Let’s start this story with a fundamental, sad truth. Most listeners aren’t that interested in your pitch. They simply want to be entertained. If you did magic tricks on stage, then left them an info package with all the vital points you were supposed to cover, they would be just as happy—happier, in fact.
Logo, Label and Leave Behind are simple tactics for creating a powerful presentation.
Long years of experience in public speaking and pitching have provided me with a raft of tools to take advantage of this insight.
One I keep coming back to is ‘Logo, Label, Leave Behind.’ It’s simple and incredibly effective if you want to create an investment pitch that leaves your audience smiling, all while embedding your key points in their brain and making them actually want to refer back to the info pack you’re sending them home with. Here’s how it works.
A Logo is an icon that represents your brand. Ideally, a Logo communicates something of the brand’s practical and emotional attributes—instantly and without any explanation.
I give the term a new twist: a Logo is the one simple thing you want your audience to take away from your presentation. Successfully executed, your Logo should leave your audience thinking of you as “that guy with the (insert simple, sticky idea here).”
Let me illustrate with an example. We were making a competitive ad pitch and wanted to set ourselves apart from our big-spending rivals who were trying to wow the prospective client with their million-dollar work. We used visual icons (money bags, a fulcrum, etc.) to convey our Logo: leverage. If the client leveraged their modest budget properly, they could get the bang of a big-budget commercial – without ever having to spend a million.
We repeated that simple message throughout our presentation. We did it creatively, tying it to a colour and symbol. Our leverage idea became embedded in their brains. The competition was painted as profligate spendthrifts, and we walked away with the business.
A Label is something you read after you’ve been attracted to a Logo. It offers you a short, brief, very convincing argument—something that makes you nod and feel vindicated in your blink attraction to the Logo.
I first started to understand the power of the Logo/Label one-two punch in my days running a sustainability-focused ad agency.
Consumers were attracted to products with green attributes, so I created some form of a green Logo for nearly every client I worked with.
Just as important, though, I gave each client a brief description of their product’s unique green selling proposition to place in close proximity to the Logo. Consumers were attracted by the icon and left with a simple line or two to reinforce their good judgement. That was the Label.
In your presentation, your Label provides evidence to support your Logo.
In the context of a presentation, the Label is a short reason why. If we go back to the leverage example I just described, the Label would be the following short, pithy points: You don’t need to spend big bucks to create a big impact. What you do need to do is 1) Tap cheap media your competitors would never consider, 2) Make free editorial coverage part of every media deal you sign, and 3) Amplify the grassroots support you get from your fans.
The Label points should be headers in the presentation. Devote a few minutes to each one, and then reiterate how it ties back to the Logo. At the conclusion of the presentation, you should summarize the Label points one last time.
Do this, and your listeners won’t just think of you as the one with a neat idea. You’ll be the one whose neat idea makes sense for reasons 1, 2 and 3.
If you’re making an investment pitch, creating a potent Logo and Label will win you the battle. But the war is far from over.
You need to reassure your listeners that your entertaining, highly convincing presentation is part of an equally convincing larger package. This package maps out, in great detail, how you’re actually going to deliver the goods.
The package is what your listeners receive as they leave the room.
Most companies create a Leave Behind. And most do a terrible job of it. Either their Leave Behind is a print out of their death-by-PowerPoint slides, or it has no connection to the presentation they made.
Properly executed, your Leave Behind will start by reintroducing your Logo and Label. It will pepper your Logo throughout, include evidence reinforcing each Label point, and conclude with a reiteration of the Logo and Label. It will reintroduce the speaking points you made and build on them with fresh ideas. The reader will feel they are in comfortable territory—what they’re seeing is the book version of your movie — but also that they are getting fresh reasons to believe that keep things interesting.
So there you have it—three must-haves for a successful pitch. If nothing else, they’ll simplify your task, give you a central theme, and act as glue to hold the whole thing together. At best, they’ll set you a mile apart from the competition.