If I sit down with a client, in almost all cases, the pitch of a company comes out fine verbally. People know how to tell their story. The order might not be perfect, there are some repetitions, here and there one of my questions needs to be clarified, but all in all, in 30 minutes we got a pretty good understanding of what is happening.

My work is to translate that story into visuals. And given the above, there are different types of slides.

Some slides are absolutely crucial to understanding the pitch. These are the ones that people are opening their laptops for, and pull up page 37:

  • Screen shots and images of applications/products, in many cases it is actually unclear what the product does. This is specifically the case in internet applications, or medical devices where a picture of the actual product explains a lot.
  • Data visualization that emphasizes how big something really is compared to something else, how fast things are growing or declining. Visuals do a much better job here than spoken word
  • Complicated relationships, competitive positionings, IT architectures. These cases require a map on which both brains can sync to disentangle these complex structures.

Other slides are mere backup for the spoken word. They help to make the story more powerful, but are not essential: large photographs of metaphors (endless road, squeezed orange, confused customer) or simple text charts that support the flow of the story.

The purpose of the last group of charts is 1) to give your company a professional look & feel, and 2) make it possible for people to read/digest the story without you being present.