Pitch Decks and Executive Summaries: Why Less is Always More

Most investors don’t read lengthy business plans. When they receive them they file them in the trash. They are time crunched, overrun with pitches and often have short attention spans. So delivering your message and information in a concise and attention grabbing way, is critical.

This means your pitch arsenal should typically comprise of a 10-15 slide pitch deck with minimal text and a 1-2 page executive summary. You should also be deploying effective elevator and high concept pitches.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that shorter is easier. As a general rule, it’s always more difficult to tell a story in a concise, effective manner than it is to tell it a lengthier fashion.

A famous exchange between Mark Twain and his publisher illustrates the point well. Twain’s publisher contacted him, asking for two-page short story in two days. Twain replied,

No can do two pages, two days. Can do 30 pages, two days. Need 30 days to do two pages.”

Time strapped entrepreneurs often underestimate how long the creation process takes. Being concise and clear is one of the hardest communication skills to master. Be prepared to set aside days and weeks, creating and perfecting your pitch and you’ll be following a path well- trodden by the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton and other world class presenters.

Martin is the author of ‘Here’s the Pitch – How to Pitch Your Business to Anyone, Get Funded and Win New Clients‘ available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and all leading booksellers.

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About Martin Soorjoo

Martin Soorjoo is the founder of San Francisco based Pitch Clinic. Over the past 25 years he has advised, coached and worked with Senior Executives, Investment Bankers, Venture Capitalists, Angels, Startup Founders, Attorneys, Judges, Politicians and other high achievers. Martin works with his clients to increase their Performance, Productivity and Presence. He also helps them create and deliver high impact presentations, whether they are delivering an important keynote address, raising venture capital or seeking a senior position in a company or public body. A former award winning attorney, Martin is the creator of 3XP Performance Coaching and and author of 'Here's the Pitch - How to Pitch Your Business to Anyone, Get Funded and Win Clients' published by Wiley. During his career at the Bar, Martin was consistently rated by the world’s leading legal directories as a ‘leader in his field’. He is a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and expert in body language and performance psychology.

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