Not sure what to add to your pitch deck title slide? You are not alone.

Like a book, most people will judge your pitch deck by the cover. That's why making your title side as clear as possible is important.

Your pitch deck title slide should include a clear title, a compelling value statement, and the company, product, or project logo.

These elements not only convey the essence of your presentation but also play a crucial role in engaging your audience from the very beginning. The value statement, in particular, is a powerful tool that highlights what's in it for the audience, making them more likely to stay engaged and invested in your pitch.

In this comprehensive video series, you'll learn how to create a compelling pitch deck title slide and how your brand personality, archetype, and core values can impact your strategy, content, and design.

A typical presentation cover slide includes a title, subtitle (often a value statement), and logo. These elements provide a snapshot of the presentation's content.

Value Statements

Value statements convey what's in it for the audience. They are crucial for pitch decks as they immediately grab attention and convey relevance.

Purpose Statements

While value statements focus on marketing and sales communication, purpose statements are more detailed and suitable for planning and implementation. They provide a broader view of the company's vision, mission, and values.

Cover Slide Variations

Depending on your audience and purpose, you might need multiple cover slides. These could include variations with different focus areas such as vision, mission, or values.

Audience Temperature

Tailor your cover slide content based on the audience's familiarity with your business. Cold audiences prefer a preview without intricate details.

An executive summary slide is like the trailer of your presentation. It's a snapshot of your purpose, key points, results, recommendations, and call to action, all condensed into one slide.

Why might you need an executive summary?

In certain scenarios, such as pitching to investment firms or business stakeholders, it's a valuable tool to provide a quick overview of your proposal. Some investment firms also prefer a one-slide summary of your presentations to share with their stakeholders.

In some cases your executive summary slide can replace your pitch deck title slides.

What is a Value Statement?

A value statement is a short phrase or sentence that describes your ideas and solutions. While the concept sounds easy, many people still find it challenging to explain what they do in a few short words.

Here are some tips to help:

1. Branding vs. Marketing

Start by choosing your objective. What is the purpose of your presentation? Are you presenting to create more brand awareness, or are you presenting to help your audience take a specific action? Branding focuses on building personality and reputation, while marketing drives sales through various activities.

2. Taglines vs. Slogans:

Next, determine if you need a tagline or slogan. Taglines are useful for long-term brand association. e.g., Nike's “Just Do It” and McDonald's “I'm Lovin' It” exemplify the power of effective taglines for the entire brand family. On the other hand, slogans are short-term catchphrases used for specific product or event marketing campaigns.

It is not easy to create clear and meaningful taglines and slogans. Explaining what you do in 2 to 4 words is very challenging. That's why many people use Unique Value Propositions (UVP) and Unique Selling Propositions (USP).

3. UVP vs. USP

While many people use UVP and USP interchangeably, there is a difference. UVPs highlight the results users can expect from your products or services, focusing on branding. USPs emphasize how your offerings are better or different from other solutions on the market.

When creating your pitch deck title slide, you'll want to choose clarity over creativity. You want to help your audience understand what you do right away. Avoid vague statements and use a self-explanatory statement that helps the audience understand what's in it for them.

People are more likely to buy from trusted brands. The fastest way to build trust is to show your audience that you understand them and know what they want. You get them. You are just like them.

That's where a brand personality can help you.

According to Jennifer Aaker, a business professor, there are five distinct brand personalities: sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness.

Each personality type elicits specific emotions and associations. For instance, sincerity embodies honesty and wholesomeness, as seen in brands like Walt Disney and Dove. On the other hand, excitement is all about being daring and innovative, epitomized by companies like Tesla and Red Bull.

By aligning your brand with a specific personality type, you can create messaging and design elements that resonate with your target audience.

What is a Brand Archetype?

Brand archetypes serve as a framework marketers use to define and cultivate brand identities. Unlike the “dimensions of brand personalities” derived from consumer perceptions, archetypes draw inspiration from ancient literature and modern entertainment.

