Climbing the six-step ladder to winning pitch presentations

June 13, 2023
4 min read
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Everyone loves a good story - the thrill of a well-crafted tale that grabs attention from the first line and holds it until the very end. This universal love for storytelling is nowhere more critical than in the high-stakes world of business pitches. Whether you're an early-stage startup attempting to attract your first round of clients, a seasoned agency trying to pitch an innovative campaign to a longtime customer, or a visionary innovator seeking vital investment, the way you spin your tale can profoundly influence your success. Understanding the key ingredients of this vital story, your pitch, is fundamental to clinching that all-important "yes". These ingredients boil down to six key concepts.

1. The Brief

The heart of any pitch is the client's brief. It's the foundation upon which you will construct your strategic narrative and the lens through which you'll view your creative idea. To truly win at pitching, you must show that you've understood the brief, right down to its very core. Grasping the primary objectives, understanding the subtle nuances, and appreciating the wider context are all vital to demonstrate a profound understanding of the brief. After all, your clients want to feel heard and reassured that their project is in the most capable hands.

2. The strategic narrative

Your strategic narrative is the compass guiding your idea. It gives your story direction and purpose. This narrative is born from your profound understanding of the audience. It sets the stage for your creative strategy and primes your audience for the idea to come. This narrative might take the form of a powerful insight condensed into a single compelling sentence or a meticulously crafted essay. The strategic narrative, regardless of its form, should serve to make a point about what the creative needs to accomplish and prepare the ground for the idea, giving it the room it needs to flourish.

3. The idea

This is your star player, the spark that lights up your pitch. A good idea is clear, concise, and compelling. It should ideally be expressible in a single sentence, standing robustly independent of any particular channel. This idea, this central concept, is the kernel of innovation that not only fulfils the needs of the brief but resonates with your audience, igniting their imagination. If your idea can't be boiled down into a straightforward explanation, it likely needs further refinement.

4. The execution

This is the stage where your idea stops being a mere concept and starts living in the real world. It's the practical application of your concept. Show just enough to explain what you plan to create, using a harmonious combination of words and images to bring your idea to life. This stage is where the rubber meets the road. The execution is the tangible incarnation of your concept, the physical embodiment of your narrative. It's the proof that your idea is not just another pie in the sky but a feasible, realisable project.

5. Presentation design

Your presentation is the vessel that carries your idea from your creative workspace to your client. It's the packaging of your pitch, enhancing the content and ensuring your idea is showcased in its best light. The design, whether adhering to the style of your agency or the client's brand, should help the idea stand out. However, remember that clarity is king - the design should enhance your narrative and provide an intuitive path through your pitch, rather than confusing or overwhelming your audience.

6. The pitch

Last but not least, the act of pitching itself. This is the final performance, where all your hard work comes together in a cohesive presentation. After creating the presentation, it's time to rehearse. Decide on the key message for each slide and resist the temptation to read directly from them. Practice your pitch until it feels natural, until you can express your idea fluently without relying on written crutches. On the day of the pitch, remember to leave room for natural discussions. If you're well-prepared, the dialogue will flow easily and contribute to the overall impact of your pitch.


Pitching is a delicate balance between art and science, between creativity and strategy, between intuition and knowledge. By mastering these six key concepts, you're well on your way to delivering a pitch that not only impresses but also persuades. After all, it's all about telling a compelling story - your story. So put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, and weave your narrative, engage your audience, and see your ideas take flight. As you prepare to walk into your next pitch meeting, remember that you're not just pitching an idea - you're sharing a vision. Here's to your success in the captivating art of pitching!

The post Climbing the six-step ladder to winning pitch presentations first appeared on Untitled.

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I am a creative director and product designer based in London. I have helped companies like Google, Meta, Netflix, Mercedes-Benz, Burberry and Nike create extraordinary brand experiences.

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