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Please delete your first three slides (or move them)

By Alan Armstrong

Raise your hand if your standard pitch deck starts a bit like this:

  • About Us Part 0 (title page)
  • About Us Part 1 (description)
  • About Us Part 2 (management team or something similar)
  • About Us Part 3 (customer logos)
  • Market overview
  • Problems we solve
  • etc.

This is a recipe for boredom. The order is common, familiar, and self-interested, and it lulls your audience into an unengaged trance like some kind of pavlovian hypnotism.

Here's what I want you to do: Delete the first 3 slides, or at least move them down in the deck. (You can keep the title slide for now.) Your first slide of content needs to prompt a compelling story about a client that you recently saved. The story should be illustrative of your core value to the market. When you've finished telling that story, tell the audience that you work for (or founded) this company because the client problem you described is so pervasive and so real, and you want save the rest of the market from similar torture.

Then you can talk about yourself, your company, how many hundred years of management experience you have, and how many bright shiny logos you've acquired in the first 2 years of business. But those are supporting points. They support your opening story, which grabs attention because you are here to solve a problem. Or help your audience achieve a goal.

I guarantee your audience will be more engaged, and it will improve your results. It's a small change, really, with a huge impact.

But how many of you will really do it?

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