You use slides to illustrate your point, right? So why would you make the slides before you’ve formulated your point? We’ve probably all been there – presenting something in school, making the PowerPoint or Prezi or something similar and then fillings words on it calling it our presentation. But that’s the wrong way to go about it. It was a bad idea in school, and it’s a bad idea for your pitch.
The aforementioned tools are great. Both PowerPoint, Prezi and all the others offer great functionality, but that doesn’t mean that they should be the foundation of your pitch or presentation. Your foundation should be what you say – what your point is. You should make your pitch first because it’s what you say, that’s going to carry you through your pitch.
Also, the whole exercise of reflecting on your actual message and whether what you’re saying really holds up is generally a great habit to adopt – regardless if you’ll be pitching your message quickly or presenting it in a longer talk.
If you make the pitch first, for example through our pitch tool the slides will be easier too. Finding charts to illustrate a thoroughly made pitch is a lot easier than keeping the message clear with words, that need to fit around certain charts.
There’s another benefit to making your pitch independently from your choice of presentation programme. You won’t consciously or unconsciously use the presentation as your cue cards. Again let’s think back to school – I’d bet we all remember those tedious presentations about some historical figure when the presenter more or less read the text from the screen with his/her back to the audience. Set yourself free from the screen!
The actual way to go around this is to an extend up to you. Whether you want to view it as one continuous effort to make the pitch and then the slides, or whether you want to view it as two separate tasks is up to you. Our advice still is, do the oral part before you do the visual.
We’re not alone with this idea, though. In the Netherlands, pitch coach David Beckett believes this too, and he’s willing to put in on video – the one below. He’s even got a step before writing the pitch, you should consider trying out.