A few weeks ago we brought you part one of our series on creating the perfect pitch deck. Once you've mastered those tips and tricks—which cover technology, organization, and strategy—you can delve into these extra steps that will truly set you apart from the competition.
- Keep your goal top of mind
The deeper into your presentation you get, the easier it is to get lost and stray from your ultimate goal. As you build each slide, ask yourself how the content relates to your main points. If you find yourself providing info that doesn’t ultimately support that, then cut it. You only have your audience’s attention for so long. Don't waste it.
- Drive home your differentiator
In addition to keeping your ultimate goal top of mind throughout the presentation, be sure to sprinkle in key elements that differentiate you from your competition. Sure, there might be thousands of other commercial real estate professionals out there with the same background and skillset as you, but you bring a level of professionalism and intelligence to every deal you take on that can’t be matched — right? Decide on your differentiators then document them within the deck.
- Make the math easy to understand
No one wants to do mental math during a presentation — don’t ask that of your audience. Present your numbers as clearly and as visually as you can. Don’t be afraid to leverage simple graphs or symbolic images as a way of avoiding listing out raw numbers. Remember, it all comes down to the numbers, so you want to make these slides the strongest they can be.
- Take a step back
Once you’ve created your initial draft, do yourself a favor and take a break. When you’re under the gun, taking a break might seem totally counterintuitive to your goals, but doing so can have a major payout. When we spend too much time with our noses in a project, we tend to lose perspective and wind up straying from our ultimate goals, or worse logic altogether. Go to bed, take a walk or just come back to it in the morning to see it with fresh eyes.
- Don't read off the deck
This might seem like a no-brainer, but how many times have you seen someone read the exact words written on a slide in their presentation? If you’re like us, way too many times. The words and images on your slide deck should serve as support for the key points you make verbally. If necessary, write out notes and prompts for yourself so you don’t get lost and wind up reading off the slides.
- Keep it concise
No one likes a never-ending slide deck. Rambling or dancing around your points rather than making concise statements is a sure way to lose your audience’s attention and support. It might be helpful to write out your beginning and ending thought on note cards that correspond with each slide. No matter your strategy, focus on making your point and then moving on gracefully.
- Leave time for Q+A
You’ll want to address any questions or concerns in person, so be sure to leave some time for Q+A, rather than worrying about filling up the time allotted. The pitch should ultimately lead to good conversation, so make sure to build in time for that.
While the ultimate goal should always be to allot ample time to creating and practicing a pitch deck, things don’t always work out that way. To set yourself up for success, always keep your database and tools up to date and follow these best practices.