The only things that land in your lap without trying are the drink you knocked over or your melting ice cream cone. Everything else you have to work for and – more often than not – pitch for.
Getting your freelance pitch-perfect isn’t something you can trust to trial and error. Putting together online presentations is a time-consuming business. If they don’t win you the business then it’s your valuable time you’ve wasted. And even though you might learn from your mistakes, your mistake could cost you the job and lose your income.
Far better to learn by following a few key pointers from consistent pitch-winners.
The first thing to remember is that the best online presentations start with a KISS.
That’s ‘Keep It Simple Stupid.’
It’s hard enough to keep your audience’s attention when you’re presenting face-to-face. But when you’re presenting face-to-monitor, and competing for a share of concentration with emails, Zoom calls, phone calls, Slack, social media and more, your task is ten times harder.
The answer isn’t to give them more to take in, but less. Less to read. Less to look at. Less to listen to. That way, you have a good chance they’ll absorb more, remember more, and ultimately come back for more.
So don’t just cut copy down to bullet points. Cut the bullet points and cut the copy too. Graphics, images and video alone can communicate the same information more effectively and more memorably. And don’t over-complicate the message with audio. Silence speaks volumes.
But even cutting out the copy and switching off the sound can still leave too much clutter.
Try to make five key points on an online presentation slide and the chances are only two or three will actually hit home. Make just one, and you’re virtually guaranteed a 100% hit rate. You’ll also be ensuring that your pitch will get a fair hearing (or viewing) on any device.
You can’t expect everyone to be looking at your presentation on a monitor of the size and screen quality you put it together on. Far more likely they’ll be watching it on their phone,
on the train, with a stuttering connection and a carriage-full of distractions. A graphically-busy slide on a small screen will be just so much visual ‘noise’. An animation could end up stop-starting more than the train itself. And any audio could slip out of sync even faster than the job slips out of your grasp.
So think simplicity, and clarity. (Two important points which you now know should be on two separate slides.)
But simple doesn’t have to mean static. Too much on-screen movement is distracting, but just enough is eye-catching. Used wisely, you can use movement to move people.
Lastly, when you’re pitching with an online presentation, remember it’s online and it’s a presentation. So don’t just read from your notes like the worst of face-to-face meetings. Instead, use a platform like gruup to bring your pitch to life with maximum impact, maximum memorability – and maximum chance of getting the gig.