Pitch Decks: Stunning Design v Informative Text

I was recently asked to review a draft pitch deck for an upcoming investor pitch.  On average each slide contained 35 words in Times New Roman and had very few images.  In short, it was an ugly deck.

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When I explained that to be effective and create maximum impact a pitch deck needed to contain minimal text with the emphasis on impactful design, I was met with the response, that the entrepreneur was more interested in substance than style and the it was essential the investors had all the information they needed.

There are so many reasons why this approach is fatally flawed but here are some of the most important:

  • Audiences cannot effectively read text and listen at the same time. The person pitching is the star of the show and the information must be coming out of their mouth. The deck is there to support and reinforce the entrepreneur’s key messages.
  • People make decisions on emotion first and rationalize second. Powerful imagery can engage an audience emotionally in the same way storytelling can. This means you should try to ensure your deck contains well designed inspirational graphics and imagery.  For more on this topic see ‘Pitching and Why You Must Stop Your Audience from Thinking’.

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  • We are in an era where style and design matter more than ever.  If your product or website is poorly designed, it will not sell or convert effectively.  A poorly designed pitch deck sends out a message that the product will also be poorly designed.

Adapted from Here’s the Pitch – How to Pitch Your Business to Anyone, Get Funded and Win Clients’ available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Audible 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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