Clicker Review: Logitech Spotlight Wireless Presenter

Say hello to a whole new method of doing your presentation with Logitech Spotlight wireless presenter. Unlike your traditional laser pointer, this new technology allows you to highlight your key points with a “spotlight” that highlights an area of emphasis on your screen. The buttons are perfectly positioned for use, so you’ll never have to experience the anxiety of fumbling with an awkwardly positioned button on your wireless presenter. Everything about this pointer spells sleekness, minimalism and ergonomic design.

Naturally, at the office, we’re all ecstatic about getting to try it as presentation professionals. But with a hefty price tag, is it worth it?

Well, here is our official HighSpark review:

When I first held it, I couldn’t help but notice how light and simple it was. With only three buttons and a USB dongle inserted at one end, the Logitech Spotlight does away with distracting switches, panels and buttons characteristic of other pointers and presenter remotes in the market.The lightweight pointer measures only 0.48 x 1.10 x 1.59 in. and is portable enough to be taken anywhere for any presentation. It also comes in three different colours – black, silver and gold. The smooth, brushed metal surface was reminiscent of the time I first held my Macbook in my arms. The remote feels sturdy enough that it won’t spoil if you drop it during use and light enough that it won’t tire the presenter out.

Charging the presenter remote

This remote can hold a really mean charge. On a one-minute charge, the Logitech Spotlight presenter remote can last for up to 3-hours! It works with any universal micro-USB charging wire so if you’re on Android, you can use the same wire! There’s a jack right below the presenter remote that allows you to fit your wires into the sleek body of the remote without any need to change batteries every time it runs out of juice. The only gripe I had with this is because the wire insertion point is buried deep into the base of the remote – it’s a little cumbersome to insert the charger wire inside the body.

Setting Up The Logitech Spotlight Presenter

Setting up was a no-brainer. To link up your laptop with the pointer, simply download the app from the official website, insert the dongle and you’re good to go. The Logitech Spotlight can be connected to both laptops and mobile phones via Bluetooth or USB Type C. For some extra help on using the pointer, an intuitive tutorial is available to guide you through the process of setting up and mastering all its functions. That being said, previous editions of Logitech’s presenter remotes don’t require special software. So if you’re not keen on installing the plugin before using the remote, this presenter remote might not be for you.

Wireless Presenter Functions

Once the initial setup is done, the fun begins. The new Logitech Spotlight takes pride in the level of customization made available to its users and puts the ‘fun’ in ‘functional’. You now have the power to decide the controls of the three buttons – the pointer, next button and back button.

Customize Keystrokes

The Spotlight’s app provides multiple customization options to create that perfect user experience. For example, holding on to the next button could lead you to a blank screen, volume control or even a customized keystroke. By eliminating extra actions needed to achieve certain results, it brings you closer to a seamless presentation.

Spotlight

Just like its name suggests, the Logitech Spotlight’s star feature is its spotlight function. This function enables you to draws your audience’s attention to a specific area of focus using a round “spotlight” against a darkened background. Now, you are able to bring your viewers through your presentation and highlight important points without losing their focus. With the help of the app, you are also able to customize the spotlight’s features to include coloured highlights, or even magnify information within the area of focus. Depending on your personal preference and the type of presentation you’re giving, you can afford to make some quick customizations to make the pointer cursor fit your own style.

Timer

In addition to the spotlight function, the pointer also comes with a timer – a lifesaver for all presenters who find it challenging to keep an eye on the clock during their presentations. Not only will the device count down the remaining time you have for your presentation, it can also send you a vibration alert when the time is almost up. All the alerts can be adjusted through the app to ensure that you never overrun your presentations again.

Using Logitech Spotlight at Work

 

My colleague and I decided to give the Logitech Spotlight a go at our presentation design workshop for DBS Bank a couple of weeks ago. During the workshop, we covered multiple topics, from graphs to typography, and the pointer definitely helped in bringing across the highlighted information more powerfully. Unsurprisingly, the Spotlight remote stole the show – our participants were impressed by the technology and many approached us with queries on how they could get their hands on one as well. Being presenters themselves, problems such as getting the audience to focus on key points or needing to zoom into specific data were familiar challenges they had to deal with for almost every presentation. With the Logitech Spotlight, these problems can easily be solved without too much work.

We also had our sales trainer David King test it out during his latest sales training course too! Naturally, he found it to be a breath of fresh air versus conventional wireless presenter remotes.

david using logitech spotlight wireless presenter

That said, the only drawback was that he had to take a good 10 minutes to download the plugin, install the software and get up to speed on how to use the remote for the first time. After that, it was smooth sailing!

