Don’t give the same boring slideshows. Users can’t help but be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of presentation decks on Venngage when they come across the site. But how will they overcome it and create a compelling presentation that investors will be drawn to?
It’s not necessary to include animations for every word in the presentation, here are some suggestions for making presentations stand out and examples of a business pitch.
1. Make the slide deck visual.
Doesn’t it take a lot of energy just to read text online when the eyes get tired? Designers use white space to separate blocks of information and force the reader to take a break every so often, allowing them to process what they just read. It’s no different in presentations. Use images and video to help illustrate points—even if it means nothing more than breaking up chunks of text with an image or bullet point. This little bit goes a long way towards improving a presentation deck.
2. Use simple language.
Ever notice that books written for children (or even foreigners learning English) tend to be much simpler in structure? Authors write these books using shorter sentences, simpler words, and larger fonts. The same rules apply to pitch decks. Make sure that the text is big enough to read and sentences are short and to the point. Resist the urge to use words people won’t understand.
3. Make good use of screenshots.
If there’s one thing great about a Smartphone, it’s that people can always have an image ready at hand when explaining something on-the-go. A picture is truly worth a thousand words in some cases so screenshots are an easy way to illustrate a point.
4. Don’t use tons of bullet points.
Even though it’s a small screen, people should still be able to read the content being presented at a glance. Avoid using more than three or four bullet points per slide—any more and people won’t take the time to read them all before moving on. Plus, there’s no need to make the text any smaller as it is already! Try filling the rest of the slides with graphics or other information that supplements those main bullet points.
5. Make sure the deck is legible from afar.
Always test out the presentation deck. Open up PDF Reader and drag a box around the entire presentation to make sure the text is legible from a distance. If not, add more space (i.e., add more white space between lines of speech and bullet points) or switch fonts until it looks right.
6. Don’t force the slides into one static size.
Slideshows can be viewed on all sorts of devices with small screens: iPhones, Android phones, laptops, and tablets—the list goes on and on! Since some viewers may need to zoom in to read the text, avoid pre-sizing the slideshow at a specific pixel height and width for two reasons: 1) it makes it so small that people have to double-tap or pinch/zoom-in to read what’s displayed, and 2) people with special needs may need more vertical space to read the text.
7. Don’t include too much text on one slide.
Avoid cramming lots of text onto one slide because it makes it difficult for people to take away information at a glance—and that’s what the presentation is all about! If the presenter can talk about something instead of writing it word-for-word, go for the former option and let the audience “read” or “listen”. It also helps them stay engaged and feel like they’re part of the conversation rather than just onlookers. Although most people love to read, make sure each sentence is short and sweet. Don’t go overboard on the amount of text in a pitch deck.
8. Reuse presentations.
Take advantage of social media by embedding a presentation directly into a blog post—just be sure to check out how others have done it to get an idea for best practices! For even more exposure, try sharing with friends or family who might link back to it leading more people to see the work. Of course, if there’s not enought time, just email the PDF version over—it’ll still look great on a mobile device.
9. Make a great first impression.
Want people to be interested in the presentation, right? Then make sure to include something interesting up front! Be creative—use a striking image or cultural reference that sets the tone for the rest of the presentation so the audience knows exactly where they stand on the topic. However, don’t force it because it might risk turning the audience away instead of having them take action!
10. Keep the design simple by using one font and clean lines
Having too many different fonts is distracting—especially if they don’t match up with each other—and makes the presentation appear unprofessional. That being said, it’s important to choose typefaces that are readable at big sizes (in other words, make sure all text can be seen from afar). Avoid also really thin or heavy types because these styles are often hard to read on small screens.
To create a cohesive yet professional look, consider trying one font that is used consistently for titles, subtitles, and body text. In terms of layout, use a single line to separate the slide titles from the main content on each page, or else divide it into two lines if it’s too crowded.
11. Make important information stand out by using color effectively.
Since fonts are usually designed in black and white, do not set text in dark letters against a dark background because people won’t be able to read it! Instead, try color-coding certain pieces of information so they immediately draw attention when someone is glancing over what is written. However, make sure not to go overboard since the presentation should look professional at all times—not like something made by a child.
12. Keep it simple by including only one call to action at the end of the presentation!
A slide that asks people to do something (download an ebook, visit a blog post, etc.) is fine—just avoid telling them what to do more than once throughout the entire talk! That’s confusing and annoying and will certainly turn people away rather than get them fired up about the presentation. That being said, make sure to include all the important information they need on the last slides such as email address, phone number, or mailing list signup form.
Remember some of the best talks are the ones which people never stop talking about. So use a business proposal template from Venngage and make a great investment deck that’ll convince the investors to say “Yes”!