Founder of the Article 10 Presentations, Lyndon Nicholson, gives some essential advice on presenting your ideas in the pitch room.
Walking into a business pitch is like entering the ultimate battlefield. You are up against your fiercest competitors who are offering similar, if not better services than you. And you have no idea what they may have up their sleeve. So how do you avoid that that gutting phone call telling you you’ve been pipped to the post by a close rival?
For most of us, the opportunity to communicate, to impress and to really sell oneself and services doesn’t come along every day. So when an opportunity does knock, it’s difficult to understand why there is such a lack of thought and effort put into so many presentations.
Being armed with a high impact PowerPoint presentation can be the winning factor in delivering a business pitch. Many dismiss Microsoft PowerPoint as simply being a basic background supporting tool to a pitch presentation. However, if used to its full potential, it can blow the socks off an audience and can leave you miles ahead of your competition.
So here are a few ways to give your pitch the wow-factor.
1. Look and feel
A presentation with a look and feel that corresponds with your message and brand is vital. From corporate to creative, the style of your presentation can be completely bespoke to your message and can add a real audience experience. Your design can incorporate your brand colours, fonts and imagery.
All of those nitty gritty things play an important part in the overall look of a presentation. Ensuring these are constant throughout each template design is essential and can work together to leave a lasting impact on your audience.
2. Media enhancement
Using different forms of media such as high impact visuals, animation and video are hugely effective in engaging people. Combining your message with impressive animation and graphics can really reinforce its core messages and ensures your ideas are working there way into the minds of the decision makers.
Eye-catching imagery can bond a message in the minds of your audience. Displaying dull facts and figures into digestible and memorable charts and graphs can ensure your content is optimised for clarity and impact. A video can enhance a message by adding curiosity, as a viewer of your video will want to find out what happens next.
Business leaders and decision makers see countless numbers of new ideas and proposals presented to them on a daily basis, so are often hard to leave an impression on.
Your idea needs to have an original and unique angle, and so does your script. Ensuring your presentation has a clear structure and concise content is essential. Relying on the power of speech can sometimes lead you off track and consequently can lose peoples attention. There is no time for this in the pitch room.
Your script must be clear and in a logical order. Your content must be analysed to ensure relevance and clarity and set out in a way that is easily digestible.
Practice makes perfect, however to be on the safe side, PowerPoint also has a feature you may not of heard of called ‘Presenter View’. This allows you to keep your notes hidden from the audience screen and only displayed on your laptop screen. So you can wow the crowd with your amazing presenting skills without them ever knowing you had assistance.
A PowerPoint presentation has to flow. How it is structured is fundamental, as going from one point to the next is when you can lose the attention of your audience. A well designed PowerPoint presentation that has a beginning, middle and end can focus your message around its key points.
An essential factor in delivering a successful pitch is working on your vocal delivery to ensure the person at the back of the room can hear you. And don’t just rehearse your lines, adding personality to your delivery keeps the audience engaged.
Plenty of rehearsal is essential as you need to know your presentation inside out. Above all, believe in what you are pitching, as if you don’t have passion in your pitch, no one else will.
So, the next time you are about to present an idea, proposal or pitch and are hoping to leave an impression, be sure to consider all of these things in your presentation design. It may be that one thing your competitors are missing. With a confident attitude and powerful PowerPoint presentation to support your team, you are more than half way to the finish line.
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