You Want Them to Think

Here’s what to consider doing before crafting your pitch deck to avoid making a big mistake.

Why is it that people tend to cram too many features on their presentation?

Is there a psychological basis? Is it borne out of the pressure that a startup founder is feeling, or is it because we think that we have to give more information to be understood?

If everything is in there, we focus on nothing.

Most likely as presenters, there is a tendency to add more elements believing that it will increase our chances to amaze, impress, or bring our audiences over to our side. When, in fact, the elements and features we present are not the end-all and be-all of the entire pitch experience.

I love searching for inspiration among thought leaders from other spheres distinct from IT and design. How they explain their core concepts and the questions they pose allows me to derive connections and commonalities across different industries and experiences.  

What I realized is that you really can’t make someone think of something. However, you can make them act in a certain way, which is the intention of your call-to-action, but how do you go further? 

One of the greatest living choreographers, Ohad Naharin, once said that the "narrative of the dance is not the narrative of a story." Similarly, in our presentation, we recognize that there are factors, big and small, which strengthens our entire message. Here, we see how the flow of our logic, the selection of our words, infographics, and colors can transform a vision into a definite form.

No matter how technical your presentation is, what wins your audience over is how they felt when they understood the full impact of your presentation. 

Evoke strong feelings and excitement into your presentation, but act with restraint so you can carefully choose what’s essential. 

So, where do you start?

In Evan Carmichael's book, "Your One Word", he explains the importance of having one thing that your customers will remember when thinking about your company. Utilizing Carmichael's approach radically prevents you from drowning your audience into confusion with so many details, resulting in inaction. 


●  Coca-Cola is about "Pleasure".

●  Starbucks is about "Love".

●  Apple is about "Impact".

●  Nike is about action - "Just Do it.".

●  Martin Luther King is about "Equality".

●  Muhammed Ali, "Greatest”.

So how do you define your core offer or one word? 

Try answering the questions below (Note: These questions were derived from Evan Carmichaels's book.)

Ask yourself:

●  What makes you happy?

●  What connects your happiness?

●  What trait do you hate?

●  What's your constant?

●  Is this really who you are?

Based on your answers, you can start building the story of your company’s origins through that singular thought or core word. It could be a particular challenge, struggle, mantra, identity, or motivation to succeed. 

Imagine your core word like a black dot which your investors will follow as you move along the various branches of your story. 

Being clear on your message allows your listeners the space to derive connections to you and your story. Every feature and benefit of your product will now make sense. And ultimately, their role will be an “enabler” to help you achieve your vision and grow your business.

Your Next Moves

Here's what you could do to help your investors understand your pitch, and say yes.

  1. Build your one word.
  2. Craft your story about that one core message.
  3. Provide visuals that will help them imagine and see themselves in it.
  4. Know their language and use so they can relate to your core message.
  5. Your pitch presentation is a show — so PRACTICE. Find someone to give you proper feedback. Be ready to accept this feedback.

There you go.

So, what do you think will be your core message that will win that funding you wish for?