In an ideal world, you’d always have at least a month to brainstorm, produce and practice presenting your incredibly polished pitch deck. But let’s be honest, that pretty much never happens.
Maybe you’ve identified a last-minute opportunity to pitch some capital investors on a real estate project, or maybe you’re trying to land a new client before your competition beats you to the punch. Or, maybe you’ve just been procrastinating — we won’t judge!
No matter your predicament, we’ve pulled together some tried and true tips for creating a pitch deck on the fly:
Keep your database up to date at all times
The number one key to avoiding late nights leading up to a pitch is to ensure your database is always up to date. No matter your niche, you should be able to produce accurate, current and comprehensive stats on your target audience’s property specs, deal background and comps at a moment’s notice. In order to do so, don’t put off updating your contact database until it’s too late! Add as you go.
Trust your tools
This brings us to our next point — in order to be able pull relevant data quickly, you need to arm yourself with the right tools. Ideally, your tech stack is powerful enough to not only help you manage your current deals but also to glean insights for prospective deals as well. With the right software, you should be able to query your database at any time, making pitch decks that much easier to pull together.
Think strategically first
When scrambling to put together a pitch deck, the temptation can often be to dive right into the slides. But doing so often leads you down the wrong path. And the last thing your target audience wants to sit through is your rambling.
Before jumping the gun, take some time for deep, strategic thinking. Ask yourself these four key questions:
- What are my target audience’s pain points?
- What is my solution?
- What makes me or my service different from my competition?
- What is my ultimate goal?
Let these key questions guide the layout and flow of your deck.
Create an outline
Once you’ve established your strategy, take the time to create an outline. Yes, outlines can seem like an unnecessary hurdle when all you want to be is done, but moving things around and determining your presentation flow is much easier to do before you’ve done the work of creating slides.
Focus on the numbers
When it comes down to it, the numbers are all that matters. It’s your job to present numbers and statistics—comps, NOI, etc—in the clearest and most compelling way possible. Keeping your database as up-to-date and accurate will make this part much easier.
Analyze the market
No financial decision can be made in a vacuum. Not only is it crucial to present the numbers that relate to the deal itself, but you must examine the current state of the market as well. Do your research and if necessary, integrate your CRM with other tools that allow you to pull from a range of market sources.
Start with an executive summary
When you’re finally ready to start pulling together your deck, be sure to begin with an executive summary slide. This concise yet powerful section should answer the four guiding questions at the outset, so that none of your message is lost as your presentation goes on. As much as we’d love to guarantee your audience will be captivated from start to finish, chances are they won’t. It helps to hedge your bets with a quick, high-level summary.
Stick to one idea per slide
It can be tempting to pack each slide with useful data, but the entire purpose of presenting with slides versus a plain word document is to keep things easy-to-digest and engaging. Take advantage of the space you have to make one incredibly clear point per slide. Your slides will help guide you through your talk, so you don’t want to risk confusing your audience or yourself mid-presentation.