Ah, New Year, the time for self-improvement and learning new skills. Also, the time to work on the first hangover of the year and avoid Times Square.
My hope for 2016 and beyond is that you will turn to this blog for advice and ideas on how to win clients with killer pitchbook content. From smart methods of data analysis and building impressive charts, to how to curate and craft the perfect message, there is a lot to share on Fix The Pitch.
So in the spirit of New Year, especially if you know your resolution is probably DOA, I am sharing some of my top pitchbook resources so that at least resolving to make better pitchbooks is an achievable goal for 2016.
To learn more about data storytelling
- It’s easy to assume the numbers on the page will do the heavy lifting, but unless they are presented and designed in a way to be compelling, they can be overlooked. To find out how to extract stories from data, check out Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling.
To inspire creativity
- Icons can be the building blocks of a good presentation. They help connect dots, reduce clutter, and add visual appeal. I recommend Google’s Material Icons and Font Awesome as good places to start exploring ideas.
- You’re probably very familiar with the SmartArt options in Powerpoint. Nancy Duarte’s Diagrammer is this on steroids. The extensive, searchable library has over 4,000 diagrams to choose from.
- Sometimes you just need expert help. Upwork, also known as Odesk, connects you with a pool of freelance designers who are probably much more skilled at creating visuals than you. Explain what you need and slap on the client name once complete.
To better pitch clients
- The Harvard Business Review Guides are designed for flights and the book on Persuasive Presentations is a good one to add to your hand luggage.
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion remains one of the most insightful and accurate books about why people say 'yes'. As relevant today as when it was published in 1984.
To forge stronger client relationships
When it’s 9 p.m. at a client dinner, the conversation is going to turn away from share prices and market caps to topics outside of finance. Going off-piste with your daily media digest can stoke the conversation and ensure you have something of note to say. My consumption list consists of:
- Quartz—Especially the obsessions, such as why not all Manhattan subways can have countdown clocks.
- TED—A 20 minute a day habit that will always inform and usually entertain.
- NPR's Earbud—If you have a commute, NPR’s curated podcast directory covers topics from science to movies to sports.
For when all else fails
Shameless plug. Pellucid Analytics transforms data and provides content solutions for the financial services industry, helping you make better, smarter content faster and cheaper. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Let me know if there is anything I missed. See you in the New Year.
Pellucid blends technology and design to create beautiful, client-ready charts. Find out more at www.pellucid.com.