5 Tips to Improve Pitch Deck Storytelling
Angelica A.
December 19, 2019

5 Tips to Improve Pitch Deck Storytelling

Angelica A.
December 19, 2019
Company Forensics - Learn from the mistakes of VC-funded startups | Product Hunt

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A crucial part of getting your pitch deck right is having a strong story to tell. In that sense, how we tell a story and the ways in which we allow our audience to navigate the flow of that storyline, will set a reliable foundation for pitch deck success. So, let’s go over this 5 tips on how to improve your pitch deck storytelling

Tip #1: Let go of your public speaking fear

Any good story depends on how well it is told. Stories’ success is measured in terms of how people react to them, not only by their pure content. Therefore, we suggest you to work on your overall sense of confidence first, so you can truly connect to the main reason why you’re telling a story during a business presentation. 

You can work on losing the fear of presenting by thinking of your pitch as a story you are telling in the most credible way. Acknowledge how do you want people to actually believe in you.

Believing in the narrative you are about to tell depends on your actual relation to the story you craft. Therefore, do your best to assimilate the fact that you will be on stage or in front of a private, but highly valuable audience, and think of your job as a storyteller would think of theirs. 

Check our video about this: Fear of Public Speaking

Tip #2: Come up with an ad for your business 

See this as a confidence-bending exercise: Try to reduce your business presentation to a 30-second ad. This will require you cut down to the essentials, thus helping you clarify what your pitch deck fundamentals are, and furthermore allowing you to look into the diversity of tone as a means of injecting required commercial-like energy. 

Step out of your comfort zone for this concision exercise. When anyone asks you for a brief of your business, you will have an entertaining way of telling exactly those catchy phrases in a few seconds. 

In the end, your ad should answer why your business proposition calls for the amount of money you are aiming to raise as well, so it cannot hurt to think in quick terms why your business is worth the funds you need. Another good exercise in this direction, of course, is the elevator pitch.

Tip #3: Feed off bad examples of storytelling

Bad storytelling is all around us with the increased need to sell no matter what: It’s on TV, newspapers and social media.

Far from discouraging yourself from being able to find perfect storytelling material for your startup, look at these bad examples to analyze what it is they are lacking, how they are failing to work at engaging with you, and what you would have done differently to tell that same story in better terms. 

On this, it might help to remember how we all constantly tell narratives in our day-to-day lives. Listen to your family and friends as they show up and tell you about their days, for instance. They will typically start with a very natural opening line up to their punchline. Your spouse’s way of explaining just how frustrating a run to the store was, will probably connect with ancient storytelling techniques that humankind has used since there is a record of our history. Connect with the flow to engaging stories as much as you analyze what is failing to get you interested. There is a lot of learning room in both. 

Tip #4: Think about your best-case scenario

What would your startup help change in this world if it were successful? 

Write down the possible answers so you can easily come up with brief statements with which you can start telling your company’s story. Your biggest achievement possible can easily be a very engaging way to start telling your business narrative for a pitch. 

Tip #5: Show rather than tell

“Show, don’t tell” is a classic, is it not? There are valid reasons for that. In spite of everything we have outlined in this article, please do not focus on the second part of the word “story-telling” as a constant need for verbiage to get points across. 

On the contrary, focus on “painting a picture” with words more than using words to describe the main point of what you wish to convey. While this may sound confusing, it is worth figuring out ways of creating images and sensations (besides of thinking of your pitch deck design, of course) towards a key point in your narrative than just blurting out what you wish your audience understands. So, for instance, if you want to say you were “feeling desperate” it can be much more powerful if described with the sensations it created: The lack of ability to stand still, the constant need for reassurance, the never knowing what needs to be done and how.

One very valuable rule along with this is to never think of your audience as a less-than-super-smart crowd. If you do not think of your audience as anywhere near dumb, you will not be tempted to outline every single consideration you wish to convey. Avoid feeling like you need to be literal in order for people to comprehend. In considering this, also enjoy the pleasure of the many resources that storytelling allows, such as metaphor, imagery, suspense, climax, and so many more to artistically create a narrative flow that your audience will only appreciate. 

Bonus Tip: 

Start telling your story at an unexpected time of your pitch deck delivery and this might just create a compelling connection with your audience that is worth a lot of precious engagement!

Feel free to browse our blog for more public speaking tips and, of course, if you need a pitch deck template to visually help you tell your story, click below! 

Free Pitch Deck Templates