Slidegenius, Inc.

Save Your Deck: Methods to Recover an Unsaved PowerPoint File

Sheer panic—that’s probably your first reaction when you realize that you couldn’t save the PowerPoint file you were working on. Maybe the power went out, or your computer unexpectedly crashed. Perhaps you were too preoccupied that you didn’t think to hit “Save.” Whatever the reason, you’ve suddenly lost hours of hard work and have no clue how to get it all back.
Luckily, there’s no reason to stress over losing an unsaved PowerPoint file. Using the latest versions of PowerPoint, you can easily retrieve and recover all your hard work. Follow these steps to recover a PowerPoint file you accidentally lost:

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Method One: Recover Unsaved Presentations

If you were interrupted before saving your PowerPoint file, you could simply look for it in the Microsoft Unsaved Files folder. Go to the File tab, make sure you’re on Recent, and click on Recover Unsaved Presentations. The icon is right below the list of folders under Recent Places.


Everything in the Unsaved folder is a temporary file. Make sure you recover and save everything you need because you might lose it after a few days.

Method Two: AutoRecover

If you’ve been periodically saving your work but was interrupted before you could save specific changes, you can retrieve your PowerPoint file using the AutoRecover function. First, check if you have it enabled. Go to the File tab, click on Options and go to Save. Make sure your options are similar to those in this picture:
If you don’t have AutoRecover enabled, there’s no other way to retrieve the changes you made to your PowerPoint file. You will have to redo your work from the last save. But if everything looks good, you can then follow these steps:
1.) Copy the file destination path in the same dialogue box.
2.) Open Windows Explorer, paste the path on the address bar, and hit Enter.
To avoid losing crucial information, ensure AutoRecover is enabled every time you create a PowerPoint deck.

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ConclusionSGBlog_SaveYourDeck_Supporting image_SG01_JE-01

Retrieving an unsaved PowerPoint file is a no-brainer as long as you know these basic recovery methods.
You can either open the “Recover Unsaved Presentations” found in the “Recent Places” or use the AutoRecover function to check where that unsaved document must be hiding.
Learn these tricks by heart so you don’t have to worry about getting your presentation back!

Twitter: Lessons from Social Media

If there is one social media platform that has changed the way we connect with the world around us, in only 140 characters or less, only one network comes to mind.

Twitter was founded all the way back in 2006, when social media started to take the tech world by storm. Like many young startups, Twitter’s popularity didn’t start growing until a few years later. It’s now one of the ten most visited sites on the Internet.

With over 500 million users and with over 400 million tweets sent daily, the platform has been noted as the “SMS” of the Internet. The application is simply designed to engage and connect users with hashtags and trending topics that spike during notable world events such as The Olympics
twitter follow me logo

Social media strategists now use Twitter to reinforce their client’s (or own brands) marketing efforts. They take advantage of the platform to boost their presence on the Internet. To successfully use Twitter there are a few rules and regulations one must follow. Some of these guidelines are also applicable in creating an effective PowerPoint presentation

If you pay attention, there are a few similarities between creating a well-rounded “tweet” and a successful presentation.

Step 1: Simplify Your Thoughts

A tweet can only be 140 characters or less. This means your information has to be condensed and minimized to fit this requirement. A great presentation is one that is simplified. It only has minimal bullets, text, images, and animation.

Overloading your audience with too much of these will distract them from understanding your content. Before you go ahead and add extreme fonts or a fancy template, think about how less is more and how this can positively affect your presentation.

Step 2: Get With What’s Trending

Twitter is known for staying on top of prominent world topics with phrases or words that are “trending” or being tweeted by many users. Try to apply this concept to your presentation ideas. Utilize culturally in tune twitter trendsgraphics, stories or videos within your presentation to better speak to your audience. Stay on top of the news and understand what’s going on in your audience’s culture. What do they know? What do they believe in? Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to connect with your audience at a higher level.

Step 3: Get Your Audience to Follow

Within the Twitter world, your “followers” are the equivalent to your friends on Facebook or connections on LinkedIn. You have to constantly engage and entertain your audience or followers if you want them to keep following. The same can be said for presentations.

You want to be constantly interacting with your audience the entire time. Ask them questions. Pause at the end of presentations to get feedback from them. You have to appeal to your audience over everything, if not you are basically speaking to an empty room.



“Keeping Your Audience in Mind : The 4 Essential Questions.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 11, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014.
“Study Shows Simplicity Is Key When Creating a PowerPoint Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. July 24, 2013. Accessed January 23, 2014.
Twitter. Accessed January 23, 2014.

Oscar Speech Sounds A Lot Like…..

Cue the famed actresses in overly expensive ball gowns. Cue the undeniably sarcastic and quirky host. Cue the applauses. It’s awards season in Hollywood.

The most prestigious, of the film awards, is of course the much anticipated Oscars. Every year The Academy nominates a few fortunate actors and actresses who are praised for their works in major motion pictures. It is a special award that every actor dreams of receiving. Only a few, however, are lucky enough to actually walk on stage and accept the gold statue themselves. After the nerve-wracking tearing of the envelope the winners are then presented on stage to deliver a speech. This speech defines their Oscar moments even as it is only done in less than two minutes.

So what can we compare an Oscar speech to?



An Elevator Pitch

Short. Simple. Sweet. And most of all, straight to the point. An elevator pitch presents a product or service in as less time as possible – usually under two minutes.

An Oscar speech follows the similar concept. It delivered quickly, with the winner wrapping up his speech of gratitude and thanks in a very small amount of time. There are a few similar adjectives that we can use to compare a successful elevator pitch (which is usually paired with a PowerPoint presentation and a well rounded Oscar speech:

1. Short

An elevator pitch, just like an Oscar speech, should be between 30 seconds to two minutes. You should impose a strict time limit to your pitches. Drawing out your pitch will make your audience become disinterested in your points and, worse, stop paying attention.

As much as possible, get your points across swiftly and avoid using fillers. Condense your content into the simplest form possible within your pitch. Your goal is to allow audience to understand and learn.



2. Memorable

Like many elevator pitches that investors and or potential clients hear daily, there are dozens of Oscar speeches going on throughout the night of the Academy Awards. A good pitch is one that is unique and becomes memorable over the other various pitches, one that stands out.

If your idea gets lost in a blur with the rest, it wasn’t a very successful one. You always remember the most unique speech of the night when you watch The Academy Awards. The same can be said for the most unique and successful pitch.

 85th Annual Academy Awards - Show

3. Passionate

An effective acceptance speech is one that is delivered with passion and pride. It simply draws you in. You can apply the same principles to an elevator pitch.

While a well-rounded Oscar speech ends with a riveting and memorable closing line, your pitch should end with a passionate power statement. When delivering a pitch, you want to present yourself to your audience as being as credible as possible. You can earn your credibility by pitching with plenty of passion.



Argetsinger, Amy. “Nine Oscar Speeches That Changed the World.” Washington Post. February 22, 2013. Accessed January 20, 2014.
Ums, Likes and You Knows: Avoiding Fillers in Your Presentation.” SlideGenius, Inc. August 21, 2013. Accessed January 20, 2014.

Olympians Can Teach Presenters a Thing or Two

Olympians are no ordinary athletes. They embody the qualities of an essential role model; an individual who represents their country and values in a positive and inspirational light. Not only are these characters unbelievably talented, but they are also a true description of a genuine champion.

With Sochi 2014 quickly approaching, Olympians from all corners of the globe will join together in Russia competing in various winter sports such as skiing, figure skating, snowboarding, and hockey. These athletes have devoted their months, and even years, to rigorous training and practice. Their hard work and dedication will soon pay off as the XXII Olympic Winter Games becomes their time to present.
Embracing the qualities that are associated with hardworking, well-respected Olympians will allow you to become a more effective presenter in the long run. Whether you’re speaking in front of a board of investors or pitching a sale to potential clients, perseverance and dedication will set you apart from the rest and allow your presentation to become effective and memorable.

There are a few questions to ask yourself before you step out on the ice or snow and present. These are the vital traits and questions Olympians from all backgrounds share in order to become gold medalists. Prior to your next PowerPoint presentation give yourself a few minutes to ask yourself these winning questions.

Have you trained adequately?

Olympians dedicate their entire lives in preparation for the big games. Long hours of training, dieting and exercise become their daily routine. A question to always ask yourself prior to your presentation is: How well prepared are you? Here are a few other guiding questions:

  • Will my audience be able to understand my main points?
  • Is this presentation marketable?
  • Does my pitch flow accordingly with my slides?

Do you have a strong will to win?

Olympians must have a passionate desire to go for the gold and win; take this mentality and apply it to your presentations. Though you may not necessarily, “win”, a gold medal you should have an aspiration to be the best, and be

Though you may not necessarily, “win”, a gold medal you should have an aspiration to be the best, and be your best. Your competition may not be visible at the time, but the audience will surely be comparing your presentation to other’s they’ve witnessed in the past.

Are you willing to accept the challenge?

Just as Olympic medalists overcome challenges during training and during the actual games, be prepared to accept any faults that may arise during your presentation. You might have a difficult question from an audience member or just a hard subject to tackle, in general, but going into the presentation with the mindset that things could, and may, go wrong will allow you to be better prepared.

You might have a difficult question from an audience member or just a hard subject to tackle, in general. But going into the presentation with the mindset that things could, and may, go wrong will allow you to be better prepared.

Are you Inspirational?

We’ve all be inspired by Olympic medalists such as, Gabby Douglas or Apolo Ohno, who’ve fearlessly decorated themselves with gold medals over the past years.

Learn from athletes like these, how can you inspire your audience? What makes your message different? What can you teach your audience? These concepts can push you in the right direction to be memorable, a concept that is crucial in presentation giving.



Sochi 2014.” Accessed January 15, 2014.
Why Your Presentation Needs to Be These 3 Words.SlideGenius, Inc. January 5, 2014. Accessed January 15, 2014.

Overcoming a Public Speaking Disaster: A Lesson from Michael Bay

If you have been paying attention to recent pop culture news feeds lately, you may have heard of the phenomenon known as, “The Michael Bay Meltdown.”

During a Samsung CES press event that introduced their new 150-inch model television, the famed director was supposed to describe the product in detail. He started out great. When the teleprompter failed, however, he decided to just give up and casually walk off stage. If you haven’t had a chance to see the viral video, you can check it out here.