Choosing a brand archetype can help you craft faster messaging and show your audience where you fit into their story.

There are 12 distinct archetypes grouped into four categories:

Group One: The Journey

Archetypes driven by the pursuit of freedom, knowledge, and wisdom.

  • Innocent: Exudes happiness, simplicity, and honesty. (e.g., Dove, Coca-Cola)
  • Sage: Focused on imparting wisdom and insight. (e.g., PBS, Google)
  • Explorer: Embraces freedom and exploration. (e.g., NASA, National Geographic)

Group Two: The Legacy

Archetypes centered around leaving a lasting impact.

  • Rebel: Challenges the status quo and seeks change. (e.g., Harley-Davidson, Virgin)
  • Magician: Dazzles with visionary experiences. (e.g., Disney, Dyson)
  • Hero: Strives to make a difference and overcome challenges. (e.g., Nike, BMW)

Group Three: Connections

Archetypes fostering belonging and intimacy.

  • Lover: Passionate and intimate. (e.g., Victoria's Secret, Chanel)
  • Jester: Light-hearted and playful. (e.g., Budweiser, Skittles)
  • Everyman: Approachable and reliable. (e.g., Ikea, Target)

Group Four: Structure

Archetypes that provide guidance and stability.

  • Caregiver: Compassionate and nurturing. (e.g., UNICEF, Johnson & Johnson)
  • Ruler: Assertive and authoritative. (e.g., Microsoft, Rolex)
  • Creator: Inspires with originality and innovation. (e.g., Apple, Lego)

What are the Differentiators?

Differentiators are words that help your audience understand what you do. What is different or better about your solutions compared to others?

Using the rule of three, start by picking the top three words that describe your solutions. Each word must align with your audience's needs and your business's capabilities.

Here are three criteria to ensure your differentiators hit the mark:

  • True: Authenticity is paramount. Your differentiators must accurately represent your solutions, fostering trust and credibility.
  • Relevant: Your words should address your audience's pain points and aspirations. If they don't resonate, they lose their impact.
  • Provable: Back up your claims with evidence. Tangible proof solidifies your differentiators, transforming them from mere words into compelling arguments.

Many people confuse value statements with purpose statements.

Value statements are concise and tailored for marketing and sales communication, whereas purpose statements, like mission and vision statements, are more comprehensive and suitable for strategic planning and implementation.

Value statements typically belong on the cover slide of your pitch deck. On the other hand, purpose statements can be elaborated on additional slides to provide a deeper understanding of your company's mission and values.

Crafting Your Value Statement: The Framework

Here's a breakdown of the key questions your value statement should address:

  • What do you have to offer?
  • Who can benefit from this offer?
  • How do you deliver this offer?
  • Why choose your offer?

Exploring Frameworks for Value Statements

The “WHAT, HOW, WHY” Formula: Developed by Dave McCleary, this formula succinctly articulates the product, its method of delivery, and its unique benefits. For instance, “Mint.com is the free, easy way to manage your money online.”

Steve Blank's XYZ Statement: This formula emphasizes how your company addresses specific needs. For example, “We help new startups book more investor meetings by creating compelling pitch decks.”

The VAD Approach: Coined by Guy Kawasaki: This framework focuses on the action, application, and differentiator. For instance, “Make voice over IP calls easily and cheaply.”

Clay Christensen's “Jobs to be Done” Formula: This framework centers on addressing specific tasks or needs of your audience. For example, “File your taxes with confidence.”

Successful businesses provide solutions to existing problems. They have a purpose, which can be explained quickly using purpose statements.

There are four main purpose statements:

  • Vision Statement: The grand, long-term aspiration driving your business forward.
  • Mission: The roadmap outlining how you intend to realize your vision.
  • Core Values: Guiding principles steering your actions.
  • Business Philosophy: The overarching principles and moral compass of your venture.

While purpose statements might not be obligatory in every presentation, their inclusion can significantly enhance coherence and authenticity.

