Presentation Psychology

By Susan Lassiter-Lyons | Real Estate

Just like buying and selling real estate, your presentation to a private money partner is a negotiation, and there is always a psychological component in negotiating with someone.

Last week we put together your awe inspiring, can’t pass up the deal private money presentation. You have practiced and customized your presentation for each potential partner.

Well, there is more you can do to prepare!

Psychology stuff.

Check it out.

Presentation Positives

There’s Nothing like a Good Connection

Rapport is the harmonious connection that exists when two or more people are on the same wavelength or relate well to each other.

People who want to be in business with you want to be able to relate to you and feel some rapport with you.

The Good Spy

Know your prospect.

This is why I say to never make the same presentation twice.

Google or Facebook your prospect to learn about their interests or hot-button issues.

Active Listening

Listen carefully to what your prospects say and take exact notes.

They will bring up objections and concerns, and you can overcome those by restating.

Restate their concerns, objections, and questions in words that get them to look at the other side of the equation.

It’s a powerful technique. For example, when your prospect says,

“I think I like my money better in the stock market.”

You say,

“So what you’re saying is that because you’re investing in preferred stocks, you believe that the value will never go to zero?”

Once you get agreement you can move forward and address the objection.

Last Chance!

Scarcity is when people want more of something than is available – the demand is greater than the supply.

When something is scarce, it has more value.

That’s how scalpers make a living; when a game is sold out, ticket prices go up and good seats become a treasure.

We can inject scarcity into our presentations using deadlines, because deadlines close deals.

The fear of losing something is powerful.


For example, you might say,

“We’re only accepting one new investment partner this month, so if you want to get in, you’ll need to get on it.”


“We’ll have a partner lined up to fund this deal by Monday, so if you’re interested, you’ll need to act fast.”


“I have two more meetings this week with investors, and only one deal available. I hate it, but if you don’t commit today, you’re going to lose this opportunity.”

Presentation Flaws

I used to try to front-load my presentations with graphs and charts and numbers and all sorts of this and that; I was teaching trigonometry that made their heads explode.

If they don’t understand it, their automatic reaction is always going to be no.


If you can’t clearly articulate what it is you’re investing in or what your company is doing, you’re going to lose them too.

That’s why I focus so much on getting as specific as you possibly can with your investment criteria.

All of this is futile if you don’t have a strong call to action.

Tell your prospect exactly what to do next. Don’t assume they will act – facilitate their action!

“If you want to get in on this deal, this is what you need to do.”


Never come across as needy.

Neediness comes from inferiority.

It’s the feeling that you are a very small mouse stepping into a very large snake pit to borrow a few crumbs. You are relying on pity and the generosity of others to keep your business alive.

This is not going to work.

Reframe your thinking to put yourself on even ground with whomever you are dealing with, even if they treat you like you are beneath them.

Tricks to Presentation Success

Oren Klaff is a professional money-raiser who wrote a book called Pitch Anything. He has raised several billion dollars for all sorts of different companies and projects.

He’s a badass when it comes to making a presentation.

I don't agree with everything he teaches – he's a hired gun money-raiser so he could care less about developing relationships – but In Pitch Anything, he talks about the concept of frames – personality types.

He says that the person with the strongest frame wins. So, you need to play a bit of…

Pitching Frames

There’s the “power” frame and the “authority” frame, among others.

If you’ve ever been in a situation in which you go into somebody’s office and they wave you into the seat and barely look at you while they sit behind their giant desk, then you have an idea what a power frame looks like; they just continue talking all their important talk and ignore you, demean you, and treat you like you are inferior to them.

It doesn’t feel good, right?

That’s why I never go to someone else’s office to share my opportunity with them. No way. La Loma or nothing. I want control over the environment.

To clarify this concept of frames, imagine you’re driving down the road, minding your own business, and you look in your rear-view mirror and see lights flashing and hear the siren.

The cop’s coming up fast, and you’re thinking is he coming for me? What did I do? Was I speeding?

At first you’re not sure it’s you he wants, but then he comes right up to your back bumper and hangs there, offset so he fills up your rear-view and side mirrors. He’s in your space – a noisy, flashing, government-issued space invader.

There’s no doubt he wants you, so you pull over.

Does he get out of his car right away?


He sits there and gives you time to feel the weight of the law. When he walks up to your car, his pace is slow and measured. His aviator sunglass frames match his shiny badge, and he’s all about his power frame. You have to roll down your window, and he’s got his gun, right?


That’s some power, and it’s very intimidating.

Most of us faced with that situation can hear our hearts beating out of our chests.

We’re shaky as we scramble for our insurance card and our driver’s license.

And we’re praying, “Please let me have my registration in here.”

We become a fumbling, nervous, sweaty mess when all those weird physiological reactions happen in our bodies.

This exact thing happened to me once while I was driving my new Audi…

Then a funny thing happened.

