During the early stages of a companies life, one of the key weapons in your arsenal is the all important proposal deck. This may be used to secure the funding you need, help grow your team or get that distribution deal with retailers. Whatever you might need it for, the pitch deck is vital. Unfortunately, it’s also something many start ups do very badly, which is where we come in.
We love working with start ups, and have helped our clients secure millions of pounds worth of investment in the cycling, fashion, financial and beverage industries. By creating custom, beautiful documents packed with information and imagery, we’ve transformed dull powerpoint documents into game changing, deal making decks.
We’re here to help. If you have an upcoming document you’d like us to work on, Get In Touch
If you fancy giving it a go yourself, below you’ll find my tips for having the right pitch deck:
1 – Design
It may be a bit of a no brainer reading this on a design studios blog, but design really is key. We strongly recommend NOT using Powerpoint if at all possible, but if you’re limited to Microsofts ‘delightful’ software, think about how your audience will react to your document. Look at other brands out there and what they use in terms of fonts, colours, image treatment and use of space. Even basic awareness of this will help your proposal stand out.
2 – Know Your Audience
Try to get inside your audiences head. What sort of document are they expecting to see? What data will they need presented? Can you do anything that will surprise them and make your presentation stand out?
Understand their expectations, and then surpass them.
3 – Be Concise – The Elevator Pitch
Keep things short and sweet, in both word count and number of pages. You want your deck to slap your audience in the face and leave the room like a boss. You should aim to summarise your company in a couple of sentences on one slide (think of the elevator pitch theory).
Also try to think about use of space on each slide to make content even more impactful.
4 – Use Photos
Your audience will not be inspired by a 30 page wall of text. Use aspirational images to emphasise key points. Use lifestyle shots to show your target market. Use blurred photos as backgrounds.
As in point 3, remember to be concise however. Use images sparingly to maximise their impact.
5 – Infographics and Data
Potential investors spend the majority of their time on slides concerning finances, so it makes sense to ensure these slides are easy to understand, beautiful and well laid out. Avoid using default (i.e disgusting) powerpoint and excel tables and graphs, and use a free infographic tool such as Canva https://www.canva.com/create/infographics/, or spend time on your Excel tables to make them look polished and to fit in with the rest of your well designed deck.
6 – Pacing
A good deck should be like a good book. It should have a distinct flow, show relevant information at the right time, and keep viewers interested. As mentioned in point 2, think about what your audience will need to see, and when they’d expect to see it. This is a great habit to get into when presenting.
7 – A Second Opinion, And A Third, And A Fourth…
When you have a complete deck, spend some time going through it with friends or colleagues. Guage their reactions and listen to their feedback. Is all the information legible? Does that image on that slide make sense? Are they confused by the flow of the document? Is there anything you missed?
It’s all too easy to go slide blind when working on documents for days at a time. So step away from the deck and get the opinions of others.
8 – Tell Your Story
In order to stand out, you need a story. You need that one unique facet that makes you YOU. Brand stories are becoming more and more critical to success, and a document such as a pitch deck is the perfect place to share yours. Think about what makes your company or product special, and how you can portray this to potential investors and customers. Establishing this early on will reap huge rewards moving forward.