Many, many, many pitch presentations have come through the digital doors of Ethos3 for a redesign. The goal of these decks is usually to garner funding for their innovative concept, whether it’s a software, app, or device. Some of our clients come to us with a fully completed deck that just needs some finishing touches, others with a paragraph of notes and a general idea of what they want.

As with most of our clients, those who bring us a completed presentation know that something is not quite right with the content or design, but aren’t sure how to refine it. If you have a pitch presentation that feels “off,” run through this list of 5 no-no’s to see if it’s guilty and needs refinement:

1) “About Us” Tramples “The Problem”

If your presentation start with an About Us slide, you need to reconsider the flow of your talk. Investors have limited time, and like most of us, limited attention spans. They should be able to see the heart of the issue you are trying to solve right out the gate. Why would they be interested in a company they have no context for? Start with the problem, then show off your chops once they are hooked.

2) Missing Call to Action

The inherent goal of a pitch presentation is a financial commitment. So why do so many pitch presentations avoid being clear about what they need and how the investor can help bring their vision to life? Don’t be shy to give an honest number, and don’t neglect to include a call to action at the end of the presentation. Your audience needs to know how much they need to invest and when.

3) Too Much Team

A pitch presentation usually doesn’t exceed 15-20 slides and is meant to convince an audience, right? Then why do so many presentations dedicate 3-4 slides to paragraph-long team slides, detailing every accomplishment of every person who ever worked on the project? A pitch presentation is not a resume. Only include a line of crucial detail about the most important team members, and then move on to what really matters to your audience.

4) Overly Complex

A pitch presentation is the natural extension of an elevator pitch, except with slides and a little more time for preparation. All the audience really needs to know is the current problem, how you plan on solving it, and what they can do to help your cause. Don’t overfill the elevator with data, tangential backstory, or too much explanation about how your solution works. We didn’t need to know how the iPod worked when it first appeared to throw all of our money at it; all that mattered was that it worked.

5) “Me Too” Design

If you want your pitch presentation to stand out, you won’t get there by using the same templates that everyone has been using in your industry since 2003. Don’t Google the way that a presentation should look; write your own rules. Or most preferably, hire a designer that knows how to take your pitch to the next level.

5 Pitch Presentation No-No’s

Want to learn more about delivering the perfect pitch presentation? Check out these related articles from our archives:

How to Craft A Perfect Presentation Pitch

5 Quick Tips for Making a Sales Presentation

4 Must-Have PowerPoint Template Slides For a Pitch Presentation

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