The fear of speaking in front of many people is a fear that most of us share. Whether it’s in front of an audience of one or a few hundred, public speaking can be intensely nerve-wracking. It causes any normal human being to experience moments of sheer panic. The best ways to learn from your presentation mistakes are to actually make them and adhere to these changes later down the road.

Though Michael Bay blamed the teleprompter failing for his public speaking woes, being the presentation specialists that we are, there are various lessons to take away from his blunder that could have, and will happen, to any presenter at any time.

1. Don’t Memorize a Script

Memorizing a script isn’t always good when it comes to public speaking. Talking points are far different than following an actual script or prompt, and focusing on memorizing your verbiage will allow for more opportunities to slip up and freeze. Though you should always be prepared with a script, don’t focus on remembering your content word for word.

Try to focus on describing and elaborating your information with your slides. If you slip up or get lost, your slides are there to highlight your talking points and act as an outline — which is crafted in your storyboard. Improvisation is always a great alternative if you slip up!

The mistake that Michael Bay made was that he was so focused on doing a word for word delivery. Unfortunately, it only caused him to freeze up. If he had just improvised his speech, this would’ve helped him get past the situation.

2. Being Honest Will Help You in The Long Run

Everyone is bound to slip up and make mistakes, especially with public speaking. Apologizing to your audience and throwing in some laughter will show how honest and sincere you are – and this is key to being a credible presenter.

If you can’t remember what to say, or mess up your words, just laugh it off to ease the situation then apologize and move forward. Chances are your audience wouldn’t have even noticed! If you get frustrated, just take a deep breath and continue to speak. Just giving up and walking off stage like Michael Bay did shows a lack of maturity and preparation.

3. Own Up to Your Mistakes

Michael Bay made a monumental mistake by announcing to his audience that the teleprompter failed. Never let your audience become aware of your faults. This not only takes away your credibility but shows them that you are not responsible enough to fix the errors yourself.

If technical difficulties occur with the PowerPoint presentation, a public speaking professional will step up and engage with the audience until the problem is solved.


All in all, there is no way you can prevent a presentation or a public speaking disaster from happening. Things will go wrong, you’ll get nervous and forget your words sometimes. But giving up entirely is never the proper, or professional, solution.



Watch: Director Michael Bay’s CES Fail.” Accessed January 13, 2014.

The Similarities Between Presentations and Advertisments : Super Bowl Edition

With Super Bowl XLVIII in the near future, this brings the excitement millions of Americans will come to share on February 2, 2014, as two national football teams will go head to head in one of the most highly televised programs of the year.

Apart from the notoriety of the game itself, between the AFC and NFC champions battling it out for the esteemed title, the Super Bowl is also known for creative, humorous advertisements that air during game breaks. We can expect to see some of the most well-known brands putting their best foot forward in their most ingenious and creative commercial installments of the year.

These infamous advertisements share various similarities to what can be described as successful and effective PowerPoint presentations. Compiling a presentation that speaks to your audiences and engages them is a similar concept that should be applied to distinguishing an innovative commercial that markets and intrigues viewers. Below are a few shared examples that both successful Super Bowl commercials and presentations have in common.

super bowl 48

Emotion Plays a Part

A good presentation is one that is memorable, and a memorable presentation is one that evokes emotion. Audience members are always captivated by content that is presented with emotion, which can be done by sharing a story or moving visuals. The same concept is applicable to an effective commercial as the brand’s focus is to connect with the audience on an emotional level. After all, the purpose of an advertisement is to sell. Appealing to the consumer’s emotion can make them feel connected to your product or message and in turn, generate sales.

Convey a Message

Every presentation should have a definitive message and this should be clearly repeated throughout your PowerPoint presentation. Having too many themes or conflicting ideas will leave your audience confused: you should attempt to actually teach them something. It’s important to stay on the same page with your audience throughout the entire presentation. The same can be said for a successful commercial, a good Super Bowl advertisement conveys a great message that not only covers what product or service it’s selling but the story behind it.

Become Memorable

Everyone’s favorite Super Bowl commercials are the ones they remember. Your PowerPoint presentation is a compilation of several different components, including graphics, statistics, bullets and talking points. As the presenter, it’s your job to carefully select these in order to project the purposes and themes you want your audience to remember overall. The most memorable Super Bowl commercial of all time was the Apple 1984 Introduction of the Mac Computer. You can watch the commercial here

What’s your favorite Super Bowl commercial? Comment below and tell us why!



Apple 1984 Super Bowl Commercial Introducing Macintosh ComputerYouTube. Accessed January 10, 2014.
Met Life StadiumAccessed January 10, 2014.

Maintain Audience Attention With This One Technique

Catching someone’s attention is one thing. Keeping them interested is another.

So here’s your challenge: What can you do to maintain audience attention? It’s almost an unmanageable task due to different factors. For one, every audience member analyzes and processes information differently. This makes appealing to all types of thinkers quite a daunting task.

Another issue is that people have this aversion to sales talks, even if you are simply selling them a particular idea, not a product. So above everything, it’s imperative that your audience learns something interesting about your message instead. There is one rule of thumb that can help you make sure your presentation is above all, understandable….

Put Yourself in Their Shoes



When drafting up a presentation ask yourself this very simple question throughout the preparation of your PowerPoint. Will my points and train of thought be able to hold audience attention and keep them interested? Is this information useful to them? Is there too much content on this slide? Will they comprehend my message?

But placing yourself in the role of your audience will help guide you to think outside the box. Putting everything in their perspective, when you are outlining and creating your presentation, will not only help you cut down excess (and useless) information but also allow you to design a better PowerPoint.

Selfishness Hinders Audience Connections

While most of us subconsciously create our work in the mindset of thinking about us – think about them instead. Take this theory and apply this to your next presentation, you can practice it by going over your finished presentation and jot down notes at places you may think could use some editing and re-designing.

See if you are wholly interested throughout your PowerPoint presentation, and if your mind seems to wander at moments where information isn’t digestible or understandable. Take that into account because it is likely that your audience’s mind would wander at those exact same moments.


To maintain audience attention for a designated period of time does seem almost impossible. With breakthrough statistics categorizing the average adult attention span at a mere 5-12 minutes long, it makes sense for any professional presenter to panic. Sure, there are a few steps that you can take to enhance  your professional PowerPoint presentations. However, they don’t offer a real guarantee that you will be able to capture audience attention or make them comprehend your ideas completely.

Being able to communicate effectively is the single most important factor in presentation science, regardless of your topic or message, your audience needs to be on the same page as you.


4 Types of Audience Members You Need to Present For.SlideGenius, Inc. November 13, 2013.
Vidyarthi, Neil. “Attention Spans Have Dropped from 12 Minutes to 5 Minutes — How Social Media Is Ruining Our Minds [Infographic].SocialTimes. December 14, 2011.

Why Your Presentation Needs to be These 3 Words

Regardless the topic of your presentation, regardless the audience in front of you, regardless time allotted to you, and regardless the goal you have in mind; every single one of your presentations should be about these three words: Understandable, Memorable & Emotional.

Shape your presentation to concurrently fit these three categories, and you will be able to make millions! Not really, but you will definitely have a very effective presentation, which will lead to more sales.

Here is a Forbes’ breakdown of these three categories and the significance of each one:


Without clear and understandable slides, your professional PowerPoint presentation is practically useless. Simplicity is key when it comes to design. In aims to make your content and CTA’s clear to your audience, aim to keep your deck to ten slides and at a very maximum of 4 points per slide.

Bullet points are probably the most widely used form of delivery, but they aren’t necessarily the best. “In 2001 the iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket.” In 2008, the MacBook Air was “The world’s thinnest notebook.” Steve Jobs always described his products in one sentence.” Bullet points can be effective because they are simple and quick, which makes them easy to understand, but nothing beats delivering your point in a conversational, one-sentence structure. Saying your point as if you were telling it to your mom, friend, or a random stranger is a great way to think of your delivery during your presentation.

Another useful way of thinking of understandability is the “Twitter Test.” If you can express your point in 140 characters or less, you’ll make your point in its simplest form, which is always the best form.


Memory’s magic number is 3! “Neuroscientists generally agree that the human mind can only consume anywhere from three to seven points in short-term, or “working memory” (This is why the phone number is only seven digits. Long ago scientists discovered if you ask people to remember eight digits, they forget just about the entire sequence of numbers). Incorporate this concept of 3 in your presentations. This can be done in a handful of creative ways: describe concepts in three words, divide your whole presentation into three parts (and say that you’re doing that), give the “three next steps,” or use the idea however you see fit. Rule-3 packaging makes things easier to understand, which in turn is more memorable.


Not all people are logical, but I can assure you that everyone is emotional. An emotional story will be more likely to reel in sales than a scientific finding. Ethical, unethical, right or wrong, it seems hearts and guts prove to be better salesmen than brains! Emotion can be presented in a multitude of useful venues. These include, but are not limited to photographs, videos, songs, colors schemes, the way you dress, the way you talk, and even the lighting in the room you present in. Everything around us can sway the way we feel in some way; large and small.  Knowing your audience well enough to the point that you can identify what will make them cry, laugh, scream, or sing can be the single most useful tool at your disposal. Be emotional in the way you talk; if you want your audience to be excited, talk as if you were excited!

To sum up, when you’re designing your next corporate presentation, or investor pitch, or just any PowerPoint presentation, make sure you can describe the deck as understandable, memorable, and emotional, and you will find yourself accomplishing whatever the deck was created to accomplish.



Gallo, Carmine. “The Three Basic Secrets of All Successful Presentations.” Forbes. February 22, 2013.

7 Apps Every Presenter Should Use

“With all the apps out there, it’s easy to get stuck with the same icons on your home screen — and never so much as click on the newer ones that would benefit your business most.” – Mashable

Each of these apps have the capability to make your presentations more effective, organize your time to complete those PowerPoint presentations more efficiently, or just make your life easier in general.

1.  Lift

Lift helps you achieve your goals, big or small. With your busy schedule, traveling, and running from conference to conference, it is important to stay organized, and keep the important goals you have in check. Lift will force you to keep consistently working on your important goals or tasks at whatever frequency you want.

2. CloudMagic

CloudMagic is a universal and indispensable search engine for all your data. CloudMagic lets you search across Gmail, Yahoo, Dropbox, Evernote, etc., through one simple search box. Very useful when putting together data for any investor pitch, corporate presentation, or sales pitch!

