How to make a pitch deck interactive? Having a pitch deck meeting can be intimidating, and holding the potential investor’s attention is your number one goal.
You might see their eyes stray to their phones to send out a not-so-important email or text message. This can be your worst pitch deck nightmare, but there are a few ways you can grasp their attention, and one of them is to make it interactive.
An interactive presentation is likely to grab the investors’ attention and make them want to participate. There are various strategies for doing this. For instance, you can get the audience to respond to questions and make the audience part of the story.
Or, you could use humor to get them laughing. Keep the investors’ eyes on the presentation and not on their phones with these pitch deck strategies.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Why Make Pitch Deck Presentations Interactive?
The main purpose of interactive presentations is engagement and to keep that audience present in the moment. When you get the investors involved in a conversation, you will know the time you spend on the presentation is not wasted on distractions.
A long presentation (even just 20 minutes) can become uninteresting. The audience will begin to talk to each other, use their cellphones, or lose track of what you are saying.
For the opening of your pitch deck – think of it as the ice breaker. The ice breaker can be a humorous remark or rhetorical question. Or you can have them imagine a scenario you have outlined. It can be challenging to find the perfect hook for your business presentation.
But, once you find that ideal hook where the investors can reset their thoughts, laugh, and relax, you will have them the rest of the way.
Some of the greatest speeches you have ever heard have been those with humor. Having natural charisma and adding plenty of humor will keep the audience engaged.
And interacting with you will get the investors excited about your product. Try to incorporate jokes relevant to the audience and your business so that it fits the narrative.
Plan From the Perspective of the Audience
Think about being an audience member and ask yourself:
- Is my presentation interesting?
- Does my audience know my topic?
- What would make this presentation more interesting?
- What is the size of the audience?
If the audience has not heard of your product or service before, you will need to educate them in the quickest way possible. You’ll do that without taking all the time you need to get the other messages across.
If you pitch to a small group of investors, your pitch can be personal, and there is a lot more interaction. Adjust your pitch and how you make it interactive according to the size of the audience.
Research your investors and find out exactly who you are talking to. If it is a big event, contact the organizers and enquire who gets invited and start there.
If you are pitching to a boardroom of investors, do company research and find out their interests and if they have other investments in the topic.
Your pitch must appear tailored to the needs and interests of the audience. It’s one of the elements of how to make a pitch deck interactive.
Get the Audience Involved
There are various ways you can get your audience to interact with the pitch. You can start with the ice-breaker. Have everybody in the room stand up and introduce themselves to the person next to them.
You can also ask if they can identify a couple of questions they would like you to answer throughout the presentation. Encourage your audience to participate during the speech.
How to Create an Interactive Pitch Deck
Creating an interactive pitch deck will ensure maximum engagement from your audience and, hopefully, get them to open their wallets.
Remember that you are not only selling your product or service to them in hopes they invest – you are selling yourself. Investors are investing in a person just as much as they are investing in a company.
Here is how you can create an interactive pitch deck in a few easy steps:
- The text: Bring up a blank document and type out a summary of the main points you want to cover. By now, you should already have the bulk of your pitch deck planned.
- Choose a platform: Create visual and interactive pitch decks with video and animation to grab the attention of the investors.
- Make the deck interactive: Even though your points are clear on your slide, you can add video and animation. Use these tools to engage with the audience to make it more interactive. Ask a question or two and see how the audience is responding to the pitch.
Ensure that the audience is part of the story. When you tell a story, the investors will be attracted to what you share. You can use storytelling to get the audience involved and make them part of the presentation’s plot.
Keep them hooked until the end to see the outcome. Give the story a clear beginning, middle, and end. So, you will introduce the problem and a resolution that reinforces your main points.
Understand how to make a pitch deck interactive by incorporating these strategies.
Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
Use Video Format
Using a product demo in video format can elicit an emotional reaction in your audience. Videos are a creative way to showcase what your product can do excitingly. In addition, it is more efficient than explaining what you can do in words.
Develop a video of your project demo that tells a story that coincides with the story you have created for your presentation. It can tie everything together – from the slides and the verbal script to the engaging video.
This will have the audience more drawn into your presentation.
Poll the Room
Asking a question to poll the audience is an excellent way to interact with the audience. For example, you can ask a question that shows commonality between everyone in the audience.
Polling the room is also an excellent way to direct the conversation one way or another. The purpose of a poll is not only to get the audience to interact with your presentation but reinforce your points.
