1. Start with an insight
Start your pitch with an insight or observation, tell your audience how you arrived at your idea. It will really give your idea some grounding, and show you know the market and have done your research. The insight doesn’t have to be complex and drawn out, it can be just a couple of lines with an accompanying image to bring it to life.
2. Use emotive imagery
Often people will win a piece of business or sell in an idea based on emotional imagery; they are selling a feeling, an emotion along with their idea. The best type of imagery to put in your pitch deck is positive, uplifting imagery of people at a festival, smiling, happy and living life to the full. Your audience see these images associated with your idea and make the connection that your idea will create this type of feeling for them too.
3. Keep it simple
Yes, everyone will tell you this one. But it especially reins true with pitching ideas. If people don’t get it, or if it feels way to complex their eyes will glaze over and they will turn off your idea. This is particularly relevant when pitching complex digital ideas. You must remember that you are very familiar with your idea and have been working with it for a while. You need to keep in mind that the people you are pitching to have never seen the idea and may need some time to digest and understand it in its simplest form.
4. Show your idea in situation
Having your idea written or explained on paper is great, but showing your idea in a real situation with people using it and interacting with it is better. If someone doesn’t get what your idea is, showing it in situation can be a very powerful, simple way of explaining your idea. For example if your idea is a mobile app, show a close up visual of person holding a phone in their hand with a mock up of your app on the screen.
5. Create a demo version of your idea
Create a mock-up or demo of the idea, it doesn’t have to be the real thing if you are selling a hard product, maybe just a really good 3D rendering of it on screen or mocked up on paper. It’s about applying a certain amount of development of the idea bringing it closer to realization. Show that this idea can be real.
6. Use simple diagrams
Another way of selling in an idea is to create a diagram showing a broad customer journey or user experience involving your idea. Not all ideas will require this, but some that are a little more complex and harder to understand can really be sold in well with the use of a few simple diagrams. Be sure to make them attractive and easily understandable with the use of basic, iconic imagery.
7. Include your audience in the deck
If you are pitching an idea to a particular brand or person, it is always a good idea to include their brand colours, logo or pictures of their product in your pitch deck. It shows that you have prepared the deck especially for them, and you haven’t just been shipping the same generic deck around to everyone.
8. Make your pitch deck attractive
You will hear a lot of people say it’s all about the idea and not how pretty it looks; well it’s about both. A great idea presented in a beautifully attractive, simple manner is a lot more powerful than a great idea presented in a crappy way. You have to remember that some people can’t see beyond a rough execution, and a lot of time these people are the key decision makers, if they like the look of your deck they will be happy to forward it on. Make sure it looks fantastic.
9. Show that your idea is scalable
Whether you’re pitching an advertising idea, a new product or a website, show examples of your idea working in other markets, channels, and variations on the existing idea. You need to be able to demonstrate that your idea is scalable, show them that your idea has legs.
10. Know your presentation environment
Make sure you know well in advance what facilities will be available at the place of pitching your idea. Some offices will have all the latest technology with huge screens to present your deck on. Other offices will simply have a table and chairs. You need to be prepared with the best format for presenting your idea whether it’s a copy of your deck on a flash drive or print outs mounted on boards. Don’t be caught off guard, you need to be comfortable and prepared to present your idea in any environment. Lastly get a gauge on how may people will be there, from your point of view it’s best practice not to bring an army of people to present, a lot of the time it may only be one or two people you are presenting to, and it can be overwhelming if you bring 10 people of your own team to a meeting.