A pitch deck is a presentation generally created on PowerPoint, keynote(Apple software) or Prezi, and is used to provide your audience with key data points, share thoughts and convey ideas. Businesses in today’s world can’t survive without these. A pitch deck can be used for practically any business idea or thought really. These may be either used in a face to face presentation, via telepresence, for a large audience or maybe just a select few. The purposes and usages are varied and everybody uses pitch decks for different reasons. Different people use it in different situations. Let’s take a look:
Here’s a sample pitch deck we created for a cold chain case study and its positive impacts on the food supply chain. While the pitch deck based on the case study was a major hit for the business, it also shows how data visualization really helps in getting the message across.
Your audience can be anybody you pitch to. When it comes to pitching, the most common audience that comes to mind is an investor pitch. And that is true in most cases for an entrepreneur or a young business. However, outside the investment circle, there are a plethora of requirements wherein a pitch deck is required. It could be for your investors when seeking more money, for your boss during appraisal discussions, or during a sales pitch.
One of the slightly underutilized benefits of crafting different pitch decks based on the different audiences is ‘Visibility’. Think about it. Every time you as an entrepreneur go out to pitch your product, service or business, you leave an impression. Visibility leads to gaining support for your cause. The more you are out there, the better it is for your venture. This is supported by the existence of thousands of online magazines that have made a business out of sharing posts about new ventures and their achievements. Visibility is directly proportional to popularity. Bigger the visibility quotient, larger the popularity which turns to bigger successes.
Think about it. As a startup, you might be doing fairly OK, however, larger the press coverage about your achievements in the public domain, higher would be the probability of your target audience keeping a keen eye on you. And when the time comes, it would be a lot easier to cash in on the popularity.
This is why it is crucial to pay attention to the audience types and reorder your pitch deck to ensure you have the desired impact.
It is important to understand that you as an entrepreneur would need different pitch decks for different occasions. Not all audiences would understand nor do they need to understand the nitty-gritty of your business. When your friends and family ask “what do you do”, this might just be a part of casual social banter, hence they would most definitely lose interest the moment you start explaining the details of your business. But for a startup entrepreneur who might be at a bootstrapping stage, this is the perfect opportunity to pitch for funds. The same can’t be said for someone who is much beyond that stage, hence the pitch and its deck would change.
A lot of times entrepreneurs start a startup based on a novel idea. Even if it’s a great idea, it’s not necessary that it is communicated as such. A problem that is seen quite often. Not all entrepreneurs are great communicators and hence it makes perfect sense to simply let your deck do the talking for you. This ensures that what you want to communicate is set in that deck and the message is heard loud and clear just the way you intended, without the need for spending hours perfecting your pitch. Eventually, when the time comes to actually pitching your idea to potential investors, you need to communicate well and that’s something you can’t run away from. But that’s for another post.
So let’s take a look at what else is out there for which you would need different types of decks:
- A casual encounter:
Social convention dictates that when you are faced with the dreaded question: “So what do you do?”, You must answer the question as best as possible. After all, anyone of these encounters could lead to a potential investment, however, unlikely.
- The First Pitch
For a new entrepreneur, the most dreaded and yet the most anticipated and nerve-wracking is the first pitch in front of a potential investor. The pressure of leaving a good impression is the top priority. Getting an investment is the ideal goal but realistically speaking most know that it might end up being a disaster due to lack of experience. Of Course, people practice. A Lot. But it’s a lot different when you are in the mix of things.
- The next pitch
Once the first pitch is over, every entrepreneur goes through a transformation of sorts. It’s like a completely different person. The experience of the first pitch has so much value that none other can come any closer. Armed with the exposure of the first one, entrepreneurs soon enough learn how to sail through the muddy waters to reach their goal and get what they wanted.
So here’s the list of types of pitch decks one would need during their time as an entrepreneur:
- Elevator Pitch Decks
Elevator Pitches are traditionally brief, persuasive speeches designed to quickly get the most information across in a manner that makes it comprehensible and effective. Crafted to thrill and excite the listener, elevator pitch decks typically are created as a first look deck with no more than 10 slides maximum to ensure you get the most out of your 2 minutes conversation with the potential investor.
Generally accompanied by a short video, these are great for getting the foot in the door. A trailer version so to say that gets the audience to buy the tickets for the movie. Many startups have been known to raise funds purely based on the elevator pitch. Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch – A web-series has taken that idea literally. Contestants get 60 seconds to pitch while they are on their way up to meet the potential investors. If the idea is liked it gets invested in, if not the elevator doesn’t stop at the investor’s floor.
- Investment Pitch Decks
Investment pitch decks are full-blown decks that investors want to see and discuss in detail. Generally reserved for investment funding meets, these decks must share deep-dive information about your startup venture. Details like the business model, traction, growth, market potential, financials, product demos, team details and much more are discussed in detail to ensure the investor see the worth in investing and at the same to see if the investors’ expertise in the domain would be beneficial for the startup. Investors invest in the business only If the vision for the business match with theirs and also a potential return on their investment is visible in the near future. Generally, most investors invest in the business with a timeline of 3 – 5 years for their return on investment. For an investment in your startup, it’s crucial that your pitch deck is able to communicate these details clearly.
- High-Value Products Sales & Marketing Pitch Decks
Another great use of a pitch deck is in sales & marketing domain for high-value products for which a simple brochure would not be enough. The perfect example for this would be Carrier Transicold. Another post on our blog about Carrier Transicold’s Cold chain case study shows how they had used pitch deck designed by our team to showcase the power of cold chain and its short & long term positive effects in improving the supply chain. Not only was the organization able to sell more cold chain products, the success of the product led to the incentivization via the building of cold chain infrastructure across the nation to improve the food supply. This has since led to a humongous growth in the regional cold chain trucking businesses across the state of Punjab.
- Pitch Decks for Leadership Communications
Every business leader has to inspire, motivate and communicate with the workforce. The challenge comes in when the workforce is diverse and spread across the world. While intranet sites have been available for a long time now, they hardly have been known to make an impact. Hence, when it comes to a critical task like motivating the entire workforce to work harder to meet the sales targets, releasing the information in the intranet sites may not be enough. What is needed is a well-designed pitch deck that echoes the thoughts and the emotions in the same manner as an in-person communication would. And it is achievable with a pitch deck that is precise, well-thought of and designed with care. Our pitch decks have been utilized for the same, and we have seen what an impact they have on the people.
- Pitch Decks for Social Causes
Another aspect that is a good use case for a pitch deck is a social cause pitch deck. Ultimately, the overall scheme of a pitch deck for a social cause is designed keeping in mind the end goal. PR, Hype, and ultimately Investment.
Unlike the brochures that are currently used for social causes, pitch decks are built with the story in mind that is designed to get the desired emotions. What this means is that it’s not just a single slide piece of information rather it becomes a complete case study that showcases all the great things that have been done so far and what all is yet to come. Pitch decks are the perfect tool for raising funds. It is a natural extension of using them for raising funds for a social cause.
There are many more such interpretations based on the primary use. Ultimately what is to be kept in mind is that when a pitch deck is designed, the core proposition must be highlighted with a story angle. Incorporate videos, infographics, animations and much more to make it as lively and engaging as possible. Get this formula right and you have the perfect pitch deck ready that gets the job done, every single time.
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