5 Qualities of an Effective Pitch Deck

Sales Strategy
January 15, 2020

Pitch decks, slide decks, presentations… regardless of what you call them, they are the de facto delivery method for conveying big ideas. Throughout the years, our team has had a front row seat to the evolution of the pitch deck. We’ve seen the good (what works well), the bad (what confuses completely) and the ugly (delete, delete, delete!), taking note of the crucial components that add up to big results. We’ve broken these nuggets of knowledge down into a few simple secrets we hope you will steal!

An effective pitch deck isn’t just about conveying information—it must be persuasive, compelling, and provoke the desired emotional response. While each pitch deck is unique, the best of the best always incorporate these five qualities.

A Coherent Narrative

All content tells a story. The best pitch decks take the stage as the primary narrator, keying into the fact that Humans are powerfully attracted to narrative structures with heroes, villains, suspense, well-imagined scenarios, recognizable characters, and progress from the present into the future. A foundational story that shows how your product can take the prospect from their current undesirable situation into a better future is essential.

Their Problem, Your Solution

While most teams are revved up and ready to shout about their solution, beware of falling into the common mistake of pre-maturely over-emphasizing your products and capabilities. Although relevant, don’t forget about the prospect and the world through their eyes. Showing that you truly understand the prospect’s problem and perspective should, earning that right first and foremost, will more organically drive the narrative of your pitch. Demonstrate a clear understanding of their needs and only then proceed to how you would best solve for those pain points with your unique solution.

Who You Are

While the “We’re Awesome!” approach is confident, we exist in a world that is overly saturated with “awesome”. Instead, use this as an opportunity to showcase your origin story and become a person with an idea rather than a faceless solution. Remember, pitch decks establish the benefits of the product, in addition to why the seller is the best choice to provide the offered solution. Experience, expertise, and commitment all play a role, and should be woven into the pitch deck’s narrative.

A Personal Touch

With tens of thousands of Pursuit-based marketing (and Opportunity-centric Marketing) projects under our belt, our team has found that the most effective sales content is tailored to the unique profile of your high-value prospects. This is to say, know as much as you can about the exact target of the audience and use that to your advantage. Tailor your content with a thorough and extensive prospect research exercise (professional and personal internet footprint included), understanding what content speaks directly to the needs, cultures, and personalities of each stakeholder within your prospect audience.

Meaningful Visuals

In the modern sales environment, decks comprising of bullet lists and low-quality stock images don’t cut it. High-quality design connotes attention to detail and a commitment to excellence. There is a huge difference between a competently designed pitch deck and one to which exhaustive attention has been paid, giving weight to the color, typography, images, video, and the creative visualization of complex information.

We don’t advocate style over substance, but we have found that with an approach that melds design excellence with creative story-telling, your teams are far more likely to be successful.

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