When someone asks me for an introduction to my network with an idea that needs to be pitched, I noticed that I can be as effective in explaining the basics of an idea in a few lines in an email as an entire slide deck.

Why?

I really think about my “audience” (usually a friend or business relationship that has a lot of prior knowledge or interest in the thing I am pitching, otherwise I would not bother to make the introduction). Out go the buzzwords, the market stats, directly raising the points that are unusual, surprising, unexpected, to someone who has a decent understanding of this type of business.

Personal recommendations can be much more powerful in an informal email between friends. You cannot put “she was only the junior assistant on the team, but believe me, she single-handedly delivered that project” on a slide.

You can raise risks in an honest way that are not always detrimental to the pitch: “the whole thing hinges on whether they can get product costs down, but I think they have a good shot at it”.

Next time when you write a pitch deck, ask yourself the question, what would a friend who is doing you a favour have to write in the cover of the email? Read the resulting text, and maybe it inspires you to change your pitch deck as well.

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

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