I was recently asked to review a pitch deck draft for an upcoming investor pitch. On average each slide contained 35 words in Times New Roman font, with few images. In short, it was an ugly.
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 that it was essential the investors had all the information they needed.
There are many reasons why this approach is 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’.
- 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.
Image credit: CC by Andrés Nieto Porras