Whether you’re pitching a product idea to potential investors, securing supporters for a new non-profit, or raising money for the next Broadway show, first impressions are uber important. Here’s how to polish up your pitch deck.

Pitch Deck Versions

There are two versions of your pitch deck, your visual presentation (either in Powerpoint or Keynote) and a printed version for your listeners to follow along and take with them for further review.

Visual Presentation – Powerpoint or Keynote

When putting together your visual presentation, be sure to keep it visually simple. The idea is that YOU are doing the talking, not your slideshow. YOU have the passion, YOU have the details, YOU can sell it. The powerpoint is a road map, some visual benchmarks, and a summary of what you’re saying. The key is keeping the focus on YOUR presentation. If your listener is distracted by complex visuals or paragraphs of information, they’re going to tune you out to try to take in that information. As beautiful as your slides may be, they will never replace a passionate presenter.

That being said, you do want your powerpoint to be a well-branded representation of your product, service, show, or company. You don’t need animated bells and whistles or crazy fonts and wild colors. Again, don’t detract from the main message. At the very least, purchase a nice, clean, pre-designed theme from a stock house such as Creative Market. A template will come with MUCH more slides and info than you need, so narrow the pages down to the basic nuts and bolts. Here’s a good infographic by ImprovePresentation.com to help you refine your copy down to a minimal number of pages. The average attention span can handle 10 slides. Choose wisely.

what is a pitch deck

Image by ImprovePresentation.com

A little overwhelmed at how to get your info into the template? We can help. Email us and we’ll put together a presentation using your template or we’ll create a knock-out Powerpoint or Keynote custom for you.

Printed Pitch Deck

A common practice is to print out the Powerpoint or Keynote slides, staple together or put in a presentation sleeve, and hand those out during your pitch. While that is a quick way to create a printed takeaway, the packet you put in your potential investors’ hands should be somewhat different from the visual presentation you’re walking them through. Remember, the visual presentation should hit the high-points, the main ideas of your pitch. When your investor or client returns to their office and review your material, they’re going to need details. There may be a personal story or solution you presented (that isn’t in your powerpoint) that could seal the deal. Unless your listeners were aggressively taking notes, they might forget those important moments. That’s what your printed pitch deck is for. It’s an opportunity for you to tell your story in written form.

business-idea-sharing No one knows your product or service like you do. And no one has YOUR vision and passion. So you have to figure out how to tell your story with all the heart you have in it, but in a way that doesn’t overwhelm your reader. Sometimes it’s good to have an editor help whittle down your content. An outside ear can be very helpful in pre-screening your content for your future listeners.

As far as design, consider building your printed pitch deck separately from your Powerpoint or Keynote. While it should have the same look and feel (colors, fonts) and main content (bullet points, images, charts), you have the freedom to include more detailed information (about your history, your team, your vision, etc.). It should be created in a vertical format (unlike PPT presentations), have a beautiful cover, and have all your contact information included. Create something with “desk longevity,” which is the opposite of something that hits the trash can before day’s end. Make it beautiful and digestible, and you’ll have a piece that someone just might read back over a time or two. More importantly, your contact information will stay at their fingertips.

Need help?

At Reed Creative Group, we can help with all aspects of your presentation and pitch deck. From copywriting and editing your content, designing effective Powerpoint and Keynote presentations, and creating beautiful leave-behind pitch packets, we’ll make you look good from lead-in to close and beyond. Ready to get started? Contact us here.

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