These days, technology and software companies need to go above and beyond to stand out.
After all, recent trends in the industry show just how difficult it can be to operate in the space.
Take the SaaS industry for example:
- According to Gartner, the SaaS market should reach USD $75.5B within the next three years
- Fragmentation is increasing as market entrants regularly offer new innovations (AI, business analytics, Internet of Things, migration to SaaS from traditional enterprise software)
- The largest vendors are acquiring smaller and mid-sized players to increase their valuation while adding multiples of existing revenue
The fact of the matter is that even if a product or service is game-changing, failing to showcase your solution’s unique attributes will leave your business dead in the water.
That’s the immeasurable value of having a great looking and effective pitch deck in your arsenal of tools. In this article, we will take a look at what makes a good pitch deck in the technology and software space.
For those of you on the go, we’ve packaged this post into a handy PDF:
How We Did It
We sat down with our accomplished team of designers at pitchdeck.com to discuss the sector in detail.
We had them answer the following questions for three of our customers (Qorvo, Spotify, and Duolingo) that operate in the vertical:
- What were the client’s goals for the pitch?
- Are there any recurring issues that pitch decks have in the tech/SaaS industry?
- How did the pitch deck design strategy help accomplish these goals?
Recurring Issues with Tech & Software Presentations
1) Lack Engaging Stories
B2B Technology companies consistently struggle with developing a strong storyline. This is usually due to their content being full of complex jargon.
2) Visuals Aren’t Enticing
When presenting SaaS offerings, companies tend to struggle with making their visuals enticing to their audiences while also explaining how their software works.
3) Inconsistent Branding
Typically, companies who sell SaaS offerings don’t have a well-established brand or style. In large markets like tech/SaaS, companies have a hard time standing out.
Brand #1: QORVO
Qorvo’s goals for the pitch:
Qorvo needed a pitch deck that would showcase their new technology while also paying homage to their impressive track record as a strategic partner. They were going to be presenting in front of some big time decision-makers and c-suite executives. They needed the deck to convey their forward-thinking drive as an industry leader.
Original pitch deck’s main issue: Lack of a strong story-line.
The Final Product:
How did our design enhancements help accomplish Qorvo’s goals?
Once we were provided the final content for the deck, we set out to meet the challenge outlined previously… develop a cohesive, visual story without drowning out the technical information.
Graphically, this translates into a minimalist color palette, a modest amount of visual cues like icons and photos, and a focus on the actual information needing to be conveyed.
With the graphics doing their job displaying the content, we could now focus on using animation to tell the story. The simplest way to do that is through transitions.
Between every slide, we built a quick and interesting segue that led the viewer from one layout to the next, mostly with classic fly-in animations and smooth ends.
On the slides themselves, the animations included zooms and slow pans, providing a sense of professionalism without losing interest. Transitions were quick, while animations were softer in speed. This helps the viewer feel like they are moving quickly through the pitch but still gives them ample reading time.
You can most accurately see this action when the “Qorvo by the Numbers” slide transitions into the “Strategic Services” slide and the animation that follows on that slide.
Brand #2: DUOLINGO
Duolingo’s goals for the pitch deck:
The client was looking for a lift on their company overview pitch deck. Duolingo has a very fun and vibrant brand identity, but that was missing in their deck. Being a B2C SaaS company, as well as a free language learning app, the pitch had to appeal to a wide array of audience members from all walks of life. By elevating the visuals to match their identity, Duolingo hoped to use this pitch deck in an effort to increase sign ups for their service.
Pitch Deck’s Main Issue: Unenticing visuals.
The Final Product:
How did our design enhancements help accomplish Duolingo’s goals?
From the get-go, we knew that implementing the client’s branding was only going to be half of the job.
The client wanted the pitch deck to be as interactive as possible, much like their app. After discussing it among ourselves and the client, we decided that having a hand come on screen to initiate each slide transition would be an interesting and unique way to navigate through the deck as well as mimic the app experience.
The animations also had to convey interactivity, so we leveraged several Motion Path animations with moderate pacing.
This would help to guide the viewer through the deck without working against the upbeat tone of the client’s branding. We also added some bounce to the Zoom animations we were incorporating to maintain a level of “fun” and “excitement” that directly correlated with the experience of using the Duolingo app.
We utilized an animation that we don’t always get the opportunity to use. On Slide 6, we didn’t just want to fade in the data visualization, so we implemented some Spin on the pie charts. This is typically too playful for a Tech or Financial client, so we were excited to get the chance to incorporate it.
Duolingo’s branding, coupled with the interactivity that the team was able to inject with transitions and animations, lent to a unique pitch experience that would go a long way in enticing new users for their app.
Brand #2: SPOTIFY
Spotify’s goals for the pitch:
Spotify was looking for a dynamic and engaging Company Overview pitch deck that they could use at trade shows and events. The idea was for something to play on a loop at the booth that would entice event-goers to spend some time in Spotify’s space. What’s more, they also needed the same Company Overview deck to be designed for static purposes.
Pitch Deck’s Main Issue: Inconsistent branding.
The Final Product:
How did our design enhancements help accomplish Spotify’s goals?
Our first task was to create the static version of the pitch deck. We knew that it would be more difficult to make the static deck look dynamic and enticing than the animated version. In order to accomplish that, we leveraged Spotify’s use of color gradients in conjunction with circular, bubble-like shapes.
On each slide, we changed the color palette to create a new mood. This has a similar effect to different genres of music. Along with the colors, we used pictures of people we thought would be listening to something the other was not.
With the static deck complete, we set about animating the different components of the slides so there would never be a dull moment.
Additionally, we broke up the content a bit so the viewer was only focusing on one message at a time. This had a dual effect of giving them ample reading time, but also keeping them engaged more than a giant wall of text would.
We used several types of animations in this deck, including pan, grow, motion paths, pulse, spin and appear. We also used gifs to create a continuous flow of music notes. It’s a deck that could be set to any type of music and seamlessly be animated to the rhythm.
Ready to go above and beyond on your next pitch?