Venture capitalist funding saw winning pitch decks north of $70 billion last year. Nearly every inventor, entrepreneur, and dreamer now has a creative eye toward the future wondering what type of “disruptive,” angel-investor worthy idea they may have scribbled late one night.
In this article, you will learn the behind-the-scenes side of What to Include in Your PowerPoint Pitch Deck in order to make it most effective. This guide is intending for those creating an investor pitch deck, startup business proposal, or any sales-driven or persuasion-targeted presentation using PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi as the design tool for their presentation. Those creating a pitch presentation using Adobe InDesign may also find the organizational information of this article helpful. Enjoy and good luck!
Ingredient #1: A Kick-A$$ Purpose
Start your presentation by pointing out all of the stats, facts, and figures that show there is a need for what you have to offer.
This includes showing that there are people looking for your solution, that there is room in the market for your particular product to flourish, and profiling others who have been at least moderately successful at solving this issue (but your new and improved offering truly takes the cake in a proprietary way).
Next, be very clear about why it is that you feel you should be the one to bring this solution to market.
What is it about this sector that captured your interest? How much time and money have you spent getting your idea off the ground? What level of commitment can you guarantee? You have to be able to deliver heartfelt answers to these questions so your prospect can build confidence in you, your cause, and the likelihood of your success.
Passion for the Purpose
Another reason that total commitment to your cause is so critical is that those who are partnering with you need to feel confident that when the going gets tough, you won’t get going.
They need to be certain that this investment is more than just an attempt to make a quick buck for those who are in charge of the livelihood and longevity of the brand.
This type of approach makes for a better product which provides better customer service and, thus, receives better feedback and high customer engagement.
Show that you are in it for the long haul by sharing personal aspects of your journey that have an emotional edge.
Tell them why you started on this journey and what you’ve done to make sure you stay on track toward success.
Tell them what drives you to get up in the mornings and what thoughts you draw on to encourage yourself to hang in there on rough days.
Make the business of your offering a little more personal for them and you’ll be opening them up for the emotional connection you need to make in order to gain their support.
Ingredient #2: Strong Proof of Concept of Idea Viability
Proof of concept is all about indisputably showing that your idea has some traction.
This can be done in the form of initial sales, pre-purchase orders, quantifiable research, or by any other means that are verifiable and acceptable to stakeholders.
Having this information in place for your pitch can truly be the difference between getting the outcome you are looking for and being told to ease on down the road.
HOW DID THIS SECTOR GET WHERE IT IS TODAY
After capturing attention with some hard-hitting facts, proving capability by sharing your history of revenue growth or the potential thereof, now a little back story is in order.
Even if your potential investor has experience in your particular category, there are probably some missing details that you can present which will position you as being an expert on the market which will increase the level of trust investors have in what you are saying.
Share information such as how industry field first started, who has been most successful in the industry so far, present some of their live user feedback, and provide anything else you can that clearly and quickly shows where your topic stands today and what emerged in order to get it to this place.
Also, be sure to include what changes occurred in that industry or what technology or new market emerged to make it now an outstanding investment opportunity.
HOW YOU PLAN TO BE A PART OF ITS EVOLUTION
Now that your audience knows the foundation of your idea and where this vision originally came from, they have the ability to paint a mental picture of where they want to stand and how they can most effectively become involved.
From this frame of mind, they are better able to give you what you want.
Now that they have a starting point in mind, tell them what types of things they should expect to experience the next and provide them with an outline of the steps you are going to take to propel their investment for an on to success.
Providing educated hypothesis of where you think your industry will go next based on the research and information you have covered thus far. Integrate your offerings into the process of the industry’s evolution and identify multiple ways that this transitional can create both short and long-term profits.
Ingredient #3: Eye and Mind-Pleasing Aesthetics
As you know, people remember visual things much more readily anything than else.
Because of this fact, it is important to incorporate visual tell-tales into your delivery.
This includes any type of image or design element that can present your idea more quickly than you could with words. This could be anything from photographs, icons, and infographics, to videos or custom graphic design creations. Going the extra mile would mean providing professional data research elements that will help investors see how much you have committed to your brand, making it even more desirable to work with you.
ON CONTENT: START WITH A BANG
You want to begin your presentation by first grabbing their attention in the most powerful way that you possibly can and providing them with information that lets them know they made the right decision in deciding to spend their time with you on this day.
I starting with the pain means pulling out your most convincing in crafty stats and so you gain their full attention special and he earned the opportunity to present them with more information giving them a chance to become “sold” on your idea or invention.
Close your opening statements by giving them the information that will ultimately make or break their decision: the financials. This means that in addition to proving viability for your idea, show them year-to-date revenue, or growth in public interest or the increase in sales that make you a product worth investing in.