Overall Thoughts On The Spotlight Presenter Remote

Using the pointer has been a breeze so far. For my first presentation, I glided through with minimal time wastage and barely any technical trouble when using the remote. Plus, the Logitech Spotlight is also compatible with most types of presentation software, including PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi and even Google Slides, which makes it a handy tool for most presenters, including myself as I like to dabble with different software.

However, at the price of $128, the Logitech Spotlight can be considered to be a little pricey as compared to other pointers available in the market. If you are a student or an occasional presenter, this might not be the best option for you if you’re on a budget. But if you’re a public speaker or sales professional who depends on delivering effective and powerful presentations it for a living, I would say it is a pretty good investment in your business. After all, the Logitech Spotlight’s ease of use and high functionality makes it the perfect companion for any presenter looking to achieve a seamless, impressive presentation.

Here’s a quick summary of what’s great about the Logitech Spotlight Presenter Remote:

Pros:

  • Easy to setup
  • Durable and great to hold
  • Very useful proprietary highlight function that increases the effectiveness of your presentations
  • Vibrates when time is almost up
  • Ability to customize keystrokes to the buttons
  • No-frills design to avoid any fumbling during your presentations
  • Really great battery life and no need for AAA batteries
  • Works on numerous types of software

Cons:

  • Need to install software before use
  • It’s a little pricey
  • Switching between functions is a tad bit difficult with a single function
  • Vibration takes awhile to get used to.
  • Highlight function might be distracting if over-used
  • Charging point is a little too deep into the remote that makes it hard to insert the USB

 

logitech spotlight wireless presenter high-res shot with dslr with bokeh

Did you manage to get a chance to try the remote? How did you find it? Leave us a comment!

15 Bad Speeches We Can Learn From

If you’ve been an avid reader of our blog and generally presentation content on the internet, you’ll likely have been exposed to golden standards of presenting. (Think Steve Jobs) But how often have you encountered bad speeches that you can learn to avoid? Part of being a great public speaker or presenter is knowing what NOT to do so you can safeguard your reputation and speech.

Here are 15 bad speech examples for you to learn from:

Michael Bay quits Samsung

Have you ever forgotten your script, or perhaps experienced a faulty projector while presenting? Well, Michael Bay sure did. At the Samsung CES press conference in 2014, he failed to promote the new Samsung curved TV. After an error with the teleprompter, he apologized and walked off the stage, leaving the audience speechless and confused.

To avoid facing an awkward situation, pay close attention to certain key messages while practising. It will guide you through the presentation and help you recall the points, which could buy you some time to sort your cues.

Questioning Round: Miss Teen USA

In the Miss Teen USA 2007 question and answer round, Caitlin Upton struggled to answer her question: “Recent polls have shown that ⅕ of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map, why do you think this is?” She stumbled through her 30 seconds with an answer that barely made any sense.

You may come across some difficult questions when doing a Q&A session after a presentation. The best way you can deal with an unfamiliar question is to get back to the person after finding the answer. Always think through before replying and if you are unclear, ask them to repeat, or explain their question further. Failing to do so can lead to dire consequences on stage (usually an embarrassing time) if you rush through the question.

Emmy Awards 2013

The chances of winning an Emmy Award is probably one in a million, and award winners typically thank their families, producers and so on. However, all Merritt Wever had to say was “thank you so much. okay, I got to go. Bye.” The audience was baffled at the situation.

One thing that we can definitely learn from this is to have a prepared speech if you know you are being nominated. It may come off as rude if you don’t do so as you will leave the audience hanging, expectant of a thank you speech.

Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention Speech

Melania Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention 2016 caused a huge controversy and uproar. Many observers were able to tell that her words were extremely similar to former First Lady Michelle Obama’s previous speech.

There may be days when you are inspired by others, and decide to put their speeches into yours. Do give the owners credit for it, which simply be done by mentioning these phrases, “quoted by”,”mention by” or “from”.

Theresa May’s Calamitous Conference Speech

This may be one of the most catastrophic speeches of all. The conference was to address and reassure her party’s political members about Brexit and Britain’s future. Amongst this seriousness, a comedian rudely disrupts her by handing over a resignation form and props behind were falling apart. Besides that, she was coughing endlessly into the mic, trying to proceed with the speech.

Props to her for trying to keep things together after an interruption, but coughing into the mic may seem unprofessional and unhygienic. One way to tackle these bad speeches is to turn away from the mic while coughing, though it would be best to hold it in. If you are losing your voice, do clear your throat first before speaking into the mic.

Santa Cruz City Council

One way of improving your city is to have people volunteer their ideas. Here is an example of a poorly executed speech with little structure and redundant hand gestures. It is natural to feel anxious when presenting in front of people with authority, however, it is important to keep your cool and practice before a speech.

