Crafting the Perfect Pitch Deck: PowerPoint Presentations that Connect with Your Clients

April 13, 2013

Picture courtesy of: Powerpoint Presentation

Connecting with your clients through PowerPoint presentations

One of the key things I learned from my prior roles in management consulting is that each organization had a distinct way of how they present information. One of the chief challenges I had was “speaking the client’s language,” not only in terms of fitting in culturally, but ensuring my deliverables matched the organization’s tone and standards.
Your content (PR materials, White Papers, and especially client PowerPoints) serve as a brand ambassador. They represent the look and feel of your organization and reflect how you think.

So what are some best practices for crafting PowerPoint presentations that fit your client’s corporate culture?

  1. Ask your main point of contact for a presentation he/she can share with you, preferably something that has been presented to senior management.
  2. Once you have the presentation, review it for the following:
    • How visual are the slides? Does the organization prefer dense text slides or do they prefer to use visuals to simplify things?
    • How are the presentations structured? Some organizations like to see the process laid out (what we did, how we did it) before seeing the final conclusions. Others like to see the main conclusions of the presentation at the beginning in order to center the discussion around those key findings.
    • How much third party research (IDC, Gartner, Forrester) or case studies are included in their presentations? Every organization has their “go to” data source. One of my favorite quotes during my consulting engagements was “No one ever got fired for hiring or quoting McKinsey and Company.” If you’re pitching to a company that isn’t familiar with your technology or approach, give them some sources they respect to validate your approach.
    • Is there a corporate initiative that your solution can help address? If so, include it in your presentation. Final decision makers love to see their work quoted, and it shows you went the extra mile to understand their business needs. Of course, make sure with your end client that this tact is considered appropriate.

Picking the right delivery format

Once you’ve created a PowerPoint deck, the next task is delivering it to your audience. It is important to think about how each client has their own preferred presentation styles.
Some companies prefer the usual format of someone standing in front of the projection screen and making their pitch. Others favor a more intimate setting where there is roundtable type discussion. Ask you client contact for their advice on what works best for their organization.

Corporate Strategy, Sales Operations

Sudip is in charge of Corporate Strategy, Sales Operations at <a href="">Alegeus Technologies</a>. Previously, he worked at OpenView from 2012 until 2014 with portfolio companies to provide insights on the markets they operate in, their customers, and drive development of business strategies.