Becoming a pitch content master is a lot easier than it seems.
Although many people often point to the very first wildly successful funding rounds of companies like Air BNB, Sequoia Capital, and Crowd Funder, what they typically do is try to teach you how to replicate the content of those winning pitches in terms of the slide topics, but they leave out the fact that many of those pitches achieved success simply because those companies had fantastic ideas.
No matter how nice an executive summary is written and no matter how many times you practice an elevator speech, if the premise of your product, service, or offer is not something that resonates with your potential investor, making sure you tick all the boxes off on the which slides to include checklist is going to be less than relevant.
Of course, it is an important aspect to cover all the information that a potential investor will want to know before considering taking the next step in your opportunity, but that is not what will keep them excited about your venture or motivate them to invest their time, money, and resources into getting on-board with you.
The decision to partner with you is based on how well your content matches up with their ideal investment opportunity of the moment. You can use those standard slide section categories like market size, competitive advantage, marketing plan, etc. to communicate this idea, but it is going to be crucial that your content within those outlines convey the most valuable asset that you have to offer: you and your great idea!
How to Grab and Hold the Attention of Your Prospect
Here are some tips for building momentum during your presentation and organizing your content in a way that holds attention and could have a major impact on the response you receive as well as your final outcome.
1. Make sure the sound of your message is as good as the look of your design
2. Don’t say anything that you do not passionately believe in
3. Have an action goal that you are constantly yet slowly bringing your viewers toward
4. Always keep at the forefront of your mind, “what’s in it for them?”
5. Be sure to include as many facts as possible and include confirmation from reputable sources that are related to your presentation
6. Don’t leave design for the last minute.
7. Be sure that your presentation’s design supports your message and the brand image you want to present
8. Make sure the visual elements in your slides portray the image of yourself and your topic that the audience to receive, perceive, and partner with.
The most important of these is making sure the sound of your message is as good as the look of your design
As overused as the phrase, “Content is King” is, it is still the only tech marketing ‘fad’ in recent years to live past five minutes of fame.
That is, of course, because it’s true. When people are online they are usually searching for an answer. If it is not an answer that they are seeking then it is either entertainment or education.
Technically, every one of these requires words in order to communicate. Especially for those who are using search and those seeking educational materials or resources.
If you are reading this blog, chances are that your idea, your product or service falls under one of these two categories as well. This means that, when they come to you, they are looking for solutions or an opportunity and this is what your message has to provide.
How to Write Content for a Winning Presentation
Here are the most important things to keep in mind when crafting that message:
1. Have one, solitary clear thought or intention communicated in your message.
2. Early on in your presentation, you need to make sure the audience knows why they are there and why they should give you their full attention.
3. Do not make your communications complicated. The straightforward and start with the most compelling aspects of what you have to communicate.
4. The organization of your content is key and very important.
How to Organize Written Content for the Maximum Impact
a. Like back in school, start with your thesis. In this case, start with the why you are in front of what you have brought to offer the viewer today. Make it short, make it clear, and make it worth the investment of time so it feels more worth the investment of money.
b. Create your outline by creating a short summary of everything you want to say in your presentation. After you have everything written down, go through and double-check that you have covered everything you wanted to say. Add any missing elements. Next, go back through again and remove anything that is not pertinent.
c. Now take your outline and make each item a title on a separate page.
d. On each one of your individual title pages, now follow with the things you want to say on that particular topic. Keep it brief. This is just an outline of what you will be covering so you do not forget anything in-the-moment and to help make sure you say everything you need to say in a way that has a natural flow and is understood by your audience. make a list of each strong point you plan to communicate.
Be sure to include any necessary research and/or sources that you would like to reference.
Once you finish your final title page your presentation content is pretty much done. Now all you have to do is go through it making any necessary changes or additions and decide which parts will go into the content of your PowerPoint/Keynote/Google slide as support visual, images, graphs, and text and which parts of your content will be spoken verbally in front of your audience.
With your messaging in place, now all you need is a good proofreader to run through your content and guide you regarding places where clarity can be improved.
Now that you’re ready to “wow” them with and then you should be all set for putting together your Keynote, Google Slides, or PowerPoint slide deck.
Why The Graphic Design of Your Pitch Deck Matters
The purpose of having slides as a support system for your presentation is threefold:
First, having professional and attractive slides offers you something that takes some of the pressure off of you and every single word you say. No matter how much we practice or how many times we have given great speeches or presentations, for some reason, every time we step up on that stage or stand in front of that projector, nerves run high.
Having visual support in the form of digital or print materials that support your message as you are delivering it can help calm those internal waves which will naturally make you feel more confident while you’re speaking. Any time a person is trying to share or sell a message, confidence in yourself and belief in your message are the best ways to resonate with your audience.
Additionally, having a high-quality presentation is good to have with you when you are delivering your message because it brings a sense of legitimacy and consistency to what you have to say. It also shows that you take your idea or work seriously enough to put in the time required to give them the information they need to believe in your offering as much as you do.
How to Make a PowerPoint that Looks Good Visually
As important as it is to have great support material and content that is important to your audience, it is equally important that the visual surface of your presentation be as attractive and professional as possible.
The look of your presentation slides is going to be automatically associated with the value of the words you are speaking. The visual aspects of your presentation also have an impact on the perception of your image and, potentially, your level of trustworthiness.
There are many ways to make your presentation look as good as possible.
Unless presentation or proposal design is a talent you possess, it will be best to either purchase the services of an expert presentation designer (such as myself) or if you have a strict budget to maintain, you can also purchase a PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides template from one of these high-quality presentation template sales shops online as well as some of the most beautiful and modern presentation templates for Keynote and PowerPoint that I have ever seen.
The link includes places where you can purchase professional PowerPoint templates including a link to my own presentation template store where you may be able to find the perfect PowerPoint template for your next great venture. I have used each of the suggested sites myself in the past and found some pretty good options that are great starting points. Just add your own photos and content, change the branding elements such as colors and logos, and you’ve got a great presentation that is ready-to-go.
How to Start a PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides Design
In the meantime, if you follow the simple guidelines above, you will produce a final product that you can deliver with confidence and that your audience will appreciate and hopefully respond to.
You can use PowerPoint by saving to a laptop or computer and present live using your device. Or you can upload your PowerPoint to Office 365 where you can access it from the cloud anywhere you go (always take a backup on a zip drive and send a second backup to yourself via email, though, just in case). Keynote also has both a desktop and iCloud version you can use. I am not as familiar with that one but I am sure it works in the same way.
Then, of course, there is Google Slides. Superior in terms of the ability to easily share with a wide range of teams, stakeholders, and reviewers, but not so popular in the design department because some of its features are complex and some of the basics of developing a master template are not featured at all. But I am sure that is something they are working on so I stay close to Google Slides on a pretty regular basis so that, as the features improve, I can enhance the templates I design for you.
Click here to find my top 10 suggestions for finding OUTSTANDING stock photography for your presentation and projects. If you need help getting started on your the design aspects of your presentation, go to my PowerPoint and Keynote Presentation Shop to see some beautiful starting points that will help you communicate your message. Here are a few of my favorite template designs that you can use to save yourself some time on making your pitch deck look good so you can, instead, focus on getting your message clear, convincing, and concise.
Good luck and happy growing!