A PowerPoint presentation never promises to titillate like a Broadway production. But when it comes to presenting and pitching an idea to potential investors, it’s important to make the most of each frame of your slide show to create a powerful and selling narrative. While there are typically 120 pages in a film script, stick to no more than 10 slides for a presentation – any more will bore your audience.
Here are a few entrepreneurial tips for pitching your next presentation and hopefully getting those investment dollars.
1. Less is more.
Choose the information that shows you understand your potential client and their needs vs. rattling off as much info as you can. Reciting information that can be found in your handouts and your website is a waste of time. Remember, it’s less about you and more about what you can do for them.
2. Personalize your presentation.
Tailor talk to your prospective client and edit out the generic sales pitch. Customizing your presentation shows you know who you are talking to and what they are all about.
3. Show off your hard work and research.
That kind of ego massaging is important to a potential client. When you show you did your homework in understanding everything from trends and nuances to realizing their growth prospects.
4. Don’t rely on the slides to do all the engaging and entertaining.
Make your presentation multi-dimensional by using objects, samples, props and, if it is appropriate, hand out gift bags. You want to leave your audience with something concrete to remember you by and show your dedication to working with the client.
5. Be economical with your words.
Don’t fill each slide with text for people to read. Then there is no reason for you to be there. Just focus on key words for each page and then expand on those anecdotes and details verbally in a creative and engaging way.
6. Keep slides classic and classy.
Don’t use those ridiculous PowerPoint backgrounds and transitions. It looks amateurish. Stick with the tone of your business and the business you are presenting to. It’s best to use your logo and other brand identifiers from colors to font style. Also add on the log of the company you are presenting to. That shows you see the synergy of the relationship.
7. Keep a checklist of all the gadgetry you will need and make sure you’ve brought it and it is working.
A basic list is: a laptop, a projector that hooks up the laptop and the CORDS, a little remote or laser pointer, and a screen. A good prop to add on might be a flip chart and markets.
8. Channel your inner Martha Stewart.
It’s hard to imagine sitting through a PowerPoint presentation without coffee and something to eat. Welcoming potential clients with a spread of snacks is a nice tough and keeps people focused.