A vision statement is more than just a string of words. It answers fundamental questions such as “Where are we going?” “Why are we going there?” and “What does success look like?” It encapsulates your grand vision, vividly depicting the future you aspire to create.

Elements of an Effective Vision Statement

Crafting a compelling vision statement requires attention to several key elements:

  • Future Orientation: A vision statement is inherently future-oriented, projecting your aspirations for the long term. Use future-tense language such as “we will” or “we envision” to convey this sense of forward momentum.
  • Directionality: Adopt a directional tone to emphasize that your journey is ongoing. Your vision statement should indicate that you're moving toward a destination rather than already being there.
  • Boldness: Dare to dream big. Your vision statement should be bold and ambitious, reflecting aspirations beyond the confines of current capabilities.
  • Descriptiveness: Choose descriptive language that vividly illustrates what success looks like in your envisioned future. Paint a detailed picture of the outcomes you seek to achieve.

Types of Vision Statements

Vision statements can fall into various categories, each highlighting different aspects of your overarching goals:

  • Quantitative: Focused on numerical targets such as revenue, sales, clients, or users, quantitative vision statements quantify the desired outcomes.
  • Competitive: Centered on outperforming competitors, competitive vision statements articulate how you plan to differentiate yourself in the market landscape.
  • Superlative: Aspiring to be the best in your industry or category, superlative vision statements position your venture as a leader in its field.

While not essential, vision statements are potent tools for aligning stakeholders, attracting like-minded individuals, and providing a cohesive narrative for your venture. They offer clarity of purpose and direction, guiding decision-making and inspiring action.

Understanding the Purpose of a Mission Statement

A mission statement articulates how you plan to realize that vision. The goal is to answer the following questions using one statement:

  • What do you do?: Define your core purpose and the value you provide.
  • How do you deliver your value?: Explain the approach or methodology you employ.
  • Who benefits?: Identify your target audience or beneficiaries.
  • Why do you do this?: Articulate the values and motivations that drive your business.

Mission statements usually have three main characteristics:

  • Aspirational: Your mission statement should be ambitious, inspiring, and meaningful for your team and target market. It should also reflect your company's overarching goals and values.
  • Achievable: Unlike a vision statement, which may encompass lofty, long-term objectives, your mission statement should outline actionable steps that you are currently undertaking to achieve your vision.
  • General: Your mission statement should be broad enough to encompass all your products and services. It serves as an overarching umbrella for your business endeavors.

Your mission statement can evolve as your business grows. Start with something simple, and you can always refine it based on market feedback.

New startups with minimal branding often use their mission statement on a pitch deck title slide.

What are Core Values?

Core values are the guiding principles for your solutions. These values serve as the moral compass steering a team towards a shared goal, shaping interactions, decisions, and, ultimately, the venture's trajectory.

Choosing your core values will depend on your venture's unique aspirations and focus. Consider the nature of your business relationships, customer interactions, workforce dynamics, growth strategies, and societal impact.

There's no definitive blueprint; the key lies in choosing values that align with your mission, resonate with stakeholders, and reflect your distinctive approach.

Here are tips to help you choose the right values:

  • Alignment: Core values must harmonize with your vision and mission, serving as pillars upon which your strategic framework is built.
  • Uniqueness: They should encapsulate your distinctive approach to delivering solutions, setting your venture apart in a crowded marketplace.
  • Clarity: Core values ought to be clear and concise, easily understood and internalized by stakeholders.
  • Flexibility: While foundational, core values should also evolve with the evolving landscape of your venture, adapting to changing circumstances and insights.

Adding core values to your pitch deck can amplify the impact of your narrative.

Remember, simplicity is key to a successful pitch deck title slide. Remove any unnecessary clutter and focus on delivering a clear and concise message that resonates with your audience.

ACTION STEPS

Create your pitch deck title slide(s):

  • Create a title slide with a clear title and value statement.
  • Add an executive summary if you have results or when talking to a repeat or advanced audience.
  • Add additional purpose slides with a vision or mission statement if applicable.

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