by Antonia Grimard

December 3, 2019

The investors are in the room and you are centre stage. It’s a high stakes moment as you gear up to present a persuasive pitch to win an investor and launch your start-up. But the big question is, have you done everything you possibly can to be pitch deck ready? 

Read on to find out more, or watch the video below for more information.

Now before you jump onto that stage you need to maximise the power of your presentation. Let’s get started on your road to being pitch deck ready.

Your pitch deck is not a teleprompter.

When you hit that stage, you are the star of the show - everyone will be waiting to hear what you are about to say and do. This is a pivotal moment for you and your business.

To keep your audience’s attention during your pitch, you need to keep their attention on YOU. If you use your pitch deck slides like a teleprompter and read them verbatim, your audience will be reading ahead of you. In the end your slides and your information will distract your audience like a bouncing ball at a Karaoke bar. Once your audience has locked onto your slides they won’t be focussing on you and that’s not good.

So remember your slides are only there to support your story – they are there to add to your message, they are not the message. So keep your slides simple and choose fantastic images to illustrate your points. And make sure your verbal pitch is different to your slide content. If you can practice your pitch to the point that you know your lines well enough that you could give a spellbinding pitch without them, you are on the road to being pitch ready.

Don't pitch like an infomercial

Your brand may be über cool and utilise fab design and colours that are guaranteed to create a buzz while filling an important market niche, but don’t linger too much on your branding during your pitch deck. Remember who you are presenting to investors, so strike the right tone and pitch like a business expert. For example, you might have a great idea that revolves around a product for pets – that doesn't mean you should make your pitch deck warm and fuzzy. Reality check. 

Your pitch deck is not the same as your product marketing campaign. Even though you are telling a story with characters and a problem that your product solves, that narrative should still be a business story. It’s a fine line, but make sure you tell your story using a business voice and leave your infomercial for your next round of marketing.

Create an emotional impact

A pitch deck should never just be about facts and figures or strong images. They should make an emotional impact with your audience. Whether it’s your passion for your solution or a driving need to make a change in the market. Bring that emotional drive to your presentation. This will make your pitch deck more memorable and relatable. 

You could try using humour.
You don’t need to be Seinfeld or Tina Fey to inject some wit into your pitch. But a short, funny anecdote or quip to underscore an important point will grab the attention of your audience and help them remember your presentation. It also provides important light relief from the dryer details you will need to cover in your pitch deck.

Or, you can recite a quote.
If you make it powerful you could use it as a punchline to your point. 

Another idea is to surprise your would-be investors with amazing insights and compelling data that add value to your business idea.
This will definitely make you stand out from the crowd.

please remember less is more when pitching
People have a limited attention span. Once you hit the half hour point they start flagging, so keep your pitch deck to 20 minutes or less. This will also help ensure that you keep your messages concise and on point. And it will force you to cut out the less important filler information you put in at the last minute. Come clean, you know you’ve done this!

Cramming too much info and too many graphics into your presentation is a fast-track to getting your investors to switch off. Though it seems counter-intuitive, simplicity is the key to a great pitch. So ask yourself – what’s the single most important message on this slide? 

Use as little text as possible, I recommend no more than 30 words, and highlight just a few key facts and figures. Take a minimalist approach to your pitch deck. It’s not about quantity – simple, quality information can be more powerful and drive home the points the audience remembers and connects to the most.

Finally, you need to finish strong
As you reach the finish line of your pitch deck, ensure you have a confident and killer conclusion that’s as arresting and memorable as your attention-grabbing opening. There are many ways you can lead into the home stretch as you bring your presentation to a close. After a short, sharp summary, use an anecdote or throw back to a character from your start-up story. Above all make sure you sign off with confidence. In some situations a challenge or invitation or call to action can be a powerful way to slide into home base. Remember, those last words will linger in the minds of your audience, so bring your pitch deck home with a punchy ending that’s confident, succinct and encourages would-be investors to dream big and enjoy success alongside you.

If you haven’t you should watch my video How to Improve Your Pitch Deck (BE PASSIONATE, POWERFUL, PERSUASIVE) for some more great ideas on adding impact to your presentation.

get your free pitch deck content guide

If you want a great road map to what the slides you should include in your pitch deck, download my pdf guide. It has the key points investors are looking for and some great tips on how to expand on those points.

Pitching your business to investors is not easy, but don’t forget, you are following your dreams so keep on pitching with passion.

You are just one pitch away from success!

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About the author 

Antonia Grimard

Hi, I'm Antonia, and I know that through compelling visuals and effective messaging, you can inspire people to take action to buy your product or invest in your idea. Getting it right is crucial. My job is to strongly communicate who you are to your customers, employees and investors through a powerfully crafted message. I've helped thousands of companies, business owners and entrepreneurs develop compelling business narratives that have grown their businesses, increased sales and won multi-million dollar investors.

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