How to make a presentation
A presentation plan is a roadmap to a more successful business pitch – a broad outline that sums up what you want to say to prospects, clients, or investors. It allows you to organize your thoughts, group ideas into main points, and present your material in a logical manner. But what should you include in your slides?
We’ve compiled 11 tips for more efficient pitch preparation.
If you’ve come here looking for presentation templates, here’s a snippet of our most popular. Otherwise, continue.
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11 tips for creating more effective presentations
1. Decide on a goal
Before you brainstorm and jot down notes, set a goal for your presentation. What do you want your pitch deck to say to your audience? What message do you want to send? What do you want him to achieve?
Maybe you want your pitch to raise some seed money. Maybe you want to introduce a new product or service to customers. Whatever your reason for creating your pitch, set yourself a specific, measurable goal. This will guide the rest of your preparation.
2. Create a structure for your presentation
Every good presentation includes an introduction, main body and conclusion. These three components form the “backbone” of your presentation – the bare bones of your pitch. You don’t need to think about all the little details at this point – you can flesh out your presentation slides at a later date.
Your introduction is probably the most important part of your pitch. After all, you only have seven seconds to make a good first impression, according to research. Use your intro to showcase your brand, greet your audience, and give a taste of what’s to come.
The body of your presentation includes your main ideas and any supporting ideas. Use it to present testimonials, financial and fundraising information, traction and milestones and of course your marketing plan.
Finally, your conclusion sums up all your points in a few slides. This should leave your audience wanting more.
3. Think about visual content
Visual content is an essential ingredient. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than normal text, so including images in your pitch is a great idea. Don’t forget the videos either. Consumers are 64% more likely to buy a product after watching a video online, which makes visual content a good choice if you want to generate leads and increase signups.
The most successful pitch decks incorporate striking visuals. Others have fancy fonts and graphics. All of this visual content demands the attention of your audience and creates a cool aesthetic that will help you outdo your rivals.
At this early stage of pitch deck preparation, you don’t need to finalize the images you are going to include in your pitch. However, we think it’s a good idea to indicate where you’re going to use images in your presentation. This way you can organize your ideas and make sure everything is going smoothly.
4. Understand what makes a good presentation – and a bad one
No two presentations are the same. However, the most successful pitch decks certainly have a lot in common. When creating your plan, find out what makes a brilliant pitch. The University of Hawaii says great presentations rarely cover more than five points. The University of Cambridge in England says there should be four key points in every 45-minute presentation.
At Slidebean, we believe that one idea per slide, good design, lots of images and quotes make presentations so much more interesting. We’re not fans of the “thank you” slide, however, the one that acknowledges your audience for attending your presentation. It is completely unnecessary.
5. Include a call to action
A call to action is much better than a thank you slide. This encourages your audience to take action after your presentation. When creating your plan, think of a short, quick call to action that calls for a response. A call to action is your last chance to engage with your audience during your presentation. You might want to encourage people to sign up for your mailing list, for example. Alternatively, you can include a link to your website so that people can download a trial version of your product.
“Whatever form your CTA takes, the most important aspect is the copy,” says Sujan Patel, growth marketing expert and Here is Norbert co-founder, writing for forbes magazine. “You tell the visitor what you want them to do, so they have to be persuasive. Remember, your audience is looking for an answer or a solution to a problem. Connect with him by telling him exactly what he’s going to do if they take action. “
6. Identify a solution to a problem
Every day, over 30 million presentations are created using PowerPoint alone. Then there are the hundreds of thousands of pitches designed in Keynote, Prezi, and Slidebean. With so many presentations, how do you inspire people to invest in your services? One way to create a successful pitch is to identify a solution to a problem your audience might have.
Slidebean recently reviewed some of the best examples of presenting successful startups. Most of them offer solutions to common problems early on in their respective presentations. The Intercom customer messaging platform, for example, says analytics, customer base navigation, and customer research are the answer for businesses that struggle to interact with customers. They include these solutions towards the start of their pitch deck.
If you want to have a more successful presentation, consider troubleshooting your niche when creating your plan.
7. Use quotes, testimonials and statistics
Quotes from senior management help you convey abstract ideas and make your presentation more engaging. You should get all the quotes you want to use in your presentation during the planning phase. Customer and client testimonials are also proving popular. Research shows that positive reviews influence buying decisions and build trust.
Finally, statistics add depth to your presentation. Industry facts and figures back up all your claims and increase engagement. Discover relevant statistics when creating your plan. You don’t need to include any actual quotes, testimonials, or statistics just yet. Just note where you want to place them in your presentation.
8. Think about color and design
Just as important as the information itself is how you present the information in your pitch. Now is the time to start thinking about which font (s) you want to use or what color your slides will be. Research shows that red conveys passion and excitement and grabs the attention of your audience. White, on the other hand, expresses simplicity and purity.
Slidebean offers a range of color palettes that transform the look of your slides. You can choose up to three color schemes and play with different text, backgrounds, and highlights.
9. Plan the order of your slides
Think of your presentation plan template as a very rough first draft. Decide what types of slides you want to use and decide on a final running order. For example, you can include quotes at the start of your presentation and leave testimonials until the end. Remember to include a slide with your contact details (website, phone number, address, etc.) and your brand values.
Your presentation plan should also be a group effort. Ask your colleagues to give their opinion.
10. Identify the main takeaways from your presentation
Your plan should include enough information so that you can visualize what your final presentation will look like. Once you have completed your outline, reread it and identify the key takeaways from the document. Is the structure of your presentation clear, for example? Does this convey your brand’s message? Will it interest your audience?
Each slide in your presentation should meet the goal you created at the start of your outline. If something doesn’t work, make changes. You might want to change slides or delete unnecessary information, for example.
11. Use a template
Once you’ve completed your plan, it’s time to start putting it all together. Yes, you can create a PowerPoint pitch deck from scratch, but it is often time consuming and complicated. Instead, use a template that provides you with all the presentation slides you need.
At Slidebean, we have presentation templates for businesses of all sizes, including startups and scale-ups. You can create a professional pitch deck in minutes by following the onscreen instructions. Everything is included: bullets, graphics, headers, footers, etc. Take the time to plan your pitch to produce a powerful sales document that helps you connect with your audience.
Once you’ve created your presentation plan template, sign up for Slidebean and craft a pitch that gives you a huge ROI.
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