Putting Together a Powerful Pitch Deck
Producing an impactful company pitch deck is a bit of an art. There’s a balance to be struck between informative and brief, clear and moving. Here at SlideRabbit we produce a few of these each month and we’ve seen some great approaches and some missed opportunities. Here are some dos and don’ts for putting together a pitch presentation that will get some air time.
First, the obvious: Don’t skimp on your investment.
A first impression counts when it comes to winning new business or gaining investors. This deck may be the first glimpse a target client or investor will get of your company and your value proposition. You want to come across as professional, established and ready-for-business. A poorly put together deck might imply to the viewer that you’re not quite ready for primetime.
DO: Start With Your “Gotta Have It”
Some people call this the painpoint story. We like to think if it in more personal terms. Why does this particular client or investor need what you’ve got? Put the painpoint into a relatable and emotional story. Let customers see themselves in your narrative. Investors want to know you can sell and potential clients must feel that they’d be remiss not to buy.
DON’T: Skip The Numbers
When it comes to pitch decks, know your numbers. It’s tempting and easy to make vague assertions about your wares: “Most companies could save money…” or “The majority of people…” These statements come across for what they are – smoke. A graphical representation of a statistic like “95% of our customers have saved over $1,000a year,” works a lot harder and smarter than an unsubstantiated claim. Quantify everything you can: success rates, client savings, your traction in the marketplace, etc.
DO: Keep It Short
This applies to both your copy and the number of slides. A typical reader wont get past 6 pages. A live presentation can sit closer to 10 slides, since you’ll be there to engage your audience. Less is more. Show them why they need it, prove your value, provide your next steps and get out of there. (A great solution for building a flexible show is hyperlinking “learn more” buttons to slides parked in an appendix.)
DON’T: Over Specialize
Fund-seeking decks get a bit of a pass here because investors DO want to see your market strategy in as much detail as you’ve got. For those pitching new business, though, don’t presume to know your entire audience. Keep your pitch open ended and let the potential client decide whether what your selling might be what they are buying. Over specialize and risk losing out on new business from an unexpected source.
DO: Give Them A Next Step
Make getting in touch with you as easy as you can. Include your contact information on every slide. Provide links to your sign up page or a promotional offer. Don’t assume your contact person will be the decision maker who ultimately gives you the business or investment.
Pitch decks should be powerful and brief. Front load your value proposition to encourage your audience to keep reading and then supply them the proof that will make the decision for them. Keep it clear, concise and direct and make sure it’s obvious how to reach you quickly. Good luck, new business pitchers!
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