become progressively worse.

Manipulation - A negotiator can gain momentary power through manipulation (for this purpose, the word manipulation is neutral – it’s not good or bad). One can use it to feed the other negotiator’s desires by embellishing the item he seeks from you. By doing that, you heighten his sense to acquire it.

To embellish an item, highlight how the other negotiator will feel, and/or appear to others once he’s acquired it. Take note of his body language as you make your summation. If he slips into a dream-like state while smiling and becoming dreamy-eyed, he’s also imagining the great sensation he’ll experience once he’s acquired your offer – you got him! Continue down that path and extract whatever he’s willing to forgo to acquire the offer. Be careful not to turn embellishment into a lie. That might come back to haunt you.

Likeability - Never underestimate the hidden value of likeability. It’s a factor that has swayed many negotiators. I’ve seen lower offers accepted because of it. It’s easy to be likable with most people – just be pleasant. Warning – with some bully types, you’ll have to meet power with power. Thus, the likeability factor may be a detriment. Instead, seek to become respected – respect will be the source that cedes greater power to you.

You’re always negotiating:

In the situation with the manager, mentioned at the beginning of this article, others did exact their toll on him. It occurred when subordinates and his peers combined forces – they informed senior management that they’d no longer work with him. The manager didn’t realize that he’d been negotiating with those folks during his tenure with the company. He used his power recklessly. And now their power was coming to bear against him – senior management fired him.

I love to observe people with power. To be specific, I note how they use it, to whom they extend it, and how they’re altered by it. It’s said that power doesn’t change you – it amplifies who you really are. To that point, always keep in mind, the way you treat people impacts their perception of you. Thus, if they perceive you as an ogre, they’ll be less inclined to assist you in achieving your goals. Therefore, use the sources of power as partners in your negotiations – they’ll increase the perception of you being a powerful person. That will lead to more powerful negotiation outcomes… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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