If you've been to a lot of pitch competitions you likely have been to at least a few that enforce strict time limits with a maximum number of slides allowed (sometimes five or less). These strict limits can work magic for presenters and slide decks alike - bringing out the best in them. Why? The limitations force them to become more concise, more exact. In other words, more compelling and on point.
A five-minute pitch isn’t just an expanded “About our Business” description. It is a short opener that shows how your company addresses a problem or market opportunity, why it’s unique and how it will serve your customers and make money. Your goal is not to tell the audience everything about your company or product in one sitting. The goal is to win their attention. Make them interested. Make them want to know more. The audience will then seek opportunities to ask questions or learn more about you.
Yes, to be effective within these time constraints you must distill an entire business concept down to a few minutes in front of a new audience. Make every word count but don't get bogged down in details. Save the detailed explanations for the followup questions or meetings. And keep your slide decks clean. Use big, bold text but with as few words as possible to get your point across. Use visuals wherever possible, but keep them simple yet compelling. Save the detailed, cluttered charts and graphs for more in depth conversations with those who request that information.
Now take a look at a slide deck we just completed for one of our clients for the 48 Hours in the Hub pitch competition in Boston. Five minutes, five slides. We added a sixth slide (a disclaimer slide) for the purposes of sharing the slide deck online.
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