Consider these scenarios…
It’s Monday morning and you have a new vendor coming in to pitch an interesting product. The topic is one that you are somewhat familiar with, however, you are interested in learning more. Five minutes into the presentation, you start to feel overwhelmed by the content and not sure how you can benefit. Before long, you find yourself thinking about what needs to get done that day, deadlines, and other meetings. What was only five minutes into the presentation somehow felt like twenty. And before the presenter has had a chance to dive deeper into the content, the initial interest has faded.
It’s Monday morning and you are arriving for a business meeting with a new potential client. Going into the meeting, you are confident about the solutions you offer and are hopeful to land a new deal. With the potential of a new revenue stream, you spend the first few minutes providing detailed information about your company, the technical solutions offered, along with screenshots that show how it works. As you wrap-up the opening, you sense you might need to dive deeper into the information as some attendees seem a little lost.
The reality is…
...businesses see a lot of pitch decks, so yours needs to command their attention. In fact, on average, you only have about 4 minutes to impress someone with your pitch deck. So, it’s imperative that you spend time strategizing your approach, design, tone, and flow upfront.
Let’s take a look at 5 ways businesses are building better pitch decks.
An opening that holds attention
The key is a short opener that describes what your company does, why it’s unique and how it serves your customers. Think of this as your elevator pitch. It should resonate with your target audience, solve a problem they have, stand out from the other available options, and express that you can deliver on your promises. Keep in mind, this should be no more than 2-3 minutes. Your goal is to make your audience to want to hear more.
A message that resonates
Now that you have their interest, be clear, genuine, and engaging. Leave out the technical jargon with the overused screenshots and, instead, tell a clear story of how others are using your solutions and the benefits. Remember to focus on the pain points the prospect is having today, and articulate how you can provide a sustainable solution.
A clear ROI
As you paint an elegant picture of what your services can accomplish, your audience should be able to easily identify the ROI. Where possible, provide personalized examples of how your solution has benefited other, similar customers, and frame up your story with the lasting impact it will make. This is also a good time to provide insights on how you are different from your competitors.
Focus on the relationship, not the sale
The goal is to start a relationship. There’s a tendency to focus only on your business and this often leads to cramming every last detail into a pitch. But when we change the lens to focus more on the audience and less about you, it opens the door for more conversation. As you build your pitch deck, aim for the fewest slides you need to tell your company’s story (usually around 10 to 12), leaving room for 2 or 3 more slides that will evoke conversation with your audience.
A winning pitch deck starts with stunning design
There’s something to be said about a polished pitch deck. It’s your silent sales partner showcasing your streamlined and established company. Simplicity is essential in pitch decks. Your audience should be able to easily interpret the content—after all, the deck may be shared around their company without any context from you. When it comes to graphics and photos, be sure they resonate with the content. In fact, when people hear information, they're likely to remember only 10% of it three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later (HubSpot).
You have just 4 minutes to impress someone with your pitch deck.
Your elevator pitch should last no more than 3 minutes.
When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of it three days later. When a relevant image is paired with that information, retention goes up to 65%!