A pitch deck is a simple and effective way to explain your product or service via written presentation to potential clients or investors. The deck usually stands on its own. This means your pitch should clearly state your case and answer rebuttals without you being present.
Shows like Shark Tank portray entrepreneurs and businesses owners as optimistic people pitching their ideas, products or services. In short, your pitch deck is your virtual/digital replacement.
Clearly define your audience
You’ll never be able to please everyone. Each user will have their own concerns and set of questions to evaluate your pitch. Some of the best intentions are limited by trying to be everything to everybody. Don’t fall for this misconception. When you’re looking for jobs, best practices states to tailor each resume to that specific employer. You’re told to use each individual job description to highlight your best experiences and innate skill set.
Your pitch deck should be no different. People love to feel special. We’re in the age of personalization. Companies like Starbucks perfected the art of acknowledging you. They do this by asking your name before making your drink, while also making it how you want. You as the customer gets to feel the drink’s truly yours.
Use this concept while crafting your pitch deck. The person on the other side of your pitch wants the exactly the same thing you do at Starbucks. Being generic and using a one size fits all in today’s society makes you look and worse lazy. Showing you actually took the extra time and care is powerful. Clearly defining your audience is what will move your pitch forward. Think about who you would ideally like to do business with and the type of customer you want to interact with regularly. Don’t be like every other budding entrepreneur pitching everyone. Clearly define who you want to work for and with. The more clarity you have, the easier it will be to grow and refine your product within your niche market.
Clearly define your purpose
There are a number of reasons for creating a pitch deck. Some people use them to raise money, recruit potential team members, or educate their audience. Decks can also be powerful tools for building partnerships and collaborations. Regardless of the purpose of your deck, it should be clearly communicated. What’s the specific goal you’re trying to achieve? Why have you dedicated the time and energy to put your deck together? Be clear and have a succinct call to action.
If someone is willing to sit through a viewing of your pitch deck, they are often willing to help or offer advice. Make it easy on them! Tell them what you are looking for. What was your reason for showing them your pitch? What action would you like them to take? As an entrepreneur or startup remember to match the audience to the specific purpose and desired outcome.
Balance text to visuals
Please make the deck pretty. This is not the time for the default white background and plain black text slides. If you subject your audience to death by PowerPoint then you won’t not accomplish your goal.
Try to make the presentation visually interesting but not distracting. Simple images that support your point will go a long way. An advance step but not required is creating custom illustrations with both text and images. Another powerful visual is providing a market landscape. Visual for your user where your idea, product or service fits and the wide market of competitors.
Use consistent branding
It pays to show that you pay attention to detail. In pervious articles I’ve mentioned the importance of brand guidelines. Use consistent font type, font size and graphic images for a cohesive look throughout the presentation. This sends a subtle clue to would-be investors and clients that you take pride in your brand and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure it is presented well to the world. Be sure to add your brand logo on each page to reaffirm your company. This can be accomplished in the header or footer of the page.
KISS – Keep It Stupid Simple
Simple sells! Whether your idea is in bio tech or commercial cleaning, pairing your business down to simple concepts will allow your pitch deck to thrive. Any average joe should be able to get it. This doesn’t mean water down your message or technical details. What it does mean is that it is better to use plain speak. Steer away from jargon and other highly niche terms that are specific to your industry.
The Key to a Killer Pitch Deck
Although there are no one size fits all, killer pitch decks have these 5 mentioned items in common. Solicit feedback from key stakeholders and your network of mentors prior to finalizing your deck. Remember you can win your audience over by being proactive and diligent.