Creating a Great Pitch Document – 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid

June 22, 2013

What Makes A Great Pitch Document?

When you want to win new business, how important is your pitch document?  It may decide if you get to the next stage of the sale.  Whether you are pitching to an investor, raising money from a donor, or selling something, your pitch document is vitally important.

common mistakes in pitch documents for new business pitches

The team at Benjamin Ball Associates identified the eight most common mistakes we see in our clients’ investor pitch decks and proposals.

Pitch Document Mistake #1 |  Not focusing on the client

A good pitch document is not about you.  It’s about the client, their needs, and how you can help them.  Anything else is just a brochure.


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


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 document makes assumptions about what the client might want.


Pitch Document Mistake #4 |  Talking about yourself too much

The client should be the star of the document, not you.  A client does not want to read about how great you are.  They want to know what you can do for them.

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.


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.


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

Is the document 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.


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.  Your writing should make it easy for the client.

“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

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we support clients in creating more persuasive pitch documents.  We do with with coaching and advice.

If you have an important pitch coming up and want more powerful pitch documents, call us today. Speak to our Client Services Director, Louise Angus on 020 7018 0922.  Discuss how we may be able to support you with advice and coaching.  

You may also be interested in...

Fundraising Presentations: a survive and thrive guide for talking to investors

Apr 21, 2017

Fundraising presentations are hard work. You're bombarded with challenging questions from investors, worn out by long days, and struggling to...

Read More

Persuasive Investor Presentations – five techniques from psychology

Apr 13, 2016

Investment decision-making is not totally rational. Are you using all the tools at your disposal to create and deliver persuasive...

Read More

Five reasons that good public speaking skills make you a better leader

Nov 11, 2016

Do your public speaking skills inspire, motivate and influence others? They should. Many leaders are nervous of public speaking. Some...

Read More

Ten Benefits Of A Better Investor Pitch Book

May 10, 2018

A great investor pitch book is at the heart of successful fundraising.  It should capture the essence of your business...

Read More

Why Body Language Matters When Pitching to Win Business

Jun 29, 2012

Better Body Language We all know that body language is important in business.  But how important? And does is really...

Read More

Private Equity Fundraising Tips from the Experts: Become a Top 1% Fund

Sep 06, 2017

How can you be seen as a top 1% fund by investors? At SuperReturn Emerging Markets in Amsterdam, experienced LPs...

Read More

How you can create a powerful elevator pitch

Mar 07, 2016

A great elevator pitch is an essential part of your toolkit Last month I chaired the Quickfire Showcase at Berlin’s...

Read More

How to Take Charge of Your Media Interviews

Jan 16, 2013

Better Media Interviews The excruciating Newsnight interview with Treasury Minister Chloe Smith this summer is just one example of how poor preparation...

Read More

How To Write So People Will Read – 6 Great Tips

Mar 11, 2018

These days, we are writing more than ever.  That means it’s harder than ever to grab attention.  Your readers have...

Read More

How well do you answer difficult investor questions?

Nov 16, 2017

When an investor questions how you calculated your Private Equity fund's performance, how do you react? If an investor asks...

Read More

How to Choose a Public Speaking Coach

Aug 21, 2017

How do you choose a public speaking coach? When selecting a public speaking coach or presentation trainer, you want to work...

Read More

10 Power Language techniques to use in your next talk or presentation

Sep 06, 2017

How To Harness Powerful Language For Leadership Communications Great leaders use Power Language to add interest and colour to what...

Read More

The “So What?” Test

Dec 30, 2009

When you put your talk or presentation together, how do you decide what to include and what to leave out?  Use...

Read More

Private equity fundraising | Seven tips for first investor meetings

Dec 10, 2015

What do LPs want from private equity funds at first investor meetings? That's the question I put to the panel...

Read More

What do investors want? Six pitch tips for 2017

Sep 21, 2016

While we wrote this piece with our Private Equity clients in mind, there are good lessons here for anyone pitching...

Read More

Give high impact talks and presentations – 5 simple tips

Mar 01, 2017

Do you want to give high impact talks and presentations? Do you want to engage your audience? And do you want...

Read More

Storytelling: your secret weapon for effective business communication

Jul 05, 2017

Leaders use storytelling so that audiences listen, remember and act on what they say. In fact, stories are “the single...

Read More

Make Your Investment Pitch More Memorable – Six Simple Tips

Mar 29, 2017

How do you make your investment pitch more memorable? It's a real challenge these days. Investors have more opportunities than...

Read More

Three persuasive appeals you must use in your talks and presentations

Nov 30, 2016

Your leadership talks need to be persuasive As a leader, every talk or presentation you give is an exercise in persuasion....

Read More

What do LPs want from your private equity pitch book?

Oct 14, 2015

A well-crafted private equity pitch book can make the difference between securing a first meeting with investors and getting a...

Read More


Review our top coaching, advice and training programmes.

1. Improve Your Investor Pitch

2. Public Speaking Coaching

3. Presentation Coaching

4. Media Training
All these are in-house programmes. (Not ‘open’ courses.) and can be run as 1:1 or small group training in-house.
Contact Us Now


Top Blog Posts

What Our Clients Say

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

Erwin de Kleijn Head of IR, Saemor Capital

“This training has contributed directly to new business – including a new FTSE100 client.”

Michelle Elstein Head of Business Development, Olswang LLP

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

Gerry Bastable  Director, Blast Films