A method to counter such anxiety is to have a list of things to be covered according to the flow of the speech. Having a specific structure helps both you and your audience understand the thought process better. Another way you can go about doing it is by practising in front of the mirror, which helps to boost your confidence and eliminate bad fidgeting habits.

Politician Rallying Votes

Being passionate and believing in yourself is important when you’re trying to convince people. Nevertheless, being overly zealous could potentially scare your audience, harming your chances to be voted. Looking at the video, you can probably tell that yelling makes it hard to hear your speech, and the tone of your speech affects the way your audience reacts.

One way to prevent this is to have your family members or colleagues listen to your speech beforehand. Have them pinpoint out specific mistakes such as voice projection, posture, and tone. Through this method, you will have a sense of what your audience will feel, and improve to make your speech better.

Pitching for 1million Pounds on Dragons’ Den

Asking for and receiving a million pounds is no easy task. Bathomatic failed to secure a deal with any of the dragons. In his pitch, he mentioned the problem, the solution and how he came up with this idea, however, there was something missing. He did not mention any benefit statement or justification for a large amount of money.

During a pitch, it is important to address your audience’s concerns. Questions such as “why should they invest in you?”, “what can you bring to the table for them?” can guide you in making a much more persuasive speech.

Common Mistakes Made

Here is a group of 4 students attempting to do a presentation on Apple. Throughout the video, we spotted numerous errors commonly made by presenters. Here are 5 mistakes which you should take note of:

1. Reading off the slides with your back facing the audience
This is where cue cards come into play. If you are having a hard time remembering your script and need pointers to remind you, cue cards are a good alternative to solve that. They prevent you from back facing the audience and increases the engagement rate, but remember not to rely on them for the entire presentation!

2. Redundant animation sounds
Just like sound effects in movies, they’re used to emphasize certain motions. Excessive use of this defeats the purpose and may be seen as annoying. Try to avoid using sound effects during a serious presentation as it destroys the atmosphere of a meeting or a pitch.

3. Teammates standing around
This could be one of the toughest problems that group presenters encounter during a presentation. Teammates who are not presenting maybe fidgeting or look disinterested, which could distract your audience. In order to stop it from happening, have your team members nod in agreement to what you have to say. However, if they’re not involved, get them to join your audience instead.

4. Long paragraphs of information
Based on a study done on 439 people by Dave Paradi, more than half felt annoyed when full sentences are used in Powerpoint. The solution to this is to break down sentences into shorter points, and every slide should only have one message. For example, if you are presenting a new product, separate the functions into different slides. This aids your audience in understanding and gives them a clear focused message.

5. Chewing on sweets/gums
Take a look at the boy standing at the far right. Do you notice something?

He has been chewing on a gum since the start of the presentation all the way until the end!

While you’re enjoying your gum, others may see it as ill-mannered. Avoid eating any candies, chocolate, and gum right before your presentation. Chewing on something while presenting will not only be seen as disrespectful, but it will harm your voice projection as well. The best is to keep away from such sweet treats until the end of the presentation.

Nervous Breakdown During Business Presentation

This is a scene from Billable Hours, where Robin suffered a stage fright presenting in front of her peers. Despite having cue cards, she struggled to hold her presentation together.

The greatest takeaway here is to always practice your script beforehand. Practicing helps you retain and generate a flow of key messages. While practising, generate a structure that is easy for you to remember when you’re presenting. It makes you less dependent on cue cards and increases your chances of having eye contact with your audience.

Science Communication Workshop Presentation

Here is a spoof of a science communication workshop presented by Dr Fisher-Kat. Besides the noticeable clutter of words and pictures on a single slide, she was rambling on about the different scientific terms. At 2:10, a lady asked a question, however, she received an insulting reply.

When you’re presenting to people, especially a general audience, it is best to keep things simple. Removing and simplifying terminology will help your audience in understanding. If such terms are needed, explain them in layman terms.

Dealing with questions can be difficult, especially when you’re given a time limit. Using “Can I get back to you later?”, helps you kill two birds with one stone. You will be able to proceed on with your presentation while giving your audience a peace of mind that they will be answered. You can have a short chit-chat with the person after the presentation or simply drop them an email.

Pitching Without Prepared Product

Whether it is pitching to your customers or investors, the most crucial parts are your services and products. But what happens when one fails to work? In this episode of Dragon Dens, an aspiring entrepreneur attempts to demonstrate his service. However, it did not work in his favour, leaving the dragons uninterested and speechless.

The biggest turn off for the investors is when you’re pitching something that does not work. To prevent this from happening, always do checks before going up on stage to do your grand pitch. Similarly, if your pitch requires help from others, remember to remind them of it. Being prepared definitely saves you from embarrassing situations.