3. TripIt

Tripit is most useful for our “always traveling” presenters. TripIt gives you the ability to organize your travels just by forwarding your booking confirmations to an email address. This app will reduce your stress five times over and will allow you to relax and focus on your presentation instead of the flight.

4. Refresh

Refresh digs through social networks to provide users with a bio on anyone before meeting them; a great way to get some research on your audience prior to delivering your PowerPoint! Knowing the dirty “deets” on specific audiences will allow you to relate  to them, which will in turn keep them interested.

5. Audible

As a speaker, you should always be learning and reading books. It’s a great way to keep a steady stream of personal stories, quotes, or news that will come in handy to keep your data unique, interesting, and relevant. I’ve found Audible extremely helpful to listen to books while on the go.

6. LIA

With LIA you can access sales content in the field on a tablet and it works. When you only have 5 minutes with your prospect – trust LIA

7. Corkulous

Corkulous is an easy-to-use idea board only for iPads in which you can collect, organize, and share your ideas in a completely natural and organic way.

8. Sadun’s Whiteboard

This app lets you transform your IPad into a presentation screen and connect to any projection system using an Apple VGA connection or composite/component video-out cable and draw directly to an external screen using standard whiteboard markers and erasers. Really creative way to do live examples of anything you’re presenting on.

If you know any other useful apps for presenters or work related to presentations, feel free to comment them below to be added to this post!



Gerber, Scott. “15 Underrated Apps Every Entrepreneur Should Use.” Mashable. October 26, 2013.

Tan, Kay. “30 Useful IPad Apps for Business & Presentation.Hongkiatcom.

A Lesson from A Christmas Story: How to Build Your Credibility

Effectively gaining your audience’s trust is imperative in any presentation setting.  Building that sense of reliability can be fairly tricky but there are a few lessons we can takeaway from one of the greatest holiday movies and a certain little boy named Ralphie.


If you aren’t familiar with Jean Shepard’s, A Christmas Story, it’s the classic story of a boy who will do anything to get what he wants for Christmas. In Ralphie’s case, he fantasizes about the, “official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock “, the one and only thing he wants for Christmas. Throughout the entire film, Ralphie is set on a determined quest to convince his “Old Man”, mother, teacher and Santa himself that he absolutely needs this gift, even though he could potentially “shoot his eye out with that thing”.

So what can we learn about a hopeful little boy who desperately wants a gun for Christmas? It’s simple, Ralphie was able to build credibility with his parents because in the end he got what he wanted when they surprised him with his beloved BB gun. Though his parents were well aware of the possible danger of shooting his eye out, Ralphie constantly assured them that he “would be careful”-  enabling their trust.

Here are a few suggestions to help you establish that credibility and trust from your audience when giving a PowerPoint presentation:

Ensure Strong Verbal Delivery and Body Language

Speak loud and clear: the more understandable you are to your audience, the more they can trust what you’re saying. Use effective body language as well: stand tall and don’t fidget nervously to assure them that you’re cool, calm and confident.

Teach More, Sell Less

The purpose of your presentation is to teach your audience your content- selling them goes simultaneously with this. The more your audience learns, the more they remember.

Engage Constantly

Ask questions and listen to their ideas. Effective communication goes along way with trust building: your audience can believe your ideas when you believe in their concerns.

Share Beneficial Content

Skip the fluff, even if your content is simplified—another important PowerPoint tip. Only provide your audience with information that is useful and relatable. Don’t project a ton of text and statistics that they will soon forget, less is more!

Design, Write and Look Professional

This is a three step process. You want your PowerPoint to look neat, clean and presentable so skip the over abundance of animation and bordered backgrounds. Grammar and spell check multiple times before presenting, even ask for a second pair of eyes for extra edits. And most importantly, look presentable! It’s better to be overdressed than under dressed.


These four tips will help you build trustworthiness with any audience  base. Whether you are presenting to a conference room full of people, or even just one person, you are building a reputation for yourself within that time period. From start to finish your audience is meticulously judging your words, content and overall appearance of your professional presentation. Capture their attention in a good way and establish that trust from beginning to end.

Though Ralphie may not be a great example in this case, because in the end his parents ended up being right when he almost shot his eye out, he successfully built his own credibility by convincing his parents that they could trust him.  In your next professional presentation consider these tips in order to effectively gain your audience’s trust, I double dog dare you.

How to Be the Best : Lessons from Brands that Changed the World

Netflix. GoPro. The iPod. 

What do all of them have in common? These are all original products and concepts that uniquely redefined their industries. They revolutionized the way we watch movies, listened to music and recorded the world around us.

It was pure originality that allowed these ideas to become the most popular name brand names of the era. Simplistic and innovative ideas combining together to create a one of the kind solution to certain problems. 10,000 songs in your pocket, a portable video camera, and a virtual Blockbuster.

So what can we learn from these very different products? Their ingenuity enabled them to become the most successful products and concepts in their markets and it is originality that allows you to create the most impactful PowerPoint presentation. There are a few concepts to utilize in your next presentation to create an innovative and unique PowerPoint.

Branded Templates: Market your way through every slide. Include customized branding and logos throughout your presentation, which gives each slide it’s own unique flair.

Simplicity: This concept goes hand in hand with originality. Minimalize your key points and make sure your content is easily understandable and memorable.

Creative Graphics, Visuals, and Animation: The most creatively designed PowerPoints are the most memorable presentations. Utilize impactful images, sensible animation, and visuals that will excite your audience.

In essence, creating an original PowerPoint doesn’t mean to go out of the standard boundaries of presentation etiquette. You should always have an organized outline with a beginning, middle and end that keeps your story flowing. Being unique is utilizing creativity as a supplementary component of something that is already structured.
An original presentation is not only an impressive one, but one that also shows your creative marketing strategy. Think of ways to use innovation and apply this to your content throughout your presentation. Tell a story, throw in some humor and ask questions throughout your presentations to engage your audience. Do what it takes to be different.



Putting Your Presentation before Your PowerPoint.SlideGenius. December 9, 2013.

Lessons from Social Media: Instagram

Whether it be taking picture of plane wings, an appetizing dinner or an artsy photo of your latte, Instagram has become one of the most prominent forms of social media to date. The application became so popular that it  was acquired by Facebook this past year in a hefty billion dollar deal. It may be the pure simplicity of photo sharing that draws so many users to the app, but there are certain steps one must partake in to get the perfect “Insta”. We’ve created a comparison between the steps of taking the perfect picture and creating the perfect powerpoint presentation. 

Step 1 : Picking the Perfect Angle 


The first step of taking any Instagram is getting a unique angle, just like picking a perfect (and direct) angle for your audience when creating a presentation idea. Your ideas and thoughts presented (simply) within your powerpoint should be original and one of a kind, the better the ideas the more these will resonate with your audience.


Step 2: Picking the Perfect Filter


No Instagram is complete without a perfect filter to give it a spruce of color and the same is said for sparking up your presentation. You can add character to any powerpoint slides with eye-opening graphics, videos and images, the more colorful and put together- the better!

Step 3: Picking the Appropriate Hashtag


After you’ve snapped your picture and added the perfect filer, tagging hashtags is necessary to make the Instagram complete.  The same step should be used in your final completion of your PowerPoints you should always review your finished slides to make sure all your ideas connect with each other and most importantly- make sense!

Avoiding a PowerPoint Penalty Flag

You can really use PowerPoint for just about anything…..

This past week’s story in the world of sports came from a man who submitted a PowerPoint presentation as his resume for an open coaching position for the University of North Dakota’s football team. Turns out he doesn’t quite have the standard credentials we were expecting to see. Christopher McComas, who currently works as an technician at Marshall University, made headlines this week as his application for the position went viral on the Internet. He listed out many his esteemed qualifications which included his many years of experience playing Madden and NCAA Football on his beloved Playstation.

The story of Christopher’s application became an Internet sensation. Between the lack of actual qualifications that are appropriate for a collegiate athletic position and his horribly put together powerpoint design, there are a few take aways we can learn from his errors.


Here are a few mistakes we noticed in Christopher’s presentation:

  • Formatting : Avoid using Comic Sans and boring templates, this shows a lack of effort and preparation.

  • Grammar/Spelling:  With bullet points people tend to think run on sentences are acceptable, but try to avoid this and utilize appropriate and professional language

  • Lack of Content: There is no significant or persuasive content within his presentations that supports his claim.

  • Organization:  There is no real structure – a presentation should have all three components: a title, a body and a takeaway.


Though we wish Christopher the best of luck in his attempts to coach football at the University of North Dakota, one thing we can guarantee is that this PowerPoint is less than impressive and maybe next time he should just stick to the normal resume format for his next  job application.

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The Top 5 Major PowerPoint Mistakes

Save yourself from a PowerPoint disaster with SlideGenius’s top five list of major PowerPoint presentation no’s of the year. Avoiding these common mistakes will have you going from PowerPoint amateur to professional in a matter of minutes – creating your most impressive presentation yet.

5. Paragraphs on Slides

Having giant paragraphs on your slide will guarantee you two things: a disinterested audience that won’t remember your content. We tell stories with words and images, having a ton of paragraphs up on your slides will distract your audience from listening to your points. Too much text  also provides you with more of an opportunity to read directly off of your slides, which of course is another major presentation no. You can avoid this by using bullet points as your primary text formatting- this allows you to broadcast important information without causing your audience to fall asleep.

4. Sound Effects per Animation

Sound effects cause too much chaos during any presentation and will divert your audience’s attention,  prevent this mistake by eliminating sound with your transitions. You can easily do this by making sure you’ve clicked “none” in the sound options in the animation box.

3 Using Elementary Fonts

While we all we’ll admit to using our longtime favorites Comic Sans or Garamond Script (yes they are pretty and cute) avoid using these types of fonts within a professional presentation. Stick with the most basic and easily legible fonts available so your audience can actually read your text without wondering if that letter is a g…or maybe a y?

2. Unusual Color Choices and Palettes

Skip choosing awkward color schemes that don’t match well and could possibly distract your audience by let’s say, blinding them. Avoid unusual color combinations such as red and green that are bright and disruptive. Keep your color scheme consistent throughout your entire presentation utilizing the same two or three colors. Also, avoid using those tempting patterned or textured powerpoint themes that will cause your font to be lost in the midst of an chaotic background.

