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Stressing and Learning: Presentation Skills

It’s a major life event to enter the workforce, even if only for a little while. I recently gathered the courage to apply for a paid internship at a startup that my cousin works at. With much encouragement from my mom, my friends, my cousin, even my dog, I clicked submit on my CV and within a week I was working closely with the CFO of the company, every day! It was really stressful but also really fun. My task for the two weeks was to work only on putting together three really great powerpoint / slide presentations. Of course, I wasn’t doing it on my own, I had the help of an experienced presenter, so, mostly, I did the work of editing the slides, with the team telling me what to write, but I still learned a lot. It was stressful, but I enjoyed it. The rest of this article contains some great advice on how to best create a powerpoint presentation for investment.

There are many unique features in PowerPoint and Google Slides, including animations. When used sparingly, it can play a significant role in retaining the audience’s attention.

Animation in PowerPoint and Slides can be divided into four categories.

  1. Entrance: You use entrance animations to introduce an object on the slide. For example, suppose your slide was a room, and you wanted to introduce a person entering the room, known as an entrance.
  2. Emphasis: You use emphasis to animate the objects already on the slide. For example, you now have the room and the object; emphasis moves the existing object from one side of the room to another.
  3. Exit: These are animations that animate slide objects off the side. For example, if you are in the room and walk out of it, it is known as an exit.
  4. Motion paths: Similar to emphasis animations, they will move objects that are already on the slide. What makes motion paths different is that it creates movement in the form of a line, circle, or other direction for your animation.

Each object can have one or all four animation types added to the slide, depending on the nature of your object. Remember that you can either start from scratch or use a great pitch deck template to include such animations in. In this regard, the animations or objects get controlled by the On Click, With Previous, and After Previous options. The animation you use shouldn’t overshadow the speech you are giving. They must grab attention and keep the listener engaged.

Types of Animation

There are various animation styles that you can choose from:

  • Whiteboard animation: One of the most popular animated videos you can create to show new buyers or investors. With whiteboard animation, you can break down complex information to communicate process innovation in an industry.
  • Kinetic typography: This is an animated video that combines text, pathways, and music for audience engagement. Kinetic typography gets used for B2B pitches the most.
  • 2D animated characters: Most commonly used by startups and looking to wow the investor. 2D animated characters get used for communicating business concepts. With stock characters and a professional voice-over, this can create a winning animated pitch presentation or explainer video.
  • 3D demos: Often used before a physical prototype gets created because you can take paper-based drawings and turn them into a good video.
  • Campaign video: This form of animation is interview-style video that can promote a product. This is great for companies who have an existing product and want to expand.

Sharing Your Animated Pitch Deck

Some animations will work best presented live. Though you can also share a link to your pitch deck hosted in your virtual data room. With animation your deck may also work best as a video when investors are viewing it themselves.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Animation

If you present the pitch in front of a live investor audience, the animation will work the best. The animation will work as a visual aid to showcase the relevant points you are trying to make.
There are a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to implementing animation.

  • Use minimal animation: Using too much animation can distract your audience when you want them to pay attention to what you are saying. The animation should highlight the content, not take from it.
  • Don’t use various types of animation: You can create multiple types of animations on PowerPoint. To remain consistent with your content, stick to one kind. Simplicity and using animation as a support tool to what you are saying will effectively get your message across.
  • Use animation for the hard-to-understand topics: Animation can get used for complicated topics, and you can do a visual step-by-step process to make it easy to digest.
  • Don’t make the animation presentation too long: You lose the investor’s attention if the animation video is too long or complex. Your whole presentation shouldn’t be more than 20 minutes long, so there is still time for a Q&A and closing. Anything more than 20 minutes will have them bored and uninterested.
  • Use your animation in tandem with the script for the pitch deck: The focus must be on your voice and not on blocks of text. Keep the animation simple and in line with the script. Practice beforehand so that your speech is in line with the flow of the animation.
  • Don’t have more than one product: While you have many ideas, stick to one winning product and theme for the animation.

Tell a story with your animation and follow a narrative pattern. Express how you will create value for the investors. Remember that it is about them, not you.

Where to Find the Best Animation for Your Pitch Deck

If you have no experience with animation in a pitch deck, the best option to ensure your presentation is professional is outsourcing the job.

  1. Google Slides & PowerPoint: Both offer built in animation capabilities.
  2. Envato Market: If you are tech-savvy, purchase an animation template and do the designing yourself.
  3. Freelancing sites: Sites such as Fiverr and Upwork. You can find experts in every field and at various skill levels.

The Bottom Line

Your pitch deck is the presentation that will determine whether you get funding for our startup or not. It is a chance to show the projected worth of your ideas and how you will beat the competition and find a place in the ever-growing market. Stand out from the crowd and show how your ideas will make the investors money.

Adding animation can either make or break it, and you could miss your chances of getting capital. If you are not very good at making animations for presentations, the best thing you can do for your pitch deck is outsourcing. There are online companies and freelancers of every experience level that can bring your ideas to fruition. You stand the best chance of making an investor-approved presentation with animation by outsourcing, unless you have an inhouse team of true experts in this.

It is possible to overdo animation in a pitch deck. The animation is just a visual aid to engage with the audience. It should not overshadow the speech itself. Remember to stick to one theme to remain consistent and professional, and you’ll be on your way to landing that investment!

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