Forgetting Your Script

There are two contrasting sides of this presentation, one being an engaging presentation, the other being a really confusing one. We also noticed that he forgot his script for a second in the middle of the presentation. How can we prevent ourselves from being seen as unprepared and confusing?

One way to go about doing this is by structuring your presentation. Stating the purpose of your presentation at the start would definitely help your audience understand better. This can be followed up with points supporting your key messages, and a summary of your main points. A presentation is just like writing an essay, there has to be a logical flow in order for your audience to understand better.

Sean Penn’s 2004 Oscar Speech – For Um-ing Too Much

A speech with flow often comes with tons of practice, but what happens if it is an impromptu speech? How do we give a speech without pausing for too long?

Impromptu speeches may be one of the hardest things to pull off. Besides thinking on your feet, you will have to speak in front of an audience with professionalism. However, these mistakes may seem minute when you’re fully focused on your presentation.

In this example, Sean seems to pull off his thank you speech pretty well except the countless number of times when he paused with an “um”. Though it is said subconsciously, it can make your speech choppy.

One method to avoid excessive pauses is to prep beforehand. You might want to know the background of the situation better before heading up to the stage. This way, you will have a rough idea of what needs to be covered when you’re on the stage.

For example, you will need to give an impromptu speech about your product to a group of investors. You can structure it by starting off with an introduction of yourself and your product, followed by benefits and lastly, sales and thank you. With a rough outline in mind, it could save some awkward pauses on stage and it might eventually impress the investors too.

IABC 2012 World Conference in Chicago

Buzzwords used in corporations around the world were collected and presented by Gerard Braud as an example of what no employee wants a CEO speech to sound like.

Simplifying terms used in your speech helps your audience to digest your content much easier as compared to the different unheard terminologies. When presenting to a general crowd, it is essential to understand that they might not entirely think the same way as you do.

One way to avoid miscommunication and confusion is to think in the audience’s perspective or get your family and friends to listen to you. If they don’t get the message you’re trying to convey, there is a high chance that the actual crowd may not understand it as well. Edit the speech accordingly, practice and you’re good to go!

Were you cringing while watching some of those bad speeches? You’re not the only one. To avoid a similar situation happening during your next speech or sales presentation, follow these tips based on learnings from the bad speeches above:

  1. Understand your audience
  2. Structure your key messages in a logical flow
  3. Prepare and check your props beforehand
  4. Practice Practice Practice
  5. Be calm when you face unforeseen circumstances

Prepare for the worst and you’ll never fall victim to a technical, or memory fault.

40 Startup Pitch Deck Examples That Got Funded

So you’ve built an excellent startup product, validated your market and you feel you’re ready to go for a funding round. Awesome. Yet, now you realize that putting together a persuasive investor deck design is no walk in the park. Not only do you need to worry about the visual aspects of developing your presentation design, but you’ll also need to worry about developing a strong narrative to support your need for investment.

We put together an exhaustive list of 40 startup pitch deck examples for you to get inspired while building your million-dollar pitch deck.

1. Intercom | 2. Baloonr | 3. Pendo | 4. Buffer | 5. Homigo | 6. Itay Adams | 7. Cubeit | 8. Contently | 9. Mattermark |
10. Frontapp | 11. Crew | 12. Airbnb | 13. Wework | 14.Uber | 15. Mandaê | 16. Gaia Design | 17. Mapme | 18. Farmeron
19. The Daily Hundred | 20. Pinmypet | 21. Dwolla | 22. ID wall | 23. Buzzfeed | 24. App.io | 25. Mixpanel | 26. Moz
27. Kompyte | 28. DocSend | 29. LinkedIn | 30. Foursquare | 31. Magic Leap | 32. Ad pushup | 33. WealthSimple
34. Launchrock | 35. Manpacks | 36. Linio | 37. Snapchat | 38. Thrive Global | 39. Podozi | 40. Castle

 

1. Intercom

A household name in the chat-bot space. Intercom started from humble beginnings with this seed pitch deck that set them up for success.

Company background: Intercom shows users who are using their products or website and makes it easier to personally communicate with them through targeted content, behavior-driven email, in-app, and web messages.
Amount: $600,000

 

2. Baloonr

The Baloonr 500 Startups Demo Day presentation is an interesting approach to pitch decks. With full-bleed imagery and impressive storytelling, they set the standard for this Demo Day presentation.

Company Background: Baloonr help companies remove bias during collaboration and decision-making so that they gain access to unreachable insights.
Amount: $150,000

3. Pendo

Ever seen an investor pitch deck that raised 20Million? These guys have done just that. Looking at their pitch deck gives you insight into how a well-funded startup pitches for Series B funding. The beginning starts with them painting an inevitable future, followed by how well they’ve been doing until that point. A real eye-opener.