1. Avoiding T.M.I.

T.M.I or Too Much Information is the ultimate general mistake when drafting up any PowerPoint presentation. Too much text, too many slides, and too much content will backfire on transcribing your ideas to your audience. Remember that the average adult thinking span is only five to seven minutes long, so keep all information simple and short -less is more! Tips to avoid this are having time limits and slide maximums (this should be around 15 slides) so you aren’t going overboard with your presentation.
Works Cited:

Keeping Your Audience in Mind : The 4 Essential Questions to Ask Yourself

“A good teacher, like a good entertainer who first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson” – John Henrik Clarke

If you ask any author what questions they ask themselves before drafting up their next bestseller, chances are they’ll tell you the first and most foremost step is targeting a specific audience. Presentations are all universally based around an audience because they are the reason why presenters, present. Before you start gathering content or building an outline for your next PowerPoint presentation, you should ask yourself these essential questions first.

Who Are They?

Your first step is knowing the basic knowledge and understanding of who your audience is. These include aspects such as their size, prior knowledge, and expectations. Are you presenting to a small or large group? What kind of production are they expecting? What kind of company culture do they share? Reaching out and personally connecting with them will make all the difference.

What Do They Know?

You don’t want to be going over concepts that the audience is already aware of. Understand what they have prior knowledge of and exclude sounding redundant in your presentation by not utilizing this information. This may require a substantial amount of research, but knowing this background information will put you a step ahead in the game.

What Interests Them?

Losing your audience’s interest is the ultimate presentation backfire, keep them entertained with personalized facts and ideas that are tailored to them exclusively. Do a substantial amount of research on their current projects and incorporate this knowledge within your powerpoint slides.

What Do You Want Them To Learn?

Your takeaway is the most essential feature of your entire presentation. The most vital question (before starting any presentation) is what do you want your audience to remember most? You are the teacher giving your audience a lesson- they should learn from you and your ideas. When crafting your presentation make sure to emphasize these themes or points regularly so your audience can remember the key points first.



Sieber, Tina. “10 PowerPoint Tips for Preparing a Professional May 23, 2009.

Our Best PowerPoint Recommendations of 2013

The developing art of PowerPoint changes year by year; bringing forth new ideas that create all around better presentations. We’ve compiled our list of the most effective and beneficial tips from 2013.

Stay Consistent.

Consistency is key when it comes to your companies branding – the basic marketing should be universal throughout your entire presentation. This uniformity should include your companies logos, color, background, theme and graphic styling. The consistency will help reflect your company’s mission and philosophy by remaining constant on all platforms and this will create a recognizable brand to customers and audience members alike- which builds trust and loyalty.

Back to Basics.

You tell a story with your presentation slides,  so think of your PowerPoint as a high school essay that starts with an outline; organizing your introduction, your main points, counterpoints and conclusion. Your presentation should include all of these concepts and flow through accordingly.

Outline Smart.

Every substantial project starts somewhere and your powerpoint presentation should always start with a storyboard. This tool keeps your slides on point and helps you follow your persuasive argument throughout the entire presentation. A storyboard efficiently allows you to write all your points and ideas down prior to starting your powerpoint, which organizes your ideas effectively.

Images Speak Louder than Words.

A picture is worth a thousand words. The images that you place within your slides should be carefully chosen to fit your presentation. Another tip to consider is  to chose high quality images, look for HD or downloadable high-res images when searched on the Internet for your content, these will look much more polished on a large projector.

Adrian Dennis

Applying the Right Tools.

Utilizing effective outside tools can be used to enhance many components of your presentation slides. Touching back on a few we’ve covered in the past include beneficial support sites including, The PowerPoint FAQ that answers all your common day PowerPoint questions.

Putting Your Presentation Before Your PowerPoint

When drafting up any big presentation it’s easy to get caught up and forget about the vital questions that you should be asking yourself. With everything that is contributed to a PowerPoint presentation remember the key points you really want your audience to focus on.

A common misconception when giving any PowerPoint presentation is making your slides the focus, rather than your message- or actual verbiage. This is done by reading directly off your slides and reciting the text word for word. What most people don’t understand is that your PowerPoint is there as a supplementary piece that is used to solely enhance and elaborate your message.



While most of us have the urge to initially focus on getting all of our main points physically written onto a presentation- keep in mind that the PowerPoint slides are suppose to highlight takeaways and provide the content which is used accompany your story. The worst mistake you can make as a presenter is reading your slides word by word, which results in your audience completely losing interest and attention. Remember that, “communication is a transfer of emotion” and this becomes vital in getting your audience to understand your points and ideas.

Before you become caught up in dedicating your time to sprucing up your PowerPoint with tons of facts and fancy themed templates, understand that your speech is equally as important. Your story and words are just as significant as any statistic or graphics you have on your slides, so don’t forget to adequately prepare for your verbal content.

Your presentation is your message. It is the sole reason you even stand up in front of an audience and give PowerPoint in the first place. Be careful not to lose sight of the most significant details in any presentation preparation and make sure your message is portrayed in the most clear and effective way possible.

Works Cited:

Remapping the Self: A TEDx Talk with Erika Casriel

How does one define themselves? Why is it that we tend to think our judgements and ideas surpass those around us; and why do our emotions play a part in this? Psychology journalist Erika Casriel discusses new developments within the neuroscience field in a describing a new concept titled, “conciocenterism”, an idea she presented with TED, an organization that broadcasts “ideas worth sharing”.

SlideGenius developed her TEDx Presentation which you can watch here.

Some of Erika’s presentation ideas about this revolutionary notion of “conciocenterism” included concepts such as, instead of thinking of ourselves as the center of the universe we must challenge ourselves and see the more rational sides of our emotions and actions. Her theory challenges us to step outside ourselves and silence the illusion of the “little man inside our mind”. She provides a great analogy stating that instead of seeing ourselves as the lead actor in our life we should place ourselves within the audience position as well; therefore not letting irrational emotions and single minded judgments get the best of ourselves but to look at the bigger picture.

This idea of drifting away from egocentrism can also be tied back into giving a presentation, as you as the presenter must see both sides of the picture in order to connect with your audience by allowing them to see your inner thoughts as well.


Casriel, Erika. “Remapping the Self: Neuroscience Gets Personal.” Lecture, Navesink, January 1, 2013

Why Your Presentation Needs to Be These 3 Words.SlideGenius. January 5, 2014.

What Breaking Bad Can Teach Us about Closing a Presentation *No Spoilers!*

Breaking Bad, AMC’s hit crime drama we’ve all come to know, love, and mournfully wave goodbye too, ended two weeks ago in a (without giving too much away) justified, epic climax after five seasons of watching Walter White (A.K.A. Heisenberg) turn from sheepish high school chemistry teacher to roaring meth kingpin.

For those of you who haven’t seen BrBa to its bitter-sweet end, I won’t go into details. What I will say of it is that I was thoroughly pleased with its conclusion, but not altogether satisfied, which is exactly what a great ending should be.

Ending our presentations requires the same careful planning. The show’s infamously meticulous Executive Producer Vince Gilligan put a great amount of thought and effort into the show’s final chapter, and that’s because he knows what his audience is going to remember.

There’s a famous saying in the sports world: “You’re only as good as your last game.” From this, we can take away that we’ll be remembered for our most recent victory and defeat. Our significance is who we are today. For a TV show–and for a presentation–the finale, or the closing, will be what is most remembered.

Even if the first 90 percent of your presentation is brilliant, but the last 10 percent is a total wash, guess what they’ll remember from the presentation? The horrific ending. Fair? maybe not, but definitely the reality.

So how to make sure your audience is left with the perfect ending? Here’s a few things Breaking Bad executed flawlessly that we can work into our presentations.

Leave Your Audience Wanting More

I previously stated that Breaking Bad’s ending was fantastic, yet not entirely satisfying. This is because, to me, the show ended at its peak, which I believe is precisely what Gillian planned. The series had a great story arc that resolved all issues, but we all still wanted the show to go on.

You don’t want your audience counting the minutes until you stop talking by the time you’re on the later half of your presentation. In fact, you should end the presentation saying everything you need to say, but your audience wants to keep listening. This will not only have them leaving with a favorable impression of you, but it will keep you and your presentation on their minds, ultimately leading to your information being better retained.

Don’t leave loose ends

There’s a big difference between a show ending at its peak and one that ends open-ended and often confusingly (I’m looking at you, Lost).

Just like this confusing promotional poster, Lost's conclusion left watchers scratching their heads.
Just like this confusing promotional poster, Lost’s conclusion left watchers scratching their heads.

Make sure everything in your presentation is adequately addressed and all questions answered. Many presentations leave their audience almost more confused that when the presentation started. A great way of ensuring your audience understood what you had to say is to leave time at the end for a Q&A session. At SlideGenius, we recommend to allot an equal amount of time for your Q&A session as for your presentation.

Hammer home your message

Just like Bogdan's eyebrows, our endings
Just like Bogdan’s eyebrows, our presentation’s message in our conclusion should be apparent and unavoidable.

Breaking Bad brought it all back out of the wood works for the finale. Characters we hadn’t seen in a couple seasons come back to life to be part of this modern-day western, and the episode even opens with Walter White back in his early meth-cooking days, where he still lies to his wife about having to work late at the car wash for its egotistical owner Bogdan. Don’t just end, recap. Remind them of your key points and overall message. Ending on your last point will likely reinforce the idea that the last point is the oly thing to take away, when it’s usually just one of many that you made.

What Professional Athletes Can Teach Us about Preparing for a Winning Presentation

There’s a saying in the sports world that 90 percent of performance is mental.

This isn’t to say that all the intense physical preparation, practice, and training for the big game won’t have a huge effect on an athlete’s performance, but none of that hard work will matter without being mentally prepared for the pressures of high-level competition.

Similarly, while it’s obviously vital to practice, obtain the best professional PowerPoint possible and plan all aspects of your presentation carefully, to avoid stress and pressure affecting you at the moment of your presentation. If you’re not mentally prepared then that presentation you worked so hard to perfect might never come to fruition. Look at some of today’s top athletes, like Peyton Manning and Lebron James, prepare themselves physically and mentally before any big game and have this down to an exact science.

Visualize Success

There was a study conducted by Dr. Judd Blaslotto at the University of Chicago in which the subjects were divided into three groups. At the beginning of the study, he tested each group on how many free throws they could make.

After this, he had the first group practice free throws every day for an hour, the second group just visualized making free throws successfully for an hour, and the third group didn’t do diddly squat.

