Keep your presentation short. It can never be too short. If it’s a good one, your audience will ask questions to extend it. A good guide to follow when building your slides is called the 10/20/30 rule. It consists of
- 10 slides
- 20 minutes
- 30-point font
There’s no need to share everything about your company. All you want to communicate is enough to get you to the next step – whatever that may be.
If you’re looking for funding, it’s meeting with more partners. If it’s for a sale, it’s a test installation or small purchase. For partnering, it’s meeting with more people in the company.
Remember, your purpose is to stimulate interest, not close the deal.
The content behind each slide will differ depending on who you’re pitching to, but there are six slides that should be in all presentations.
Include the company name, your name and title, and contact information. Since they can read the slide, this is where you explain what your company does.
Describe the pain you’re going to get rid of.
Show how you actually get rid of the pain and make meaning. Get to the point and do go in-depth.
Explain how you make money and your value proposition. Talk about customers who already use your product here.
Describe the magic behind your product. Keep text to a minimum and include lots of diagrams.
List the key players, board of directors and advisors, and major investors. You want your audience to feel comfortable doing business with you.
Even though most meetings are made for an hour, you should finish your presentation in 20 minutes. Why?
If the previous meeting is running late (as many do), you won’t actually get a full hour. The other reason is because you want to leave enough time for discussion and answering questions.
This applies to any presentation in which you use a projector. A good rule of thumb is to divide the oldest person in the audience’s age by two, and use that font size.
If you feel it’s necessary to use small font, you’re including too much information. Since people can read faster than you talk, they’ll read ahead of you rather than listen to your message. Your slides should enhance your words, not repeat them.
In addition to the 10/20/30 rule, here are two more tips for better PowerPoint presentations.
Use a Dark Background
This communicates seriousness and substance. A light background, on the other hand, is amateurish and hard on the eyes. Just think: Have you ever seen movie credits using a white background and black text?
Don’t display long blocks of text. Instead, use bullets to show short chunks of text that describe the main point.
And don’t show them all at once. Build on them like this:
Click your pointer, show bullet 1, and explain. Click, bullet 2, explain. And so on.
This way, the focus remains on you, and not the slides.
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