Company Background: Pendo provides product managers and teams with an integrated platform to better understand and improve product experiences. Through the platform, organizations are able to capture users’ behavior, gather feedback and provide contextual help inside their application.
Amount: $20,000,000

 

4. Buffer

Noted this is one of the less visually-impressive investor pitch decks that have raised funding, but you got to give it to these guys – they have the numbers to back them up. Have a look at how they started raising their seed investor round.

Company Background: Buffer is a simpler and easier way to schedule posts, track the performance of your content, and manage all your accounts in one place
Amount: $500,000

 

5. Homigo

Company Background: Homigo proactively handles all aspects of home maintenance and repairs so that users need not worry about it.
Amount: Undisclosed

 

6. BetaPopcorn by Itay Adams

Are you a fan of Seinfeld? Well, in one of the iconic sitcom’s episodes, the character George Costanza pitched an idea about a show about ‘nothing’. Itay Adams might have executed the perfect routine that roped him investor funding as a result.

Company Background: Adams went up to investors and pitched basically ‘nothing’ and raised $2,000,000 in proceeds to build a ‘dream team’ with that money.
Amount: $2,000,000

 

7. Cubeit

This startup from India developed a simple and clear story for their Series A presentation deck that roped them a nice sum. Have a look at how they built the crux of their problem.

Company Background: Cubeit is a mobile application that allows users to aggregate content from anywhere
Amount: Seed – $3,000,000

 

8. Contently

Contently needs no introduction and for good reason. The way these guys put together their pitch deck showcased a vision for the future where they were building an ecosystem as well as a proof-of-concept with clients they’ve already acquired.

Company Background: Contently is a New York City-based technology company. It creates software that helps brands create and manage content and connect with freelance writers, photographers, videographers, infographic designers, and editors.
Amount: $9,000,000 | 2014

 

9. Mattermark

Mattermark’s investor pitch deck proves that there’s nothing inherently wrong with being a ‘me-too’ startup. They highlighted the growth in demand in their space and how they could capitalize on that to drive their business with funding.

Company Background: Mattermark is a data platform for venture capital companies to quantify signals of growing and potentially lucrative start-ups.
Amount: $6,500,000 | 2014

 

10. Frontapp

A beautiful investor pitch deck that focused on the nitty-gritty numbers that mattered to investors at that stage of fund-raising. Building the b2b email client of the future is no easy feat, but these guys come pretty close with their pitch decks of the current.

Company Background: Frontapp manages users’ communication channels such as email addresses, SMS, social media, live chat, and voice. These messages channeled will then be assigned to the respective teammates, generating faster replies without messy CC’s, Reply-Aall’s or forwards.
Amount: $10,000,000 | 2016

 

11. Crew

A simple, brief and powerful deck that’s tell-tale of the presentation style of the founder. This is what we’d call a no-fluff approach to building pitch decks. Read and learn.

Company Background: Crew is a technology company from Montreal, Quebec. The company develops, markets, and operates the Crew app, which connects individuals with freelance graphic designers, illustrators and software developers. Crew’s freelancers have completed projects for companies such as Dropbox, Medium, Tinder, Eventbrite, and IDEO.
Amount: $10,000,000 | 2015

 

12. Airbnb

We know Airbnb now to be one of the world’s most well-known startups. When they first began, all they had was an idea. Curious how they turned that into what they are today? Have a look at the pitch deck.

Company Background: Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover and book unique spaces around the world through mobile phones or the internet. Whether it’s an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, it connects people to unique travel experiences at any price point, with over 2M listings in 34K cities and 192 countries.
Amount: $600,000 | 2009

 

13. WeWork

WeWork is huge. From workspaces to every other horizontal, these guys are seeking to dominate more spaces. This Series D deck covered a variety of best practices. From building an ecosystem vision, showing the right numbers to signify extreme growth and basically hitting everything else right out of the park.

Company Background: WeWork is an American company which provides shared workspaces, community, and services for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, small businesses and large enterprises. Founded in 2010, it is headquartered in New York City.
Amount: Series D – $335,000,000

 

14. Uber

Where would we be without ride-sharing and transport services from Uber? Have a look at how this behemoth began and surmise how they still continue to raise funding.

Company Background: Uber Technologies Inc. is a global transportation technology company headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States, operating in 633 cities worldwide.
Amount: 14 rounds – $11.5 billion

 

15. Mandaê

This pitch deck covers almost all the things you’d expect a great pitch deck to have, a strong team, great numbers and a vision for expansion in the near future. It’s no surprise that it raised $200,000.

