If you have an idea you’d like to propose to potential investors or clients, you can do so with a pitch presentation. However, it’s not just a matter of throwing a few slides together—there are techniques you can use to make sure your pitch is clear, engaging, and effective. When crafted with care and intention, a great pitch presentation can greatly increase your chances of getting a “yes”. 

What Is a Pitch Presentation?

A pitch presentation is a short oral presentation given to potential investors, clients, decision-makers or customers. Its purpose is to explain your idea, generate interest and invite your audience to come on board. It can be used to secure funding, gain approval, sign on new clients and make sales. 

The oral presentation is typically accompanied by a pitch deck—a set of slides that provide visual aids, reinforce key information and help keep the audience engaged. 

What Makes a Good Pitch Presentation?

Successful pitch presentations share the following key elements:

1. Story-Based Structure

Storytelling is a powerful tool. When you present information in the form of a story, you make it easier for your audience to understand it and form an emotional connection. 

For example, the most common storytelling structure for pitching a new business idea or product involves introducing a character, identifying their pain point and explaining how the new product or service will solve the problem. 

You can also tell the story of how your company started, what you’ve accomplished so far and where you hope to go next. 

A presentation slide features three sections arranged in chronological order, titled “The birth of SpaceX”, “Where we are today” and “Reaching our goals”. 
Still from Skillshare class Visual Storytelling: Creating More Persuasive Presentations by Susannah Shattuck

2. Digestible Information 

The best pitch presentations are concise and easy to follow. They use simple language and include only the most important information. With limited time and attention from your audience, there’s no need to go into details or explain complex concepts. 

As a general rule, you should be able to summarize your pitch in a single sentence. The rest of the presentation should simply support it. 

A presentation slide features the heading “We create bespoke calligraphy and illustrations”, a list of services and photos that illustrate examples of past work.
Still from Skillshare class How to Make Engaging Presentations: Simple Hacks with Great Impact by Vickie @ D Story.  

3. Compelling Data

The purpose of a pitch presentation is to convince your audience to work with you in some way, and one of the best ways to do this is with data. Effective pitch presentations typically include graphs and charts that convey key information like focus group results, market share, target demographics, past sales and projected revenue. 

In other words, any time you make a claim to help persuade your audience, be sure to back it up with data. 

A presentation slide features a pixel-based world map with location pins, each accompanied by the name of a social media network and a percentage of users. 
Still from Skillshare class PowerPoint Alternatives™️: How to create a modern and beautiful presentation with Canva by Aisyah S.  

4. Visual Appeal

Information is easier to digest when it’s presented in a visual format. That’s why the best presentations make use of visual elements like photos, graphics, icons and figures. 

How you design your pitch deck is also important. Presentations that are visually appealing and cohesive do a much better job of keeping the audience engaged and entertained. More importantly, a well-designed pitch deck can help you make a great first impression and establish yourself as credible and trustworthy. 

A presentation slide features a laptop and a mobile phone on a desk surface, with mockups of what the product would look like on each device. 
Still from Skillshare class Writing the Perfect Pitch Deck: How to secure funding from investors by Caya

Create a Successful Pitch Presentation in 5 Steps 

There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for crafting the perfect pitch presentation—it all depends on your industry, your audience and what you’re pitching. That being said, the steps below can provide a helpful starting point. From there, you can customize your pitch to fit your needs and differentiate yourself from the competition. 

1. Get Clear on Your Offer and Ask 

The best thing you can do for your pitch presentation is to keep it simple. To start, answer the following two questions, keeping each answer to a single sentence:

  1. What is your idea, product or service? Who is it for and how does it help them?
  2. What are you asking your audience to do? For example, is it to provide financial backing or hire you for your services?

2. Choose Key Components 

If you presented these two sentences to your audience, what else do you think they would want to know before they could answer? In other words, what can you share to make it as easy as possible for them to say “yes”. For example, it’s common for pitch presentations to include things like:

  • Your business model
  • Target market and your position in it
  • Competitor analysis 
  • Growth projections 
  • Research and case studies 
  • Positive reviews 
  • Your team and credentials 

Wherever possible, support these key components with data and present it in an easy-to-understand format.

3. Create a Structure

Combine your answers from step 1 and the supporting information from step 2 into a cohesive, coherent presentation. For example, you could structure your presentation like this:

  1. Identify a problem
  2. Offer a potential solution
  3. Position yourself as the best person/company to offer that solution
  4. Make the ask or call to action

Regardless of the format you choose, remember to incorporate elements of storytelling into your presentation so you can transition seamlessly from one section to the next and keep your audience hooked until the end. 

4. Design a Pitch Deck

You can prepare the most compelling pitch, but without any visual components to support it, your audience will have a much harder time trying to understand, remember and consider what you’re saying. 

To set yourself up for success, prepare a short slide show to accompany your presentation. Like everything else, keep it concise and simple. As a rule of thumb, you want to avoid giving your audience something to read while they’re already trying to listen to you and take notes. Instead of writing blocks of text, focus on your slides on key words, images, graphics and supporting figures. 

5. Rehearse and Prepare

Apart from the contents of your oral presentation and your slide deck, you’ll be evaluated on your delivery. Practice your presentation as much as you need in order to feel 100% comfortable with it. Feeling prepared will calm your nerves and help you carry yourself in a relaxed, confident and engaging manner. 

Something else you can do is try to anticipate the kinds of questions your audience might ask throughout or at the end of your presentation. Prepare your answers in advance, so you can deliver them without missing a beat. This will go a long way in getting people to trust you and to seriously consider your pitch. 

Master the Art of Pitch Presentations

Like most things, getting good at pitch presentations takes practice and time. That’s why, even if you don’t have any presentations coming up, it’s worth it to practice writing, designing and delivering them anyway. Ask your friends or colleagues if they can watch and offer their honest feedback, so you can get better. When the time comes for a real pitch presentation, you’ll be ready to knock it out of the park! 

Written By

Sayana Lam

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