It is the perfect live result of what you are sharing with the investors. Polls are almost like a quiz to encourage interaction with the people in the room and your presentation.
Having a live poll will also give the audience a mental break to help them regain attention for the rest of the presentation. Polls make the audience feel like they are part of your presentation and not just a bystander.
Use this move when learning how to make a pitch deck interactive.
Ask Questions to Your Audience
Asking questions throughout the presentation has several benefits:
- Attention: Just when you are about to lose the audience, you can save it by asking questions. They don’t need to get answered by the investors, but you can make them rhetorical. Strategically place a shortlist of questions at the times when attention span may be dropping.
- Interaction: You can determine how involved the audience wants to be and if they are interested in what you have to say.
- Learning: The audience might already have these questions, so asking a rhetorical question and answering it will satisfy their inquiry.
Pausing During a Pitch Deck
Pausing in a presentation carries a lot of weight. It is another way to get the audience to stop and think. Or continue to engage because they may wonder why you stopped talking.
In addition, the investors may appreciate the moment of reflection. Not only does pausing help get the audience back on track if their thoughts have wandered. But it will give you a moment to breathe and gather your thoughts.
As time goes on, some presenters will find themselves rushing through the content, and frequent pauses will bring them right back to a steady pace.
The Dos and Don’ts of a Pitch Deck
Landing that huge investment is your goal, and you have one chance with these investors to make a good impression. Let’s explore the dos and don’ts of a great pitch deck. And, how to make a pitch deck interactive.
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The dos of a pitch deck
- Simplicity is key: Use a lot of white space so the most critical information is absorbed. Use animation, images, and graphics only in places that make sense.
- Focus on the essential slides: Four slides are the most important to investors. They include the cover slide, problem slide, financial slide, and team slide. As the pitch goes on, you will find it getting harder and harder not to add large amounts of information. Keep all the essential information for your script. Focus a lot of your energy and content on these four slides.
- Show traction: You’ll show the investors the kind of progress you are making and the growth you are maintaining. Show how you will spend their money: How do you intend on spending investor money? Show the investors that you and your ideas are worthy of the money, and you plan to spend it wisely. Do you need financing for a prototype, to hire experts, or marketing?
- Feedback: Welcome the feedback that you receive from advisors and your peers. Value their advice because they may have constructive feedback to help you improve your pitch deck.
- Interactive: Do make your pitch deck interactive. Add humor, ask questions, and engage with investors. They are investing in a person, too – not just the product.
The don’ts of a pitch deck
Going too long: If you have a long pitch deck, the investors will be snoozing halfway through. Ideally, you want to have 10-12 slides but no more than 20. Keep it short and to the point.
Too much detail: Dumping a ton of information is a sure way to lose potential investors. They don’t need to know about every employee you have on staff, just the key players and core product. Keep the information to the point.
- Private information: If you are spilling trade secrets that require an NDA, you have made a huge mistake. Don’t share information that you don’t want the world to know.
- Research pitch decks: Now is not the time to reinvent how pitch decks are created. The investors are coming in with the expectation that you have researched pitch decks, their company, and how to deliver the script. Stick to that.
- Forgetting your contact info: The worst thing you can do is walk out of there without providing your contact information. Imagine wowing investors, and they can’t contact you.
- Talk too much: Sure, this is why you are there – to sell yourself and your product. But when investors ask questions, think carefully and strategically about how you respond. Answer their questions thoughtfully and be informative. Don’t ramble about a million unnecessary topics.
- Over-interaction: While you need to have a pitch deck that involves the audience, you can still over-interact. If you are polling the room, you don’t need to do this ten times throughout the pitch. Or have a wise-guy joke at the end of every sentence in hopes that you make them laugh. Be charismatic and plan your interactions.
Designing the Perfect Pitch Deck
There are many reasons to be interactive during a pitch deck. Keep your audience engaged and informed about who you are and what you offer.
Remember to use video where appropriate and poll the room if you notice the audience getting distracted. You are one pitch deck meeting away from landing the whale and getting an investment for your startup.
Do thorough research and create the perfect pitch deck and write a mind-blowing script. Keep the pitch deck updated before every meeting because things change, and you don’t want to show irrelevant data.
Update all the images, graphs, statistics, and results. If you’re unsure how to create the perfect pitch deck, hire a professional to help with the design and content.
Don’t go unprepared, and ensure you and your startup are presented professionally. Make sure you know how to make a pitch deck interactive before entering that room.
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