Company Background: Mandaê is an app which simplifies the way Brazilians ship their stuff. Other than collaboration with local postal service, Mandaê collaborated with other exclusive transporters that are not available to most individuals.
Amount: $4,230,000 till date – deck used to raise $200,000

 

16. Gaia Design

You might not immediately get this because of the language, but observe how they’ve segmented their pitch into different sections and broken down messages into bit-sized pieces.

Company Background: Gaia Design is a Mexican online store that sells design furniture and accessories at affordable prices.This investment backed Harvard start-up based in Mexico City aimsto make quality products and design accessible to all Mexican households.
Amount: $2,850,000

 

17. Mapme

‘Lead with your strongest point’ was what Mapme did exactly. Since they’ve already garnered a community following and press coverage, they leveraged that initially to build credibility before asking for money.

Company Background: Mapme is the first platform that empowers any organization or leader to leverage crowdsourcing to visualize all the interconnected layers of a community. The outcome is a unique user experience that drives engagement and promotes the community.
Amount: $1,000,000

 

18. Farmeron

Another 500 Startups alumni making waves in a space that you’d never expect – farming.

Company Background: Farmeron helps farmers across the world to manage their farming data online and to do farm performance analysis using exciting statistics.
Amount:  $1,609,000 | 2012

 

19. The Daily Hundred

The Daily Hundred produced this detailed pitch presentation that is obviously meant to be read. It covers every gap from user growth to how the app works on a micro-level.

Company Background: The Daily Hundred is a web app allowing businesses to reward customers by encouraging micro-level brand advocacy and product endorsements.
Amount: $1,000,000

 

20. Pinmypet

A really sleek and simple Demo Day presentation from this 500 Startups alumni, PinMyPet.

Company Background: Founded in September 1, 2013 by Marcos Buson, Bruno Kenj, and Bruno Suza, Pinmypet allows users to track the location and physical activities of their pets. It ensures your pet’s safety by providing real time locations as well.
Amount: $1,000,000

 

21. Dwolla

A contender with some of the biggest payment giants, Dwolla manages to hold its own. It’s not the most succinct, but manages to paint the payments industry as an attractive market for investors.

Company Background: Founded in Iowa in 2008 by Shane Neuerburn and Ben Milne, Dwolla is a free web-based software platform allowing users to send, receive, and request funds from another user. Dwolla is a United States-only e-commerce company that provides an online payment system and mobile payments network.
Amount: $30,000,000

 

22. ID wall

Tackling credential frauds with major players is no easy feet. ID Wall’s Demo Day pitch deck is simply designed with a monochromatic colour scheme leading with their strongest point on the size of the market before delving into details for the rest.

Company Background: ID wall is focused on providing businesses with document validation, background checks, and identity verification solutions and services. It offers its services through an API. ID wall also offers a real-time alert system that enables its users to verify customers’ data in signups and purchases.
Amount: $800,000

 

23. Buzzfeed

Buzzfeed is one of the pre-eminent startups on the web. Take a look at this media giant’s deck for inspiration.

Company Background: BuzzFeed is a social news and entertainment company headquarted in New York, N.Y. It provides highlyshareable breaking news, original reporting, entertainment, and video across the social web to its global audience of more than 200M.
Amount: $3,500,000 | 2008

 

24. App.io also known as Kickfolio

A short, simple presentation that even included a demo for Demo Day no less.

Company Background: App.io streams your mobile apps from the cloud to any device without the need to download. It provides a easier way to give people access to your apps.
Amount: $1,000,000

 

25. Mixpanel

Mixpanel’s pitch deck focused on their outstanding numbers and ended with a positioning matrix to show the difference between them and other competitors like KissMetrics.

Company Background: Mixpanel is one of the most advanced analytics platforms for mobile & web. It helps businesses grow by helping them understand how their users behave and use their products by tracking actions people take rather than page views.
Amount: $65,000,000 | 2014

 

26. Moz

Moz’s presentation deck is an interesting case where they focus on stressing that they merely want to dominate a small niche within the bigger market.

Company Background: Moz provides analytics software to track all of a website’s inbound marketing efforts—search marketing, link building, social media, and brand mentions—on one platform. Moz Analytics tracks each effort with beautiful data visualizations, insights into competitors’ data, and actionable recommendations to improve each effort’s performance.
Amount: $18,000,000 | 2012

 

27. Kompyte

Another 500 Startups Demo Day presentation that set the standard. Using high-resolution stock imagery, the company’s explanation of the product concept was smooth and simple.