The start of your presentation is also a great time to clarify any industry terms that your audience may not be familiar with. In addition to prepping them for the rest of your presentation, giving them this helpful information up front sends the message that you are already involving them in something new that they have not yet been a part of Which is not only exciting in since you are already proving that you are an expert in the area.
YOUR GOAL: CONVINCE THEM OF WHY YOU AND WHY NOW
Try to remember that it is unlikely that you are the only pitch they’ve heard recently. Deliver your information in a way that gets their minds thinking about how the features they resources have will help make your plan even more successful than you have already considered.
Also keep in mind that, if your prospect showed up for the meeting, chances are they actually WANT to find a great investment and they are hoping you are the perfect fit.
Use this knowledge to try to relax yourself and ease your mind so you can put your best forward and deliver the winning presentation your prospects are hoping to receive.
Ingredient #4: Planning, Preparation, and Practice
Creating your presentation has to be a part of the overall strategy, not a last-minute afterthought.
The reason isn’t that I am a presentation designer and I want to create a need in for you. It is because, as with absolutely everything else in our modern world, first opinions are cast on visual aesthetics and often times we never get a chance to go beyond the perception of our physical projections. Particularly when there are millions of dollars on the line – in those cases, it’s even more important to look the part you are supposed to be playing.
For these reasons, starting the design of your presentation as early as possible is crucial. You don’t have to have all of the content entirely together. You just need a very clear, very finalized outline of your message laid out in a table of contents format.
With that information and a creative brief, a designer can begin crafting your visuals while you work on practicing and perfecting your message delivery strategy. This includes making specific plans for how you will maintain the attention of your audience and how you will allow them to get interactive with you during the show.
Depending on your target audience and the topic of your pitch, you may need anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks to craft a truly comprehensive and persuasive presentation.
An average, good presentation, however, can be researched, written, and professionally designed in approximately 3 weeks, depending upon its length.
HAVE BACKUP SLIDES WAITING IN THE WINGS FOR Q&A
When formulating the content for a slide presentation, it is so difficult to trim down what you have to say when you are passionate about your strategy and believe in its potential.
Since you never really know what your audience may need to hear or might ask you about, it is best to go ahead and create the slides with information on them that you think is important but may not be top of mind during your presentation, and put those at the back end of your presentation, saving them for later.
This will make you look even more professional and prepared when, on the fly, you get asked a question and are able to not only answer it directly and with a positive outcome, but you are also able to share that information visually and expound upon the details.
HAVE AN ENTIRELY SEPARATE BACKUP PLAN FOR THE SLIDE DECK
Why? Because stuff happens and technology is not always 100% dependable.
Because of this it is best always have a backup plan for your presentation. You’ve got enough going on and on the that you are constantly thinking about that you don’t need or want to also have the possibility of there being some sort of the technology issue when you arrive on the day of your pitch.
Here are a few ideas on how to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible on game day:
- Have a backup of your presentation file on a flash drive
- Save a copy to a cloud storage platform like Google Docs, Dropbox, or One Live
- Save multiple versions of your presentation, particularly if you will be using someone else’s computer to run it. This includes saving a copy as the previous version of the software, for example, .pptx
- Print off enough copies of your presentation so that key stakeholders will be able to hold a copy in their hands
- Safely and securely take your own laptop with you and, if at all possible, run your presentation from your system to alleviate any potential for compatibility issues altogether
Ingredient #5: Listening Ears
Take any constructive criticism you receive with a teaspoon of salt. Keep what is genuine, true, and available, and entirely forget you ever heard anything to the contrary.
Ingredient #6: All the answers of a Devil’s Advocate
Take the time to ask yourself honest, tough questions about your product/service and what the true benefit is of becoming involved with your business from the perspective of the investor.
This may mean facing a few things that you are really wanting to consider.
The benefit here, though, is that you will force yourself into a way of thinking that allows you to see any potential problems that may come up during your page presentation and as soon as you see the problem, instead of trying to avoid it, ignore, or act like it is no big deal, face it head on and develop a solution for every single issue that may arise.
If you are not great at constructively looking at your own case, get someone who doesn’t really like you to look at it for you. Why? Because they will tell you the truth. They will come up with problems that you may not be able to identify on your own. If your enemies are too aggressive for casual conversation, try your mother. If she is anything like most caring mothers who want the best for her child, she will come up with several naysayer thoughts in an effort to help you protect yourself from potential pain. This little tricky, though, because sometimes the words of a parent can cut like a knife and leaves an imprint so use this one with caution and stand a considerable amount of time researching bulletproof solutions so you can deliver an amazing comeback.
Getting Started Right Now
This great infographic is full of more great ideas for your pitch. Skim it below and let me know if you have any pitch presentation ideas to share.
– See more at: https://visual.ly/community/infographic/education/how-put-together-killer-presentation#sthash.Jozt48iO.dpuf