The pitch deck is paramount for marketing and business development teams in professional services. Supporting it with the best pitch presentation possible is what sealing the deal hinges on, but the deck itself is part of a strong foundation. It’s your opportunity to solidify brand recognition, make information recall easy and generally pique your audience’s interest. That being said, creating an incredible pitch deck can take time. And busy marketing teams don’t have hours of free time to spend in PowerPoint fine-tuning the presentation. That’s where these PowerPoint tips and tricks can come in to make creating pitch decks quicker and more effective in your professional services marketing strategy.
Tip 1. Use pre-designed templates
One of the most time-consuming parts of creating a PowerPoint deck is having to play with formatting and design to create really great-looking slides. This is a worthy task, though, as 33% of professionals say that visual stimulation is essential to keeping their attention. But you don’t need to sacrifice your valuable time to make this possible.
If you create templates of common presentation slides - welcome slides, bios, tombstones, pricing, testimonials, conclusions, etc. - it’s as simple as plugging in your content in and making small adjustments. Not only does this save time, but it also leads to more uniform and consistent decks, which in turn enhances perceived professionalism and brand recognition. You may want to consider adding software to your stack like Templafy which was created for content enablement through brand activation and document automation.
Using master slides - where one update affects all other like slides - is another tip to scale your design changes and save you time.
Templates are an especially critical tip to take into account if you do not have an in-house graphic designer, or if your designer has limited time. Template-driven design allows them to do the heavy lifting on the back-end, while the plug-and-play on the front end is streamlined and scalable.
Tip 2. Convert documents to presentations
The best time-saving strategy is to use what you already have to generate new content. Of all the PowerPoint tips and tricks, this is one of the most tangible time-savers.
If you already have your pitch presentation outlined in a Word document, did you know that you can convert it directly into a PowerPoint presentation?
To do this in PowerPoint, click Home > Slides > Slides from Outline.
From Word, click File > Send To > Microsoft PowerPoint.
The video below walks you through the simple steps.
Either of these options will load in all of the information from your document and use AI to group related content together. And if you combine this tip with tip #1 and apply pre-made templates/themes, you will see tons of time saved.
Tip 3. Personalize the quick access toolbar
While you may not think of the time it takes to access features as a big source of time wasted, you’d be surprised at the percentage of time it takes to navigate to menus, find the features you need, or Google commands. Luckily, you can personalize the quick access toolbar to make certain features available at the click of a button.
The best strategy for curating this toolbar is to include both features you use all the time, as well as features with complicated and hard-to-remember commands. Some command suggestions are: set transparent color (to get rid of background), size and position, and align objects.
To customize your toolbar, follow these steps:
- File menu > Options
- In the PowerPoint Options section, click Quick Access Toolbar
- Select the commands you want to be added. You could either find the tool based on category or set “Choose command from” to “All Commands” to search through a complete list.
- Click Add > OK to save the settings
Tip 4. Reduce PowerPoint size for easy sending
This section of the PowerPoint tips and tricks may not save you time on the front-end of PowerPoint creation, but it can save you a huge headache once you’re ready to send.
Oftentimes, we create these beautiful pitch decks full of spot-on branding, engaging graphics, smooth transitions and lots of great content. But all of this could add up to a massive file size that makes it difficult or impossible to send on to your prospective client or pitch team.
Reducing the file size is actually really simple, without having to sacrifice any of your hard design work. The problem usually lies in the image size. If you compress your images, your PowerPoint will typically be good to go.
To reduce image size, click on an image then go to Format > Compress Pictures. You can do this for a single image, but it’s easier to take care of all images at once; to do this, deselect “apply only to this picture.” If you’re going to project this presentation in a physical setting, web (150dpi) is the best option. If you’re simply emailing the presentation as a follow-up, 96dpi will be sufficient.
Tip 5. Automate your data entry
One of the best PowerPoint tips and tricks to ensure that you’re not wasting time creating pitch decks is to add tools to your stack that integrate with PowerPoint to automate tedious parts of your process.
As a professional services marketer, one of the biggest pain points you likely encounter is having to manually insert and format data for slides. This could data could be anything from tombstones to bios to CVs to case studies and more. Inserting this data often requires manually searching your (multiple) databases, copy/pasting them into the slides and then arranging them to make them look nice.
Pitchly’s Data Enablement Platform can take the burden off your shoulders and save you hours each week; it's your secret weapon for how to turn data into content. With Pitchly, all of your data - no matter how many disparate databases it’s housed it - comes together in a central repository. And with advanced and customizable search and filters, finding the relevant data you need is available in a moment’s notice at the click of a button.
This data is then inserted into pre-designed templates and ready to export into your PowerPoint presentation. For a look at just how simple this is, take a look at the quick, 1-minute walkthrough video below.
Schedule some time to get a closer look at our content automation capabilities
Use these PowerPoint tips and tricks to save time for the work that matters
With shrinking teams, expanding competition and increasing workloads, your team doesn’t have time to waste tinkering around in PowerPoint to create compelling pitch materials. If you use these tips, you can eliminate many unnecessary time sucks and reallocate that time to the work that makes an impact and moves the needle on your organization’s bottom line.