Company Background: Kompyte is a competitive intelligence tool designed to respond in real-time to online strategies utilized by its users’ competitors. It is designed to learn about competitors’ online strategies in real-time, and respond to them in an easy and affordable way.
Amount: $500,000

 

28. DocSend

Company Background: DocSend is a content management and tracking solution that helps teams find and share sales content that closes deals.
Amount: Series A – $8,000,000

 

29. LinkedIn

If you haven’t heard of Linkedin, you’ve probably been living under a rock. Prior to their acquisition by Microsoft, Linkedin raised a few successful rounds of funding.

Company Background: LinkedIn is a professional networking site that allows its members to create business connections, search for jobs, and find potential clients. The site also enables its users to build and engage with their professional networks, access shared knowledge and insights, and find business opportunities. LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Mountain View, California.
Amount: $10,000,000 | 2004

 

30. Foursquare

Foursquare’s concept is one that is not easy to explain. Hence, they focused 80% of their early pitch deck to contain details about how the apps work and showing the different screens.

Company Background: Foursquare is a local search-and-discovery service mobile app which provides search results for its users. The app provides personalized recommendations of nearby places to visit based on a user’s current location through referencing their previous browsing history, purchases, or check-in history
Amount: Raised – $1,350,000 | 2009

 

31. Magic Leap

Another great example of painting a vision of an inevitable progression towards the growth of the industry they are targetting. Couple with strong numbers, it’s no wonder investors decided to fund them.

Company Background: Magic Leap combines our inherent visual ability with mobile computing to provide a visual output similar to reality, but powered by mobile technology. Their Dynamic Digitized Lightfield Signal™, is able to generate images indistinguishable from real objects and then being able to place those images seamlessly into the real world. This entirely new T user experience they have created is known as Cinematic Reality™.
Amount: Series B – $542,000,000

 

32. Ad pushup

A no-frills pitch deck led by their very impressive traction numbers. Goes to show you don’t need an excessively aesthetic pitch deck if your numbers are great.

Company Background: Ad pushup specializes in optimizing its users website’s ad layout for high viewability and number of clicks without harming its visitors’ users experience.
Amount: Angel Round – $635,000

 

33. WealthSimple

WealthSimple was one of the pioneers of a digital financial advisor application. They’ve made the concept surprisingly easy to understand and grasp for a layperson.

Company Background: Wealthsimple is a new kind of financial advisor — one that’s intuitive, affordable, and human. It takes the guesswork out of investing and to get users on the right track. It builds a diversified portfolio of ETFs for its users and guides them towards achieving their financial goals.
Amount: Seed – $1,900,000

 

34. Launchrock

This 500 Startups alumni already had some impressive clients before getting into the investor pitch room. Have a look at how they used a simple deck to boost their fundraising activities.

Company Background: LaunchRock is an online platform that enables its users to create viral “Launching Soon” pages with built-in sharing tools and analytics. LaunchRock pages help its clients incentivize and reward users for telling others about its clients’ projects through email and their social networks.
LaunchRock was launched in 2011 out of Philadelphia’s Startup Weekend and its operations are based in Walnut, California.
Amount: $800,000

 

35. Manpacks

A simple subscription model product that used humor to surprisingly get some traction. You can get away with something similar if you want to be the next Dollar Shave Club, but we’d recommend against it generally.

Company Background: Manpacks.com is a web-based service for the delivery of men’s essentials, including underwear, razors, grooming and other products from top-name brands such as Calvin Klein, Champion, Gillette, Saxx, Grooming Lounge, and PACT.
Amount: $500,000

 

36. Linio

It’s one of those companies you’ve never heard of that have raised an obscene amount of money. Have a look at their pitch deck.

Company Background: Linio is an e-commerce company that offers a wide variety of products online in many categories, ranging from home electronics to personal care products. It brings online consumer retail services to some of the fastest growing Latin American markets.Founded in 2012, Linio has operations in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela.
Amount: Venture – $79,000,000

 

37. Snapchat

A millennial-focused business that has well proved their ability to understand the dominate the attention of that market.

Company Background: You may have heard about Snapchat, the mobile app that allows users to capture videos and pictures that self-destruct after a few seconds. When a user sends a message, they get to decide whether it will live for between 1 and 10 seconds.
Amount: Series C – $50,000,000

 

38. Thrive Global

This startup leverages Arianna Huffington’s reputation and credibility to push this pitch deck. The execution could have worked out much better, but who really complains when you have Arianna Huffington on board?

Company Background: Thrive Global brings the latest strategies and tools to health and well-being to organizations, coupled with a media and e-commerce platform.
Amount: Series A – $7,000,000

 

39. Podozi

The Podozi deck sported plenty of images of their target audience – women of colour, which was great when getting the audience to quickly and clearly understand their intentions.

