It is said that the best way to win an argument is with words. The most persuasive arguments are those which appeal to both emotion and logic, using rhetorical devices such as pathos, logos, and ethos. However, what if you’re not a natural-born public speaker? What if you just want to present your ideas in a clear fashion without having to entertain or persuade anyone? A good deck of slides can do that for you. With these 10 tips, you’ll be able to create effective and best pitch decks for any situation!
1) Keep it short.
People’s attention span is shorter than ever before. A presentation should last no longer than 20 minutes (less if possible). Slides should be used only sparingly and keep in mind that the main purpose of your slides is to briefly highlight what you’re talking about. So, no more than 10 words per slide, please.
2) Use clear language.
Remember when we were children and our parents would correct us whenever we used big words inappropriately? Well, never forget how it felt back then. Keeping your phrasing simple and clear will keep your audience focused. It is easy to go off topic when you over-complicate things.
3) Remember War and Peace?
Have you ever watched a big-budget movie where the director takes too long to get to the point of the story? Chances are that at some point he lost his audience or that the movie was simply too long or boring. The same thing happens when you are pitching your idea. Keep it short and to the point.
4) Be honest about what you’re selling.
If someone asks for a product, make sure you really have something to sell before you start your presentation. Do some research about their business, company, and their needs. If you can deliver, great. But if not, you might want to reconsider your approach or simply offer to do some research.
5) Be prepared for space issues.
It is easy to underestimate how much room you will need for your presentation equipment, especially if it’s just a laptop with two monitors (a must these days). Make sure to measure the room and possibly do a test run before you actually need it. Otherwise, you will end up having a very unhappy audience waiting for your slides to pop up on the screen.
6) Avoid jargon.
Even if everyone in your industry speaks “jargon”, this won’t be the case with other people in general. When you use terminology that only people in your field understand, it alienates the potential investor or customer. It’s like speaking a foreign language — there is no common ground of understanding and their brain will likely just turn off to protect itself.
7) Don’t rush through your presentation.
We know, you’ve got 100 things to do today and you have a limited time to get your point across. That is exactly why you should invest some time in polishing your presentation. Don’t just hit the clock and start talking about your idea! Take the time to organize it properly, prepare for any questions that might come up during the presentation, rehearse if necessary (and please do!), etc. If you rush through your presentation deck, you might just miss out on the most important part of your pitch.
8) Keep it professional.
Nothing gets people off track faster than a badly-designed sales deck or messy handwriting. Remember that these are not just pretty pictures — they are essential tools for you to get across what you need to say.
9) Watch out for your animations.
Quality matters. You might have spent hours perfecting each element of your slide deck, but if you end up using cheesy animations, it will utterly destroy the presentation’s credibility. Test all your animation before you’re on stage to make sure they are working properly.
10) Have fun!
The worst kind of pitch presentation slides are those that look like a school presentation, and the reason for this is simply because not many people enjoy them. Please don’t be afraid to use colors or unusual shapes in your presentation. You will immediately get more attention from the audience when you do.
Pitch decks are a crucial part of any business. They’re not just for sales pitches; they can also be used to present your company’s strategy, goals, and vision. However, the process of creating effective pitch slides is often not as easy as it seems. So start creating your pitch and make that client say yes!
Blog by Robert Frost