I started talking to him about the Audi and some of the bells and whistles it came with and that it’s a wireless hotspot, and his whole power frame shattered.

I cracked a couple of jokes and treated him like he was human, and he became human.

He started telling me about another lady driving a Q5 he had pulled over, and asked me more about the car. I completely busted his power frame. He gave me a ticket, but reduced the violation. He was cool about it because I had busted his frame.

Take that control away from them.

If you can’t bust their frame with humor and the human touch, instead of just sitting there and waiting patiently and letting them treat you that way, shut your portfolio or whatever you have with you, pick up your stuff, say, “Thank you for your time,” and leave.

Nobody has time to be treated like that.


Oren Klaff also talks about prizing extensively in his book.

Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:

“Prizing is the act of shifting or reframing the selling environment so the buyer sees you as a prize that he must win.”

It involves three principles…

  • Humans possess a hunter mentality. They desire things that are moving out of reach. Klaff says, “We want that which we cannot have and we only place value on things that are difficult to obtain.” If you don’t present yourself as the prize that everyone wants to get, you will appear to be soft and weak, hiding in the buyer’s shadow; you will only get to do business when, out of pity, someone tosses a few crumbs.
  • Money is a commodity. That’s all it is. If you want more of it, spend less. Or, sell some of the crap you’ve accumulated over the years, and you will have more.

Klaff says, “It may be hard to get meetings where buyers give you their money, but ultimately, that’s all they have, money … You should never compromise your price, your time, your values, and certainly not your fun to get this plentiful commodity … Once you believe that money is a commodity, the right words will tumble from your lips. ‘I only work with good customers that are fun, and they let me profit. What kind of customer are you?’ That’s what you’ll be saying.”

  • Eradicate your neediness. When you’re speaking, you can tell when someone (or a group) starts to lose interest in what you’re saying. They look at their watch, fidget in their chair, or get a glazed look in their eyes. Your natural reaction is to try harder, talk louder or faster – anything to get them back.

Klaff says, “The more we want the buyer to validate us, the more neediness we broadcast, the less likely they are to give us what we want. There’s a name for this. Engineers call this the negative feedback loop.” A negative feedback loop can cripple a power grid and even destroy buildings. It’s not hard to imagine how it could destroy your presentation and your deal. Don’t be needy. You are not looking for money, you are seeking the right fit for your deal.

You Are the Prize

You are the presentation.

I love Klaff’s comment “Money is all they have.” You have everything else, and money is a commodity.

Once you start realizing that you are the prize, you are going to start presenting a little bit differently and thinking a little bit differently about you and your position in all of this.

You are looking for partners. You don’t want bad partners. You don’t want partners who are going to waste your time and make your life miserable. You want fun partners. Because at the end of the day, this is your business…

Don’t you want to have some fun?

I’m friends with my investment partners. I’ve had these friends for a long time.

We go to basketball games. We go to football games. We see each other at barbecues. We go to Super Bowl parties together.

We involve ourselves in each other’s lives.

If you’re going to have these people involved in your deal and involved in your life, recognize that you are the prize.

The only thing they bring is money, and they better come with something else if they’re going to get lucky enough to be your partner.

Practice restating and overcoming common objections, and more important, all you really have to do is listen.

Just listen to what the people are saying. Have great conversations with them. And if it seems like you could work together and there is some alignment there, then move forward.

If you’re getting that feeling in your gut that this just isn’t going to work out for you, move on. There’s always another investor right around the corner.

Practice frame-busting. The next time you get pulled over, bust that power frame and see how good it feels. Start taking charge of situations in which you ordinarily wouldn’t.

You can do this!

Rock that presentation!

And, always…

Have fun. Create value!

Leave a Comment:

(8) comments

Joan Marmarellis

Hey Susan! This was perfect timing for me! I have been slowly learning these points and your confirmation of them gives me even more confidence. I am working on a big project now and love your example. The “framing” of the policeman situation is excellent and perfectly explains how we need to present ourselves. I find myself whishing I had conceptualized it sooner, at the same time, hoping I won’t need to practice it with an officer! I am ready…Just in case! 🙂 Thank you! Joan Marmarellis

    Susan Lassiter-Lyons

    Yay to confidence!


I like the the frame of money is just a commodity and that you are the prize

    Susan Lassiter-Lyons

    Yep, me too. I have actually used that line on someone… “What else do you bring to the table besides money? I can get that anywhere.”


Great Psychology Clip, I like the actor Steve Carell and the intimidating feeling of the policeman walking towards you, that is exactly what it feels like when presenting to a potential investor who wants to know whether to fund your deal.

Cynthia AlKhalil

    Susan Lassiter-Lyons

    Right, Cynthia?! Glad you liked it and I hope it helps you.


Sounds good and makes sense. I’ve always been a confident person and this just confirms that I can take that confidence into any and all situations. Especially when it comes to raising capital.


    Susan Lassiter-Lyons

    Absolutely! Confidence is key – YOU ARE THE PRIZE!

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