How to Create the Ultimate Pitch Deck for Projects at Work, Uni and Side Hustles
Pitch decks are used by most companies and organisations to present information and give the targeted audience a visual aid to the presentation. It can be difficult however to decipher what makes an engaging pitch deck and what information should be included in it. This guide will give you tips and tricks of what you can do to create the ultimate pitch deck whether that is for projects at work, uni or your side hustle!
What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a fancy word for a brief presentation that is created using software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, WordPress or Prezzi. Pitch decks provide audiences such as investors with a quick visual overview of a business plan.
Pitch Decks for Work
Pitch decks are commonly used by small businesses who want to present their business idea or business model to investors, so it is important that they are of a high standard to gain the backing of those you are presenting to and to help you stand out from the crowd. If your line of work is not in the business sector, you may use a pitch deck when presenting your boss with your research findings.
Pitch Decks for University
In the context of high school or university, as college students, you may create a pitch deck to provide teachers and lecturers with an overview of a project you have been working on, for example, a dissertation proposal.
Pitch Decks for Side Hustles
Side hustling as a definition is when you spend your free time earning extra money which is outwith your day job. Today there are many opportunities for earning a passive income thanks to the internet. Online courses on sites such as YouTube are informative in demonstrating the various ways that you can earn extra cash through simple hobbies such as garage sales and how to earn money online through the likes of blogging.
Pitch decks can be used if you wish to turn your part-time side business/side income into a full-time job, whether that is a YouTube channel, an Etsy page or a dog-walking service. To make this jump, you’ll need to put in hard work during your spare time to move your business forward and in order for people to understand your side hustle’s business model. The advantage that you have is that you are already familiar with the line of work and therefore have experience in the field. However, to turn your side hustle into a full-time job you will need to build your network both online through sites such as LinkedIn and offline meeting entrepreneurs and investors.
Tips on What Makes a Successful Pitch Deck
The first time you make a pitch deck it may not be of an excellent quality perhaps because you did not have much time to spend on it or know what information should be included in it. However, by discovering what makes a successful pitch deck, you’ll be better able to avoid making pitfall mistakes and focus on making your presentation the best that it can be. These tips are applicable to all types of pitch decks!
Make a Good First Impression
First impressions are extremely important in all walks of life but they are even more important when pitching an idea to a group of individuals who have a limited amount of time to dedicate to your presentation. Therefore, it is essential to be polite and courteous and appreciative of having the opportunity to discuss with professionals your business idea or research proposal. If you are presenting to a small panel of individuals it is a good idea when introducing yourself to shake hands with them or if you are presenting to a large group of people ensure that you maintain eye contact and give a warm smile which shows that you are passionate and excited to have this opportunity!
Keep in Mind Where/How You Are Presenting
You may not be presenting your pitch deck in a traditional setting such as a board room but instead could be presenting it remotely via software such as Skype or Upwork which is a global freelancing platform that allows businesses and professionals to connect while working remotely. Therefore, it is important to know how to tailor your presentation to the environment that you will be presenting it in so that you ensure that you take certain factors into consideration when creating your pitch deck. For example, making images larger so they can be better seen.
Make It Engaging!
Regardless of what your pitch deck is about it is important to make your presentation is engaging and of a high quality so that investors are impressed and stay interested in your idea and your pitch deck stands out from the crowd. Investors listen to countless business plans on a daily basis so it is easy for them to get bored. Ensure that your presentation is exciting and doesn’t put your audience to sleep! Think of your pitch deck as posting a photograph on social media, you want to make it short, visual and exciting.
Know Your Figures
One common mistake that individuals make when presenting their pitch is business owners is that they trip up when it comes to statistics and figures. This is something that investors will inevitably ask and so it is paramount that you accurately know your figures so you can seamlessly back up your business idea. For example, know what the main source of income of the business is or knowing how much good money the business would generate over a period of time.
Maintain a Consistent Theme
Maintaining a consistent theme throughout your presentation helps to make it look professional, polished and that you have thought about how you want it to look. For example, keeping the same font size and font style across each slide and if you are wanting to turn a side hustle into a full-time job to earn money you need to be prepared to spend money so it could be beneficial to invest in hiring a graphic designer or a web designer to create a visual presentation if you want to land that amazing job!
Utilise Your Skill-Set
As the saying goes it takes a village to raise a child, or, in this case, to build a business, therefore, it is important to utilise the skill-set of everyone involved in the pitch to make it excellent! For example, if you are a good speaker it makes sense for you to be the one leading the pitch whereas if your colleague has a natural creative flair they should be the one designing the presentation.
Mistakes to Avoid
Sometimes you fall into the trap of making silly mistakes that detract from your business plan or research proposal! These mistakes can, however, be easily avoided!
Don't make it too long
Regardless of how amazing your business idea or research proposal is if your presentation is too long it will automatically make your audience bored and switch off, so condense your facts to a minimum and don’t ramble!
Don't put lots of statistics and numbers in it
While including stats and numbers in your pitch deck is useful for backing up your facts, injecting too many will bamboozle your audience and dominate the presentation.
Don't read from script word for word
Reading words from a script without looking at your audience gives the impression that you are unsure of yourself and that you are not engaging with your audience. No one wants to listen to a monologue! The way around this is to ensure that you have prompt words on flashcards to help you if you forget your line of thought as this also takes away the temptation to read your presentation word for word.
Don't come unprepared
Coming unprepared to a presentation shows your audience that you either do not believe in your idea or that you do not care about it and you will never gain the backing of investors if you are not passionate or do not believe in your own idea.