After 30 days, the groups were retested. The third group didn’t improve. The first group improved by 24 percent and the second—the ones who did nothing but sit around all day thinking about shooting free throws—they improved by 23 percent.

young boy thinking
Success can look as easy as this. Simply imagining the success of your presentation can help ensure it.

Visualizing success is imperative to that success manifesting itself. If you are continually thinking about all the terrible things that could go wrong during a speech, this negative reinforcement may result in a poor performance. However, if you make it a point in your preparation to picture yourself giving a winning presentation, studies show that this will have a discernible positive impact.

Golfing and Grace Under Pressure

When pro female golfer Inbee Park won the U.S. Female Open earlier this summer, she credited her success to two things: her experience and her mental health coach.

This reiterates the two-part recipe for success in both sports and presenting to an audience. Preparation, practice, and experience are the foundation for success, but mental toughness is the final ingredient to a winning presentation.

Champion golfer Inbee Park employs a mental health coach to help keep her cool on the course.
Champion golfer Inbee Park employs a mental health coach to help keep her cool on the course.

Many golfers now use a mental coach to learn how to embrace anxiety before a tournament in order to use it to their advantage. The right amount of anxiety can heighten our awareness and sharpen our senses. The trick is to stay on top of your anxieties, controlling them rather than letting them control you.

While obviously this post can’t do what a mental coach can, some important lessons a mental coach often provides are:

Don’t carry mistakes from the previous hole through the rest of the round. When giving a presentation, don’t let past flubs haunt you. View each presentation as a unique opportunity to prove yourself.

Deep breaths can go a long way. It will lower your heart rate and allow you to think clearly and rationally about the situation.

Enjoy yourself. When you’re having fun, you won’t be weighed down by the pressure of the situation. Realize that people just want to enjoy your speech and have fun with it.

Maintain a Positive Outlook

Psychology today analyzed endurance sports such as marathon running and found that a key part of enduring these grueling races is mental outlook. While there isn’t as much crossover between presentation and endurance sports, there is a good lesson to learn about maintaining a positive attitude in the face of unexpected challenges, which is important when things don’t go as planned during our presentations.

“The key is how people respond to the stressful conditions,” writes psychologist Jim Taylor, Ph.D. “If you have two athletes of equal ability and one sees, for example, rain and wind as a threat that scares and intimidates them and the other as a challenge that they know they can overcome, the latter athlete will be more successful.”

This guy might be enjoying the rain a little too much, but he's certainly a good example of not letting misfortunes bog you down.
This guy might be enjoying the rain a little too much, but he’s certainly a good example of not letting misfortunes bog you down.

So if there’s a technology malfunction, an unruly crowd , or any of the unforeseeable flubs that tend to arise, remember to view them not as a death sentence to your presentation, but as another challenge to overcome and prove yourself with.

Check out our Webinar for ON24 :Teaching the Importance of Simplicity



SlideGenius Founder and CEO Rick Enrico spoke last Thursday on the importance of simplicity in presentation design as a part of ON24’s very first installment of its Webinar Academy.

To view the webinar, titled, “Avoiding Information Overload: The Importance of Simplicity in Presentation Design,” do the quick, 1-minute registration here and view the entire webinar series created by ON24, a leading virtual communications company. Along with Rick’s, you’ll find several other Webinars that have a lot to teach about presenting in the digital age.


While most presentations designed by SildeGenius are given in person, the attention ON24 is giving to Webinars is indicative of a growing trend toward Internet-based presenting and how this is expanding our scope of how we can reach an audience. By viewing our webinar, you’ll see that all the key elements of an effective PowerPoint presentation are still there, but coupled with it is the ability to reach millions of people at the click of a button by creating your presentation online.

How to Think Like $5.99 and Not Like $6.00

Imagine you own a clothing store. Now you decide to begin a sale for that store. Let’s say a particular type of shorts usually costs $20 per short, but for the purposes of the sale you’re going to mark them down to $15 a piece.

There are two ways you could present that discount. The first would be as a percentage. Going from $20 to $15 would be 25% off. The second would be as an absolute number with $5 off. Which way is better?

Both discounts amount to the same final price. 25% off $20 and $5 off $20 both result in the customer paying $15 for the shorts. So both representations of the discount should have the same effect, right?

Wrong. Jonah Berger, author of Contagion, explains to us that the consumers find the 25% discount more attractive than the 5$ off. While the two discounts are the same economically, they don’t trigger the same psychological effect. One feels like a larger discount than the other.

Accordingly, the next time you’re reporting numerical information, pay attention to how you are presenting it. The way changes are represented can have a big impact on how they’re perceived.

Focus on the final number.

Like the story above, most people seemed to be more enticed by the offer when the discount number was larger. Rule of thumb would be whenever you are offering a discount under $100 display it as a percentage, and when the offer is greater than $100 display it as an absolute number. This will make sure you are always maximizing your psychological impact. Simpler is better. No one cares about a page of numbers and figures that look like the green screen display from the matrix. You need to simplify your results, and then simplify them again. Think of your raw data as a pile of freshly picked vegetables. People don’t want to eat them when they still have dirt and leave stems on them. People want a quick and painless way to stay healthy, so what do you do? You take those vegetables, clean them, cut them, put them in a blender and make a smoothie. Then you take that smoothie and turn it into a wheatgrass shot. Quick and to the point. So yes, your data should be reduced to the size of a wheatgrass shot! After all, the simpler your can represent your findings, the easier it will be for your audience to understand you, which will in turn make your call-to-action more successful.

Tell a story.

Everyone knows the best stories are the ones told with pictures, so use them. Portraying data graphically reveals patterns in the data that are hard to notice otherwise Visual depictions of data are almost universally understood without requiring knowledge of a language. It is also useful to alter your tone and speed as you approach the finding of any given graph. Much like when telling a story, the storyteller tends to get really excited toward the climax or “best part” of the story; it is not only useful but critical to draw attention to the most important features of the data.

I’ll leave you with Hans Rosling’s fascinating TED talk revolved around displaying data effectively, which you can watch here



Berger, Jonah. “Fuzzy Math: What Makes Something Seem Like A Good Deal?linkedin. August 28, 2013.

Kakutani, Michiko. “Mapping Out the Path to Viral Fame.The New York Times. February 25, 2013.

Rosling, Hans. “The Best Stats You’ve Ever February 2006.

Showing Your Startup’s Readiness with an Operating Plan

A well-constructed operating plan is critical when securing investment or funding for your startup. An operating plan serves as a guiding document for your business and is pivotal in attracting potential investors.

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Let’s discuss the crucial components of an investment-ready operating plan and how it can significantly enhance your chances of securing the funding you need to propel your startup to success.

The Fundamentals of an Investment-Ready Operating Plan

Before diving into the details, it’s important to understand what an operating plan entails in attracting investment.

Unlike a standard business plan, which focuses on the overall vision and goals of the company, an operating plan drills down into the operational specifics of your business strategy.

By providing actionable insights, an operating plan instills confidence in potential investors who want to see the big picture and a clear execution path.

Essential Components for an Investor-Centric Operating Plan

Clear Business Model and Value Proposition

A concise and compelling business model description is crucial.

Investors should understand how your startup intends to create value and generate revenue. Your value proposition should address a specific market need and explain how your solution stands out.

In-depth Market Analysis and Competitive Advantage

Investors are drawn to startups that deeply understand their target market and industry trends.

Provide data-backed insights into your target audience and how your product or service meets their demands. Additionally, showcasing your competitive advantage—whether through innovation, unique features, or strategic positioning—highlights your startup’s potential for market dominance.

Expert Team and Organizational Structure

Investors invest in people as much as they invest in ideas. Highlight key team members’ expertise and their roles within your startup.

An investor wants to see that your team is skilled and capable of executing the business plan effectively. Demonstrating a well-balanced organizational structure indicates that you have the necessary talent to drive growth.

Strategic Sales and Marketing Approach

Outline your strategies for customer acquisition and revenue generation.

How do you plan to reach your target audience? A solid sales and marketing plan demonstrates your understanding of the market and shows potential investors that you have a clear strategy for scaling your business.

Realistic Financial Projections and Aligned Budgeting

Investors are interested in the financial viability of your startup.

Provide well-grounded financial projections that showcase potential growth. Moreover, your budget should align with your startup’s objectives and market realities. 

Furthermore, highlighting successful instances where accurate financial planning led to successful fundraising can bolster your credibility.

Elevating Investor Confidence through Your Operating Plan

Investor-Centric Insights

Customize your operating plan to address investor concerns and expectations. Sections that directly cover return on investment, exit strategies, and potential risks are of particular interest.

Demonstrate your understanding of their priorities to capture their attention.

Demonstrating Scalability and Sustainability

Investors seek startups with growth potential. Your operating plan should outline how your business model is scalable and sustainable.

Showcasing your ability to handle increased demand and expansion can significantly influence an investor’s decision.

Risk Mitigation and Contingency Planning

No business is without risks.

Address potential challenges transparently in your operating plan and discuss how you plan to mitigate them. Demonstrate your preparedness and ability to navigate obstacles to instill confidence in investors.

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A well-crafted operating plan can be the difference-maker in securing funding. As a comprehensive roadmap, it outlines your business strategy and shows investors that you have a clear execution path. Remember, a meticulously developed operating plan attracts investors and aligns your startup’s growth trajectory with their expectations.

Adding Customer Acquisition Costs to a Pitch Deck

While pitch decks traditionally focus on showcasing the business idea and its potential, there’s an often-overlooked metric that can significantly enhance your pitch: Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC).

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In this blog, we’ll delve into why integrating CAC into your pitch deck is a strategic move that can elevate your investor appeal.

Understanding Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)

At its core, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) refers to the investment a company makes to acquire a new customer. This includes expenses related to marketing, sales efforts, and other activities aimed at bringing in paying customers.

CAC is a crucial metric because it offers insights into the efficiency of your customer acquisition strategies and the sustainability of your growth model.

Components contributing to CAC are multifaceted. Marketing campaigns, advertising expenses, salaries and commissions for the sales team, and even software tools that facilitate customer acquisition all contribute to the total CAC.

By calculating CAC, businesses better understand how much they need to invest to attract each new customer, enabling them to make informed decisions about resource allocation and pricing strategies.

Benefits of Including CAC in Your Pitch Deck

Showcase Financial Acumen

Incorporating CAC in your pitch deck immediately signals your financial understanding. Investors seek entrepreneurs with a great product or service and a clear grasp of their financial metrics.

