A pitch deck is also known as a presentation, a slide deck and sometimes a powerpoint. Don’t be confused though - they all mean exactly the same thing! Pitch decks are a way of presenting information across a multiple slide format complete with images, text and graphics. They are really commonly used in agency settings, for things like client pitches.
Pitch decks are also used for elevator pitches, which are traditionally pitches you could theoretically give in the space of one elevator ride. In other words, just very short and snappy presentations that business owners use to present and sell their idea to venture capitalists (think dragons den 30 second pitches that start the show!)
What are the uses of a pitch deck?
Like we touched on earlier, a pitch deck is most commonly used to sell your product or service to a potential client. Agencies will often create pitch decks to run through important things like what their team is capable of achieving for the client, the proposed timescale to see results and then the actionable tasks needed to complete the project.
Venture capitalists will expect to see pitch decks that outline details like the proven track-record of the company so far in things like yearly turnover, projected revenue and profits already made. That helps them to understand how valuable your business is and whether or not they’d like to make an investment.
But, if you’re not a start-up looking for a round of investment or an agency on a mission to sign up new clients, are pitch decks still useful? How can you find a use for them in your marketing strategy?
Internal uses for a pitch deck
Keeping your team up-to-date about the internal operations of the business isn’t just nice to do, it’s really important to maintain a united workforce that knows the goals it’s working towards. So, why not try a pitch deck presentation that outlines the achievements and the failures of the quarter that can be sent in an internal newsletter, spoken through on Zoom, or presented in person? This update can get everyone on the same page about the targets that are still outstanding, and what needs to be done to get there.
Pitch decks are also used internally for training purposes. Whether it’s for a sales team refresher course or to deliver important details about health and safety in the office, pitch decks are often to the go-to format. The handy thing about this is that you have a ready-made resource to send out to the team at the end of the training session!
Pitch decks for training
Pitch decks are also used internally for training purposes. Whether it’s for a sales team refresher course or to deliver important details about health and safety in the office, pitch decks are often the go-to format. The handy thing about this is that you have a ready-made resource to send out to the team at the end of the training session!
Marketing with pitch decks
Create downloadable pitch deck presentations as an additional content format your audience can engage with. If you're already exploring the avenues of podcasting and webinars, pitch deck presentations make a perfect compliment to help package the key points from the discussion in a way that your audience can refer back to in the future.
Use pitch decks to give away valuable content like plans and strategies your audience might want to utilise, or you could also use the format to communicate updates to your platform or product.
How can you improve the design of your pitch deck?
The design of a pitch deck presentation is arguably more important than the way it is written, because the design is what’s going to ultimately dictate how understandable the information is. There’s a few simple design tips you can implement to help make sure every pitch deck presentation communicates information as effectively as possible.
Include slide numbers
This is a really basic design tip, but surprisingly can be quite overlooked! Numbering each slide helps your audience to better refer back to any points they didn’t understand, gives you as the presenter clarification on how much time you have to cover the remaining information, and also lets the audience know how long they have left of the presentation.
When you let your audience know the length of the presentation, it’s not only a great way to show you respect their time, but it’s also a good way to help keep them engaged.
Make sure you align text properly
As a designer, that’s not much worse than spotting unaligned text. It’s a simple fix, and it makes your presentation easier to read and look a lot more professional. Whether it’s aligned central, left or right, it’s good to double check there are no sneaky stray words getting out of line before presenting.
Use graphics and images
To make your presentation much more fun to listen to and engaging, include graphics and images in your pitch deck. A good presenter is often good at storytelling, and you can back this up with images in your deck that tell a story too. Illustrating points along the way with relevant imagery helps to back up the points you're making, and it also helps them to stick in your audience’s mind for longer.
Use images that show emotion. It’s often said that people won’t always remember what you said, but how you made them feel. Using images that portray various emotions can go a long way in helping your audience have a more profound reaction to your presentation. Inspire confidence with images that depict happy teams and relationships.
Use charts and icons
Data when written out can be confusing to understand. It’s much easier to display data and statistics in charts and icon formats where possible, and makes a bigger impact on the viewer when they can actually see the data visually represented.
Include question slides
Your audience may not always feel comfortable putting their hand up in the middle of your presentation, so include slides that purposefully set time aside to open up the discussion. Slides that ask for the audience to participate work well to make the slide deck more interactive and encourage audience participation.
Take care of font size
This is particularly important when you are going to be presenting your pitch deck in person to a room full of people. Remember that those at the back of the room should be able to view the information just as easily as those in the front row, so any copy included should be large enough to be easily read.
Make note of contrast
In order to make your pitch deck more accessible, check how contrasting the font colour is to the background using an online contrast checker tool.
Making sure that the font is clearly visible against the background can help those who are visually impaired to understand the presentation better, and it’s also just good design!