how to craft a presentation message

How to Write A Great Pitch Deck – 8 Mistakes to Avoid

June 22, 2013

What Makes A Great Pitch Deck?

When you want to win new business, the quality of your pitch deck is critical.

If you make mistakes in your pitch deck, you may never get to see your client.  Or they may be put off from the start.

So that you can write a great pitch document, we have here…


Eight common mistakes you regularly see in investor pitch decks.


1. Not talking about the client

2. Not engaging from the start

3. Making bad assumptions

4. Talking about yourself too much

5. Not having a clear story

6. Confusing features with benefits

7. Not making it easy enough

8. Too many words

Pitch Deck Mistake #1 |  Not talking about the client

A good pitch is not about you. 

It’s about the client, their needs, and how you can help them.  Anything else is just a brochure.

So, go back through your pitch and work out if your client will feel as if they are the centre of your universe.  If not, get someone to re-write it.

Pitch Document Mistake #2 |  Failing to engage from the start

Psychologists have shown that our unconscious brain makes decisions faster than our conscious brain.  That means you want to appeal to the unconscious brain from the start.

For example:

  • How does the front page look?
  • Does it grab attention?
  • Is it clear what you are offering?
  • What about page two?

If your reader is not sold on you by the time they read page 2, then your pitch needs more work.

Pitch Document Mistake #3 |  Making bad assumptions

A good pitch helps a client with their needs. 

If you understand their needs, you can write a well targeted document.

A badly written pitch document makes assumptions about what the client might want. So, stop assuming and make sure your pitch is written to reflect what you know your client wants to hear.

Pitch Document Mistake #4 |  Talking about yourself too much

The client should be the star of your pitch, not you.

A client does not want to read about how great you are.  They want to know what you can do for them.

Check your pitch and see how many times the pitch says ‘we’ vs. ‘you’.  How many ‘we’s can be replaced with ‘you’s?
Help Me Create A Great Pitch

Pitch Document Mistake #5 |  Not having a clear story

Stories are a powerful way to communicate.

They link facts together into a logical sequence and they have a natural rhythm that makes them a pleasure to read.  Even the driest pitch document can be told as a story.

Does your pitch contain enough stories?

Pitch Document Mistake #6 |  Confusing features with benefits

The second rule of sales (after ‘know your client’) is stress the benefits.  Where features are listed it shows either laziness or that you do not understand the client well enough.  Make sure every feature about your offer is turned into a benefit.

Pitch Document Mistake #7 |  Making it hard for the client

Is your pitch a pleasure to read?  Is it summarised well?  Does each part push the story forward?  If not, you have not made it easy for the client. Find someone to re-write, re-structure and re-edit until your document is as easy to read as a newspaper.

Pitch Document Mistake #8 |  Using too many words

It is easy to say too much.  It’s tougher to be succinct, engaging and compelling.  People like reading short, pithy, powerful documents.  So get someone to re-write it so it’s all very easy for your client to read.

“Moved our presentation into a different league and undoubtedly improved the outcome and offer we received.”

Liz Warner CEO, betty


Help Me Create A Great Pitch

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If you have an important pitch coming up and you want a powerful pitch document, call us today.

Speak to our Client Services Director, Louise Angus on 020 7018 0922.  She’ll be happy to explain how we can help you win more pitches.

Help Me Create A Great Pitch

If you want to read more about creating great pitches, try the following articles:


Investor Pitching Advice

How to create a great investor pitch
What makes a powerful private equity pitch book
Pitch book slides – five golden rules

Tips for hedge fund pitches
What makes a successful private equity pitch
Benefit of a better investor pitch book

How to pitch at a PE event
Speed networking for investor pitches
Investor pitch tips

How to pitch to Venture Capital
Examples of bad private equity pitches
Investor elevator pitch competition examples



General Good Pitching Advice

Five minute pitch? – try these tips
How to create an impressive sales pitch
Better body language when pitching
How to be more persuasive when pitching



Help Me Create A Great Pitch



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What Our Clients Say

“BBA transformed our pitch into a compelling investment narrative. They undoubtedly helped us secure Sky TV as an investor.”

Gerry Bastable  Director, Blast Films

“The new presentation properly represents the institutional quality of our fund. It has been a step change for us.”

Erwin de Kleijn Head of IR, Saemor Capital

“We were very pleased…[BBA]  helped us define and explain our unique value proposition. As a result we have attracted new and different investors.”

Florian Kemmerich  Managing Partner, Bamboo Capital Partners


To Learn More…

Contact our
Client Services Director
Louise Angus
+44 (0)20 7018 0922