Demonstrating your awareness of customer acquisition costs showcases your ability to manage resources effectively.

Transparency and Realism

Addressing CAC openly in your pitch deck demonstrates transparency and realism. 

Investors appreciate entrepreneurs who acknowledge the challenges and costs of scaling a business. It’s a proactive move that shows you’re not trying to paint an overly rosy picture but are committed to navigating potential obstacles with a clear plan.

Validation of Business Model

Including CAC in your pitch deck underscores deep comprehension of your business model. It showcases that you’ve dissected your revenue streams and cost structure, and you have a plan to balance growth ambitions with the associated costs.

This level of detail strengthens your pitch, giving investors confidence in your approach.

Steps to Incorporate CAC into Your Pitch Deck

Identify and Calculate CAC

Start by calculating your CAC using the formula:

CAC = Total Marketing and Sales Costs / Number of Customers Acquired

Historical CAC data holds weight, but also discuss how you plan to manage CAC in the future.

Visual Representation

Translate your CAC data into visual aids such as graphs or charts.

A side-by-side comparison of CAC with Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) emphasizes the importance of balancing acquisition costs with customer retention value.

Explain CAC Strategies

Elaborate on the strategies you’re employing to optimize CAC.

You could detail your marketing channels, target customer segments, and sales processes. Show investors that you’re actively working to lower CAC over time.

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Incorporating Customer Acquisition Costs into your pitch deck is a strategic move that holds immense potential to sway investor perception in your favor. As you refine your pitch deck, remember that it isn’t just a metric; it’s a tool that can significantly enhance your chances of securing the funding needed to drive your business forward.

Why the Ask Slide Should Align with the Pitch Deck’s Narrative

Entrepreneurs meticulously craft each slide to tell a compelling story that captures the essence of their startup. But there’s a hidden gem within the pitch deck that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves: the Ask Slide.

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Let’s learn why the Ask Slide should align seamlessly with the narrative of your pitch deck and how this alignment can be a game-changer in your fundraising efforts.

The Ask Slide: An Often Overlooked Element

As you meticulously construct your pitch deck, crafting each slide perfectly, the Ask Slide often finds itself at the tail end, almost as an afterthought.

Positioned discreetly, it succinctly states the amount of funding you’re seeking. However, its placement sometimes leads to being downplayed or overlooked during the pitch presentation.

Entrepreneurs might assume that investors will easily spot it or that its importance pales in comparison to the story preceding it.

The Importance of Alignment

Alignment between the Ask Slide and the pitch deck’s narrative is a strategic move that ensures your presentation flows smoothly and engages investors effectively.

When your Ask Slide aligns seamlessly with the story you’ve been weaving, it creates a coherent experience for your audience. This alignment also enhances your credibility as an entrepreneur with a clear vision and a well-thought-out plan.

Consider the experience of an investor who’s engrossed in your pitch. They’ve absorbed your startup’s problem, solution, market potential, and team strengths. Suddenly, a slide appears with a seemingly random number—your funding ask.

Confusion might happen if this amount isn’t contextualized within the narrative they’ve been following. Misalignment can disrupt their thought process and weaken the impact of your ask.

Building a Cohesive Story

Your pitch deck is a narrative that takes investors on a journey—from problem identification to your ingenious solution and your startup’s potential for growth. The Ask Slide should be a natural continuation of this story. Integrating it thoughtfully within the narrative arc prevents jarring transitions.

One effective way to achieve this is by positioning the Ask Slide right after you’ve highlighted the market opportunity and your startup’s growth potential. This ensures that the funding ask is the logical next step in your journey.

Ensuring Clarity in the Ask

A common mistake entrepreneurs make with the Ask Slide is vagueness.

Simply stating, “We’re seeking funding for our startup” doesn’t provide investors with the necessary clarity. Instead, the Ask Slide should be crisp and transparent.

State the exact amount you’re seeking and how you plan to utilize those funds. This clarity enhances alignment and showcases your meticulous planning and financial acumen.

Gaining Investor Confidence

When your Ask Slide seamlessly aligns with your pitch deck’s narrative, it contributes to investor confidence in significant ways:

  • It reinforces the notion that you’ve meticulously thought through every aspect of your startup, from the problem to the solution and the financial requirements.
  • It showcases your attention to detail, which is crucial for any entrepreneur seeking investment.
  • It provides investors with a clear signal that you know your funding needs and are well-prepared for the challenges ahead.

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In fundraising, every element of your presentation matters. The Ask Slide, often relegated to the background, is pivotal in ensuring your narrative remains cohesive and engaging. When your Ask Slide aligns seamlessly with your pitch deck’s narrative, you’re not just seeking funding; you’re telling a story that captivates, informs, and persuades.

How Slide Order Shapes the Narrative of Your Pitch

The order of your pitch deck slides plays a pivotal role in shaping the narrative of your presentation.

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Let’s delve into the art and science of pitch deck slide order, exploring how it can make your pitch more persuasive and engaging.

The Foundation of a Compelling Pitch

Setting the Stage

  • The Title Slide as the First Impression: Imagine your title slide as the cover of a book. It’s the first thing your audience sees, so make it count. A clean, compelling title with your company’s logo sets the stage for what’s to come.
  • The Problem Statement Slide: After grabbing your audience’s attention, immediately address the problem you’re solving. Clearly articulate the pain points your target market faces. Create a sense of relevance and urgency.

Introducing Your Solution

  • The Solution Slide: Following the problem statement, unveil your solution. Highlight how your product or service effectively addresses the issues you’ve identified. Make it clear and concise.
  • The Value Proposition Slide: Showcase the unique value your solution brings to the table. What sets you apart from competitors? Focus on benefits rather than features to resonate with your audience.

Establishing Credibility and Trust

Demonstrating Market Understanding

  • The Market Opportunity Slide: Investors want to see that you understand the market. Use data to support your claims and illustrate your target market’s potential size and growth.
  • The Competitive Landscape Slide: Assess your competition honestly. Identify key players and explain how your solution differentiates from them. Investors appreciate a clear grasp of your competitive environment.

Showcasing Your Accomplishments

  • The Traction Slide: Highlight your journey so far. Showcase significant achievements, such as customer acquisitions, revenue milestones, or partnerships. Demonstrate progress and potential.
  • The Team Slide: Investors often invest in teams as much as ideas. Introduce your core team members and their expertise. Show why your team is uniquely qualified to execute the plan.

Unveiling the Roadmap to Success

Outlining the Business Model

  • The Revenue Model Slide: Articulate your revenue streams clearly. Describe your pricing strategy, sales channels, and monetization approach. Investors need to see a viable business model.
  • The Financial Projections Slide: Lay out your financial projections. Include revenue, expenses, and profit forecasts. Be realistic and transparent, and show how investments will fuel growth.

Detailing the Go-To-Market Strategy

  • The Marketing and Sales Slide: Explain how you’ll acquire customers. Detail your marketing and sales strategies, highlighting customer acquisition costs and conversion rates.
  • The Timeline Slide: Provide a visual representation of your roadmap. What are your key milestones over the next 12-24 months? Help investors understand your execution plan.

Addressing Risks and Mitigations

Transparency About Potential Challenges

  • The Risk Factors Slide: Investors appreciate honesty. Identify risks related to your business and industry. Address how you plan to mitigate these risks.
  • The Mitigation Strategies Slide: For each risk, outline your mitigation strategies. Show that you’re proactive and have contingency plans in place.

Showing Adaptability and Resilience

  • The Pivot Options Slide: Sometimes, businesses need to pivot. Discuss potential pivot options if your initial plan faces unexpected challenges.
  • The Contingency Plan Slide: Reassure investors with a contingency plan. How will you adapt if things don’t go as expected? Demonstrate adaptability and resilience.

Engaging the Audience Emotionally

Incorporating Storytelling

  • The Customer Success Story Slide: Share a compelling customer success story. It personalizes your pitch and demonstrates real-world impact.
  • The Impact and Testimonials Slide: Use testimonials or case studies to showcase the positive outcomes your solution has delivered. Social proof can be incredibly persuasive.

Appealing to Emotions

  • The Vision and Mission Slide: Convey your company’s vision and mission. Explain why you’re passionate about what you do. Create an emotional connection.
  • The Social Responsibility Slide: If applicable, emphasize your commitment to ethical practices and social responsibility. Investors increasingly value companies with a positive impact.

The Call to Action and Closing

The Final Ask

  • The Funding Request Slide: Make your funding request crystal clear. Specify the amount you’re seeking and what you will use it for.
  • The Use of Funds Slide: Provide a breakdown of how the funds will be allocated. Transparency in fund usage builds trust.

Leaving a Lasting Impression

  • The Closing Slide: Summarize the key takeaways of your pitch. Leave a memorable final impression.

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The order of your pitch deck slides is not arbitrary; it’s a strategic tool for shaping the narrative of your presentation. Follow this structured approach to build a pitch that informs, engages, and persuades your audience effectively.

Adjustments to Make When Fundraising Becomes Difficult

Fundraising, a crucial driver of business growth, is difficult. External factors like market fluctuations and investor sentiment shifts can make securing funding daunting. However, these challenges are opportunities for innovation and adaptation.

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In this blog, we’ll explore effective adjustments to make when fundraising becomes difficult, focusing on creating an impactful pitch deck that resonates with potential investors.

Understanding the Fundraising Landscape

The first step in navigating rough waters is understanding the fundraising landscape

External factors such as economic trends, technological shifts, and even geopolitical events can significantly impact investor behavior and appetite for risk. Staying attuned to these changes and proactively adjusting your approach is essential. 

Keeping a finger on the market’s pulse allows you to pivot strategically and align your fundraising efforts with the prevailing conditions.

Assessing Your Current Approach

When the going gets tough, taking a step back to evaluate your fundraising strategy is crucial.

Identify pain points and challenges that might be hindering your progress. It’s also worthwhile to talk to investors who declined your proposal and request constructive feedback.

Understanding their concerns can provide invaluable insights into areas that need improvement. Use this feedback as a foundation for refining your approach and addressing any shortcomings.

Crafting a More Compelling Pitch Deck

A well-crafted pitch deck is a powerful tool to convey your business’s value proposition and potential to investors. Carefully design each section of the pitch deck to capture attention and tell a compelling story. Consider incorporating the following key elements:

Problem Statement and Solution

Set the stage for your business’s purpose. Clearly define the problem or pain point your target audience faces, highlighting its significance. Then, present your solution – the innovative way your business addresses this problem.

