Don’t Overdo it
Overloading your slides with text is not a good thing to do. This common mistake can often lead to two scenarios which can kill your whole pitch. The first is that the audience becomes disengaged and loses interest in what you are trying to say. The second is the tendency for the presenter to look at his own slides and read from them, another way to disengage your audience.
A good pitch will see the presenter know the slides inside out through preparation. The content of the presentation shouldn’t necessarily be the same content that is spoken. Some of the best pitches are when presenters have this formula correct. You are trying to engage your audience through your talking and presenting, the presentation should just be some eye candy to back up your spoken word.
Great Pitches to Learn From
First up, we have Henrik Zillmer presenting for AirHelp at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2014. In the pitch; available here. You can see that Henrik is confident and knows everything that he is going to say. He doesn’t look at the presentation once until the demo starts. He is looking around and using his body language to engage as much of the audience as possible. The slides which have text are often just one sentence. Henrik often repeats these for emphasis to show the power of the company and the effectiveness of how they solve the problem of air compensation.
Second up, we have Steve Jobs. This guy knows how to build a buzz around a pitch! Here is the start of the presentation for the original iPhone; available here. Shortly into the video you can see that the audience are eating out of his hands. He uses various techniques with repeating keywords and bringing a level of humor to the pitch which is great for audience engagement. Also note, that Steve Jobs also is never shy to mention his competitors products. They are a core part of the pitch and presentation and he never talks down on them. He simply explains how the product he is presenting is a lot better. Can you believe that the first iPhone is still only 7 years old!