How to Write a Pitch Deck: Taking your Copy from Meh to Mighty
How to Write a Pitch Deck: Taking your Copy from Meh to Mighty
22nd June 2023
Author Simon West
Senior Copywriter, Robot Mascot
Simon loves transforming bland copy into razor-sharp words that leap off the page. He’s an expert at quickly understanding complex business ideas and new technologies, and expressing them with articulate and inspiring content.
The world is saturated with media, millions of articles, posts, campaigns, and brands all with the same end goal; to rise above everyone and everything else with a clearly defined voice that engages and is therefore heard.
However, it’s a very noisy and increasingly crowded arena with so many voices and countless content, being heard is getting harder by the day. Communication without focus is a lost cause and will simply be drowned out by more defined messaging. No one has the time, or more importantly desire, to read anything bland or average; and those that communicate in such a way dramatically narrow their reach and scope.
If you haven’t identified your audience then you haven’t identified what you need to say. It sounds simple but it’s vital. Despite the fierce competition to be heard it is surprising just how many founders rely on generic communication to get by. And to be honest, that’s all they’re doing; ticking the rudimentary boxes for communication and simply adding to the general melee and tussle for the audience’s attention.
Of course, you could say what works is subjective and a matter of opinion, but when you have a business to elevate and promote it’s anything but subjective. It can’t be when you have objectives to fulfill. After all, you’re chasing clicks, cut through and responses.
Engagement is everything and because of an increasingly saturated and crowded marketplace the level of sophistication needed to be successful is at an all-time high. Defining what makes a brand or business couldn’t be more important, in fact really defining is realistically what is needed.
Specialism is where it’s at. Those that thoroughly and conclusively know their audience can perform as a specialist and are on their way to communicating with absolute clarity.
Writing for founders on the fundraising journey is a specialism that takes no prisoners. This is because the defined audience is incredibly astute and demanding. Investors, ironically, have little time to invest, so literally every second counts when it comes to getting a business case across successfully.
Hyperbole is their absolute nemesis, anyone can amp up the importance of their business, that’s why it doesn’t work, because everyone can and often does do just that. In a world full of businesses communicating like they’re one of a kind they’ll seem anything but.
Be clear, concise and articulate
Pitching to investors is all about being realistic – communicating in a clear, concise, and accurate way will always win out. Every investor has a highly tuned radar that identifies and blocks opportunity for poorly defined businesses promoted with excessive but shallow elaboration.
However, convincing, and persuasive copy based on realism and fact can literally get under the radar and reach them successfully. It’s another example of identifying and truly knowing your audience.
Nail the tone of your pitch
Tone of voice is the vehicle that propels an idea, brand, or in this case business, to reach that desired audience. And achieving this is always best with humility. Sounds strange, but an approach lacking in ego is far more successful at communicating convincingly – because it is far easier to take on the character of the business.
When you can become receptive, and the copy becomes a conduit for everything the founders and business stand for then you are really starting to say something of value. It’s a source of real, genuine and hyperbole free messaging, and what every experienced investor would prefer over the generic big sell.
It is this egoless approach that is far more receptive to identifying what’s needed. And the absolute core question that must be answered is ‘what makes this business special?’ When asking this it’s imperative that we’re still thinking in a framework tied to reality.
Again, hyperbole or creative excess must be avoided when really thinking about the given audience. However truly incredible or attractive elements of a business need to be conveyed with the conviction they deserve, just not with the excess that turns off investors.
Tone is everything and what’s needed across your business can change subtlety between different campaigns, and in other cases the difference in tone from one campaign to another can seem monumental.
Tone of voice examples
An above the line advertising campaign still needs to fulfil the objective of increasing audience interest, but the style and approach can be very different to answering the needs of investors.
This is an arena, where commonly, the most successful campaigns deploy memorable but measurable creative approaches that gain audience interest. A leftfield direction in creative can often become incredibly successful.
Just think of the Cadbury’s gorilla campaign. The launch of the new campaign was connected to the feeling of joy and a gorilla playing the drums to a Phil Collins song couldn’t be a more leftfield approach to conveying this.
This was well within the arena of excess and creative elaboration BUT it was suitable because it gained remarkable interest from an audience pounded with the same average approaches from the mainstay of national advertising.
Using this same approach but for an audience of investors would be a misjudgement and irrelevant. Investors want to feel confident that a business case has realistic potential and can generate an attractive return on investment.
The most effective way of achieving this is communicating the idea pragmatically and accurately, but still retaining the core elements that make the business exciting or interesting.
Pitch with clarity – refine the communication
So, writing for investors can simply be put under language and style? Unfortunately, producing the perfect pitch content takes considerably more work than nailing the tone and style. To even get to a stage of being ready to write for an investor pitch takes substantial consideration and analysis.
You are predominately working from a business plan which is an incredible source of comprehensive information. But it takes considerable analysis to review and distil into a highly impactful form of communication that does the investment seeking business justice.
No, we’re not talking drum playing gorillas here, but we are focused on material that fulfils the needs of a highly demanding and sophisticated audience of investors.
At Robot Mascot, we’ve found that the definitive and perfect scenario when creating pitch content for clients seeking investment is when business strategist, financial strategist, and pitch copy strategist work as a cohesive team.
The reason why this is so successful is because it is an assembly of all specialisms with one common direction: to empower founders with their optimal opportunity for achieving investment.
Again, this is an egoless process. Each person plays their part in the journey, to the betterment of everyone involved. It means that every single perspective is considered, which contributes to a comprehensive set of investor-convincing deliverables for founders seeking investment.
Within your business you will need to find a way to leverage the knowledge an insights to those who head up business and financial strategy while retaining a single minded clarity and consistent tone to your pitch – this can be the most difficult for the inexperienced.
Whether writing for an above the line advertising campaign requiring concept thinking or really defining a business on its fundraising journey, copywriting is a hugely versatile communication tool that can unlock real engagement and lead to hugely beneficial commercial outcomes. Just speak the right language and you’ll be heard.
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