A well-articulated problem-solution narrative captures investors’ attention and establishes the foundation for the rest of your pitch.

Market Opportunity and Size

Demonstrate that your business operates within a meaningful market.

Provide data-backed insights into the market’s size, growth trends, and potential. This information helps investors understand your venture’s scalability and long-term viability and highlight segments of the market your business aims to capture and why they are attractive opportunities.

Unique Value Proposition

Differentiate your business by showcasing your unique value proposition (UVP).

Explain what sets your product or service apart from competitors. Highlight the key features, benefits, and advantages that make your offering appealing to customers. 

Your UVP should convey why customers would choose your solution over alternatives.

Traction and Milestones Achieved

Investors are interested in your business’s progress.

Share significant milestones you’ve achieved, such as user adoption rates, revenue growth, partnerships, or successful product launches.

Concrete traction data provides evidence that your business is gaining traction and there’s demand for your product or service.

Financial Projections and Use of Funds

Provide a snapshot of your financial projections.

Demonstrate your understanding of the financial aspects of your business and how you plan to achieve profitability. Include projected revenue, expenses, and key financial metrics.

Additionally, explain how you intend to use the funds you seek – whether for product development, marketing, expansion, or other strategic initiatives.

Team Background and Expertise

Investors not only invest in ideas; they invest in people.

Showcase your team’s expertise, experience, and track record. Highlight key team members’ qualifications and their roles within the company. Emphasize how the collective skills of your team position your business for success and growth.

Telling a Compelling Story

Beyond the numbers, investors gravitate toward compelling narratives that resonate with them emotionally.

Weave a story that connects with your audience by sharing the journey that led to the creation of your business or highlighting a relatable problem your solution addresses. 

Maintain clarity and conciseness while evoking curiosity and empathy. A well-told story engages investors and conveys your passion and commitment.

Showcasing Traction and Milestones

In challenging fundraising periods, demonstrating progress is a potent strategy to instill confidence in potential investors.

Showcase crucial milestones and achievements your business has reached, including partnerships, significant user growth, or revenue milestones. Transparently discussing challenges faced along the way and outlining how your team overcame them demonstrates resilience and adaptability.

Addressing Concerns Head-On

Difficult fundraising climates often bring forth investor concerns and objections. It’s essential to anticipate and address these concerns head-on.

Whether it’s scalability, competition, or market volatility, acknowledge potential issues and present your strategies to mitigate them. Proactively addressing concerns showcases your thoughtfulness and preparedness, building trust with potential investors.

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While fundraising difficulties can be discouraging, they’re also opportunities for growth and refinement. By understanding the fundraising landscape, you can navigate the challenges with resilience and strategic acumen.

How Describing Fund Usage Cultivates Clarity and Direction

Entrepreneurs must demonstrate their vision and outline a clear plan for using the funds when seeking funding. Let’s delve into the art of describing fund usage in presentations, highlighting how it cultivates clarity and direction, thus instilling confidence in potential investors.

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The Significance of Transparent Fund Usage

Why Investors Seek Detailed Fund Allocation Information

Investors want to ensure that founders use their money in the best way possible.

By providing a transparent breakdown of how they will allocate funds, entrepreneurs address investors’ primary concern: returns on their investment.

Detailed fund usage information reflects a commitment to responsible financial management.

How Transparency Builds Trust and Confidence

Transparency is the foundation of trust in any business relationship.

Investors feel included in the decision-making process when entrepreneurs are candid about their financial plans. This honesty not only establishes trust but also establishes the foundation for a fruitful partnership.

Crafting a Clear Fund Usage Plan

Identifying Key Areas of Resource Allocation

A comprehensive fund allocation plan covers critical business functions:

  • Product Development: Funds invested here drive innovation and improved offerings.
  • Marketing and Sales: Proper allocation enhances market presence and customer acquisition.
  • Research and Innovation: Investing in research fosters continuous growth and competitiveness.
  • Operations and Infrastructure: Ensuring efficient operations and scalable infrastructure is crucial for sustained growth.

Prioritizing Allocation Based on Business Goals and Growth Phases

Resource allocation must align with the business’s stage:

  • Early-Stage Focus vs. Scaling Strategies: Early-stage startups prioritize product development and market entry while scaling businesses allocate resources to expand operations and enter new markets.
  • Aligning with Short-Term and Long-Term Objectives: Fund allocation should reflect immediate needs and long-term vision, proving a commitment to sustainable growth.

The Art of Presentation

Simplifying Complex Financial Information for Non-Experts

Investor presentations often involve complex financial data that needs simplification:

  • Using Visuals to Enhance Understanding: Infographics, charts, and graphs can simplify budget allocation data for easier comprehension.
  • Breaking Down Budgets into Easily Digestible Segments: Presenting allocation in bite-sized portions helps prevent information overload.

Telling a Compelling Narrative with Fund Allocation

Fund allocation isn’t just about numbers; it’s a story:

  • Explaining How Each Allocation Contributes to Business Success: Connecting each allocation to a tangible outcome shows how the business will thrive.
  • Illustrating Potential Outcomes and Returns on Investment: Illustrating potential ROI showcases the benefits of investing in your business.

Providing Direction for Investors

Demonstrating a Strategic Approach

Allocation details should align with the company’s overall strategy:

  • Linking Fund Allocation to Overall Business Strategy: Every allocation should connect to the larger business vision.
  • Highlighting Flexibility to Adapt to Market Changes: Demonstrating adaptability reassures investors that the company can pivot if market conditions shift.

Addressing Investor Concerns and Questions Proactively

Address potential concerns before they arise:

  • Anticipating Queries About Risk Mitigation: Being prepared to discuss how allocation plans mitigate potential risks shows foresight.
  • Detailing Backup Plans for Unexpected Challenges: Demonstrating backup plans highlights a commitment to navigating uncertainties.

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In investor presentations, describing fund usage is more than just a financial breakdown—it’s a strategic opportunity to convey clarity and direction. Transparently outlining how funds will be allocated fosters trust, builds investor confidence, and sets the stage for a mutually beneficial partnership.

Using Market Validation to Build Credibility with Investors

In entrepreneurship, attracting investors can make or break a business. Whether you’re launching a startup or seeking funds for expansion, credibility is one of the currencies investors invest in. One of the most potent tools to earn this credibility is market validation.

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Let’s explore how market validation can significantly boost your standing with investors, making them more likely to back your venture.

Understanding Market Validation

Defining Market Validation and Its Significance

Market validation is collecting data and evidence to confirm that your product or service addresses a real need or problem in the market. It’s more than just believing in your idea; it’s about proving a genuine demand for it.

Investors need assurance to minimize investment risk, and market validation offers them a safety net.

Market Validation vs. Personal Beliefs and Assumptions

Entrepreneurs often fall in love with their ideas, making it difficult to assess market potential objectively.

Market validation forces you to step back and rely on concrete data rather than personal biases. Investors appreciate this objectivity as it demonstrates your willingness to pivot if necessary, a crucial trait in business.

The Various Forms of Market Validation

Market validation comes in many forms, each shedding light on different aspects of your business’s viability:

  • User Adoption: Tracking user engagement, such as sign-ups, downloads, or usage metrics, prove that people are interested in your product.
  • Demand Assessment: Analyzing market demand through surveys, focus groups, or pre-orders can give investors confidence that people are eager to buy what you’re offering.
  • Competition Analysis: Demonstrating that your solution is better or different from existing alternatives highlights your unique value proposition and sets you apart.

Why Credibility is a Top Priority for Investors

Investing in startups involves inherent risk. Moreover, investors want to minimize that risk as much as possible. They need to trust that you can deliver on your promises. Credibility is the foundation of that trust.

How Market Validation Directly Impacts Investor Confidence

When you present solid market validation, you show investors you’ve done your homework. You’ve listened to potential customers, studied the competition, and created a product that meets a genuine need. This evidence directly boosts their confidence in your ability to execute your business plan.

Steps to Leverage Market Validation for Investor Credibility

Identifying Your Target Market and Audience

Start by defining precisely who your target customers are. Investors want to know that you’ve identified a specific audience and understand their needs.

Conducting Thorough Market Research

Thoroughly research your market, including analyzing customer pain points, studying competitors, and identifying trends and opportunities.

Creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

An MVP allows you to test your assumptions and gather valuable feedback from real users. It’s a tangible demonstration of your commitment to creating a solution that addresses a real need.

Iterating Based on Feedback

Show investors that you’re responsive to market feedback. Explain how you’ve used user input to refine your product and strategy.

Showcasing Market Validation to Investors

After diligently collecting and analyzing market validation data, the next crucial step is presenting it to potential investors in a way that highlights the authenticity and depth of your research.

Presenting to investors is your opportunity to provide concrete evidence of the market’s receptiveness to your product or service, ultimately bolstering your credibility and inspiring investor confidence.

Compiling Data and Evidence

Investors appreciate data-driven decision-making, so compile and present user engagement metrics demonstrating a tangible interest in your offering.

Conversion rates, active user numbers, and retention rates all provide insights into what your product has achieved. Furthermore, sharing compelling success stories and testimonials from early adopters can humanize the data, showcasing your product’s value to real users.

Highlighting Demand

Demonstrating demand is a powerful way to pique investor interest.

Showcase any indicators of growing interest, such as a surge in inquiries or requests for information about your product. If applicable, present pre-orders or waitlists as tangible evidence of potential future sales.

Showing this data transforms abstract market interest into concrete numbers that speak directly to investors’ financial expectations.

Addressing Competition

Investors are well aware of the competitive landscape, so it’s essential to position your product in a way that emphasizes its uniqueness and value.

Compare your product’s features, benefits, and differentiators against your competitors. By doing so, you showcase your understanding of the market and illustrate how your product meets a need that others may be overlooking.

This narrative helps investors recognize your potential for market disruption and dominance.

Navigating Negative Validation Results

While positive validation results are excellent, they might not always be the case. 

Address any negative feedback or validation results honestly and transparently. Investors appreciate entrepreneurs who acknowledge potential challenges and demonstrate the capacity to adapt.

Explain how you’re incorporating this feedback to refine your product and strategy, showcasing your resilience and commitment to delivering a solution that truly meets market needs.

Visualizing the Path Forward

Incorporate visuals such as graphs, charts, and infographics to present your validation data engagingly.

Visuals can help investors quickly grasp the trajectory of your market validation efforts and the overall growth potential of your business. A well-designed presentation enhances comprehension and reflects your professionalism and dedication to your venture.

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Market validation emerges as the key to unlocking investor trust in the competitive entrepreneurship landscape. By relying on data-driven evidence of demand and user satisfaction, you can build a compelling case for your business’s potential, increasing your chances of attracting valuable investment.

Exploring the Pros and Cons of Text-Heavy Slides

One of the ongoing debates in presentations revolves around using text-heavy slides versus more visually oriented ones.

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To shed light on this topic, let’s delve into the advantages and disadvantages of employing text-heavy slides in your presentations.

Pros of Text-Heavy Slides

Clear Information Conveyance

Text-heavy slides have a unique advantage when it comes to conveying complex information.

Text-rich presentation slides can be immensely beneficial when diving deep into intricate concepts. These slides enable you to provide detailed explanations, making them suitable for educational or technical presentations.

For instance, in a scientific lecture about quantum physics, the audience may need to see equations, formulas, or detailed explanations. In such cases, text-heavy slides can be the most effective way to ensure clarity and precision in conveying the content.

Accessibility and Universal Understanding

Text-heavy slides cater to a wide range of audience needs, including those with visual impairments.

When you rely on text for conveying information, you ensure that everyone in your audience can access and understand your content. This inclusivity is a vital aspect of effective presentation design.

Make your presentations more accessible, catering to diverse audience groups and demonstrating your commitment to inclusivity and equal access to information.

Focused Content Delivery

Text-heavy slides help maintain a structured narrative flow during your presentation.

They guide the audience’s attention to your key points and allow you to provide a cohesive and well-organized message.

Imagine you’re giving a business proposal where you need to present detailed financial data. A text-heavy slide can be instrumental in keeping the data organized and ensuring you stick to the main discussion points.

Cons of Text-Heavy Slides

Cognitive Overload and Boredom

Too much text on slides can lead to cognitive overload, making it difficult for your audience to process the information effectively. Moreover, it can be downright boring. Avoid this by striking a balance between text and visuals.

Consider breaking down complex information into digestible chunks and supplementing it with visuals where appropriate.

Limited Visual Appeal

One undeniable drawback of text-heavy slides is their limited visual appeal.

Text-heavy slides might come across as uninspiring compared to presentations with eye-catching images, graphs, and diagrams.

To engage your audience visually, consider incorporating compelling visuals into your presentation. Infographics, icons, and supporting images can add a dynamic element to your content, making it more visually appealing without sacrificing the depth of information.

Presenter-Audience Disconnect

A potential pitfall of relying heavily on text-heavy slides is the risk of creating a disconnect between the presenter and the audience.

When presenters read directly from slides laden with text, it can lead to a lack of eye contact and engagement.

Use text-heavy slides as a guide rather than a script to maintain a strong connection with your audience. Speak to your audience, elaborate on the points in your slides, and connect with them.

Finding the Middle Ground

In presentations, it’s not a battle between text-heavy and visual slides; it’s about finding the right balance for each unique situation.

Strive for harmony by incorporating visuals where they enhance understanding or engagement while relying on text when it’s the most effective way to convey information.

Ultimately, your presentation design should adapt to the nature of the content and the needs of your audience. Experiment with both text-heavy and visual approaches, and adjust your strategy based on what works best in each case.

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Effective presentation design is a skill that can significantly impact your ability to engage and inform your audience. Understanding the pros and cons of text-heavy slides is essential for making informed choices when creating presentations.

The Impact of the Ask Slide on Investor Decision-Making

Investor decision-making is a critical juncture in any fundraising effort. The way you present your case can make or break the deal. One powerful tool in your arsenal to sway investors in your favor is the Ask Slide.

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Let’s delve into the fascinating world of investor decision-making and examine the impact that the Ask Slide can have on it.

What is an Ask Slide?

An Ask Slide is a concise and focused component of your investor presentation, specifically designed to address your funding needs. It typically appears toward the end of your pitch deck and outlines how much capital you seek and what you intend to use it for.

This slide serves as a request for investment, making it easier for potential backers to understand your financial requirements.

Investor Decision-Making Process

Investor decision-making is a multi-faceted process that involves several stages. Understanding it is pivotal to comprehending the Ask Slide’s importance.

The process involves several stages:

  • Initial Interest: Investors become aware of your opportunity.
  • Due Diligence: They research your business thoroughly.
  • Evaluation: They assess the potential returns, risks, and alignment with investment goals.
  • Negotiation: Terms and conditions are discussed.
  • Commitment: The investor decides to invest or not.

Throughout these stages, investors seek reassurance that your venture is a sound and promising opportunity. The Ask Slide plays a key role in providing that assurance.

The Role of the Ask Slide in Investor Presentations

The Ask Slide isn’t just another slide in the pitch deck; it’s a strategic element that demands careful consideration.

Its primary role is to deliver a clear and concise funding request.

To effectively accomplish this, an Ask Slide should include:

  • The amount of funding you seek.
  • The purpose of the funds (e.g., product development, marketing, expansion).
  • A breakdown of how you will allocate the funds.
  • The anticipated impact of the investment on the company’s growth.

Why do you need an Ask Slide?

  • Clarity: It makes your funding request explicit and unambiguous.
  • Focus: It directs the investor’s attention to your financial requirements.
  • Alignment: It ensures that you and the investor are on the same page regarding funding goals.
  • Memorability: It leaves a lasting impression regarding your financial needs.

Impact of the Ask Slide on Investor Psychology

The Ask Slide is not just about presenting numbers; it’s about triggering investor interest and trust.

Elements that can positively influence investor psychology through the Ask Slide include:

  • Transparency: Presenting how the funds will be used builds trust and credibility.
  • Confidence: A well-prepared Ask Slide demonstrates that the entrepreneur has a solid grasp of their business’s financial needs.
  • Alignment: When the funding request aligns with the company’s growth trajectory and market potential, it resonates with investors’ expectations.

How to Leverage Psychology?

  • Anchoring: Use the Ask Slide to set a positive financial anchor for the investor’s perception.
  • Storytelling: Craft a narrative around your funding needs to make it relatable.
  • Visuals: Incorporate compelling visuals that evoke confidence in your financial plan.
  • Credibility: Highlight your team’s competence and past achievements related to using funds.

Best Practices for Crafting an Effective Ask Slide

Creating an Ask Slide that resonates with investors requires careful planning and execution.

Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Simplicity: Keep it clear, concise, and easy to understand.
  • Relevance: Ensure that the Ask Slide aligns with the overall narrative of your pitch.
  • Transparency: Provide details about how you arrived at your funding request.
  • Realism: Be realistic in your financial projections.
  • Backup Information: Offer supplemental data if the investor wants to delve deeper.

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The Ask Slide is not merely a minor detail in your investor presentation; it’s a critical element that can shape investor decisions. By understanding its role, the psychology behind it, and how to create a compelling one, you can significantly improve your chances of securing your venture’s funding.

When to Seek Follow-On Funding for Optimal Growth

Securing initial funding marks a critical milestone for startups; however, the journey doesn’t end there. Follow-on funding, often called subsequent funding rounds, is pivotal in driving optimal growth for businesses.

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Let’s delve into the intricacies of when and how to seek follow-on funding to ensure your business scales effectively and achieves its full potential.

Understanding Follow-On Funding

Before delving into the nuances of follow-on funding, it’s essential to grasp its definition and significance.

Also known as later-stage funding or growth funding, it is the capital raised by a company after its initial seed or early-stage funding.

Unlike the initial funding, which is aimed at getting a business off the ground, it is geared towards propelling growth, expanding market presence, and solidifying a company’s position in the industry.

Readiness Indicators

The decision to pursue follow-on funding shouldn’t be hasty.

Certain indicators signal that your business is poised for growth and that seeking additional funding is a strategic move:

Achieving Key Milestones

Before seeking follow-on funding, your business should demonstrate a clear product-market fit. It means your product or service has gained traction and holds a significant share of its target market.

Additionally, hitting substantial revenue and customer acquisition goals is crucial. Expanding into new markets or territories further validates your business’s potential for growth.

Building a Strong Team and Organizational Infrastructure

Investors are more likely to support businesses with capable leadership and a skilled team.

As you prepare for follow-on funding, ensure you have the right people in critical, growth-influencing positions. Moreover, developing efficient operational processes showcases your ability to manage growth effectively.

Leveraging Initial Funding Effectively

Efficiently utilizing your initial funding demonstrates prudent financial management and resource allocation.

Investors want to see that your business has maximized the impact of the seed funding received, making a compelling case for further investment.

Timing the Follow-On Funding Round

Timing is everything when it comes to follow-on funding.

Strike a balance between achieving significant milestones and recognizing the right moment to secure additional capital.

Balancing Growth Milestones and Funding Needs

Premature funding rounds can dilute your ownership stake and potentially hinder your business’s growth trajectory.

It’s vital to seek follow-on funding when your business has reached substantial milestones that substantiate the need for expansion, but not so early that the true potential isn’t evident.

Market and Economic Considerations

Market conditions and economic factors can significantly influence the success of a follow-on funding round.

Keep a keen eye on favorable market trends and economic stability, as these factors can impact investor sentiment and willingness to invest in your growth.

Preparation and Strategies for Follow-On Funding

The road to securing follow-on funding is paved with thorough preparation and strategic planning. Here’s how you can position your business for success:

Crafting a Compelling Growth Narrative

When seeking follow-on funding, present a clear and compelling vision for your business’s growth. Outline the strategies you plan to implement, the markets you intend to penetrate, and how you intend to maintain a competitive edge.

Data-Driven Approach to Showcasing Success

Numbers don’t lie. Analyze key performance metrics, such as revenue growth, customer acquisition rates, and user engagement. Back your projections with reliable data to instill confidence in potential investors.

Engaging Existing Investors

Your initial investors are invested financially and emotionally in your business’s success.

Engage with them, updating them on progress and showcasing the value their initial investment has unlocked. Strong relationships with existing investors can significantly ease securing follow-on funding.

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Follow-on funding represents a significant milestone in the growth journey of a startup. Remember, it should align with your business’s growth trajectory and aspirations. With the right approach, you can unlock the optimal growth potential for your business and take it to new heights.