Company Background: Podozi is a beauty tech startup solving the problem of finding “right fit” beauty products for people of colour. Customers discover authentic brands from all around the world and enjoy a personalized shopping experience.
Amount: $120,000

 

40. Castle

Juxtaposing existing solutions in the market with their eventual solution was a clever way for Castle to grab attention from the start. The headlines in this presentation are pretty effective such that they all suggest a clear message for each slide.

Company Background: Castle manages rental homes for landlords using automation and on-demand labor.
They find tenants, collect rent, and coordinate maintenance, allowing owners to kick back, relax, and never worry about their rental properties again.
Amount: Angel Round – $270,000


That’s it! 40 of the top pitch deck examples for almost all common stages of startup fund-raising. Remember to bookmark this page for reference later on when you decide to raise funds for your startup!

Did we miss any? Leave us a comment below.

50 Powerful Quotes To Start Your Presentation

When was the last time you attended a conference where the speaker didn’t just say: “Oh hi, my name is XYZ and today, I’ll be speaking to you about Topic X”?

Great stories possess riveting narrative arcs that begin strong and end strong. We’ve written at length about some of the best ways to end your presentation, but how does one design a presentation to start without sounding too cliche?

One of the most powerful ways to begin a presentation is to start by sharing a powerful and memorable quote that relates to the message of your talk.

Powerful quotes have so much power on your presentation. Not only does it help reinforce your message, it also helps boost your credibility since it implied the quote is ‘agreeing’ with your statement.

Take this TED talk by Andrew Solomon for example. Notice how he skilfully uses a quote from a book by Emily Dickinson to set the stage for his numerous anecdotes regarding the topic on Depression in his presentation:

 

Hence, if you’re looking to follow suit and start your next presentation strong with a powerful quote, we’ve got you covered. Here, we compiled a list of 50 quotes that you can use to boost your next presentation.

50 Powerful Quotes To Start Your Presentation:

1)  The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

2) “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” – Babe Ruth

3) “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein

4) If you’re too comfortable, it’s time to move on. Terrified of what’s next? You’re on the right track.” – Susan Fales Hill

5)Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” – Bill Gates

6) You can’t look at the competition and say you’re going to do it better. You have to look at the competition and say you’re going to do it differently.” – Steve Jobs

7) Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect.” – Jack Dorsey

8) Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” – Oprah Winfrey

9)Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” – Jay Danzie

10)  “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” – Warren Buffett

11)  “Some entrepreneurs think how can I make a lot of money? But a better way is to think how can I make people’s lives a lot better? If you get it right, the money will come.” – Richard Branson

12)  “When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.” – Elon Musk

13)  “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth

14)  “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.” – Charles F. Kettering

15)  “People rarely buy what they need. They buy what they want.” – Seth Godin

16)  “Please think about your legacy, because you’re writing it every day.” – Gary Vaynerchuck

17)  “The golden rule for every business man is this: Put yourself in your customer’s place.” – Orison Swett Marden

18)  “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”  David Brinkley

19)  “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.” – Einstein

20)  “The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”  Lilly Tomlin

21)  When you run a part of the relay and pass on the baton, there is no sense of unfinished business in your mind. There is just the sense of having done your part to the best of your ability. That is it. The hope is to pass on the baton to somebody who will run faster and run a better marathon.” – N. R. Narayana Murthy

22)  “Whatever you’re thinking, think bigger.” – Tony Hsieh

23)  “When you find an idea that you can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” – Josh James

24)  “What would you do if you’re not afraid?” – Sheryl Sandberg

25)  “Don’t worry about failure, you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston

26)  “When I’m old and dying. I plan to look back on my life and say ‘Wow, an adventure’ not, ‘Wow, I sure felt safe’” – Tom Preston Werner

27)  “80% of your sales comes from 20% of your clients.” – Vilfredo Pareto

28)  “You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done.” – Russell Simmons

29)  “We are really competing against ourselves, we have no control over how other people perform.” – Pete Cashmore

30)  “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzy

31)  “Always remember, your focus determines your reality.” – George Lucas

32)  “If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” – Zig Ziglar

33)  “Words may inspire but action creates change.” – Simon Sinek

34)  “It isn’t what we say or think that denies us, but what we do.” – Jane Austen

35)  “Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be someone; get action.” – Theodore Roosevelt

36)  “There is only one boss. The customer.” – Sam Walton

37)  “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama

38)  “You have to go wholeheartedly into anything in order to achieve anything worth having.” –  Frank Lloyd Wright

39)  “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

40)  “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” – Bob Marley

41)  “There is no great genius without some touch of madness.”  – Seneca

42)  “If you think you are too small to make an impact try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” – Ekaterina Walter

43)  “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.” Mark Zuckerberg

44)  “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

45)  “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln

46)  “Don’t build links. Build relationships.” – Rand Fishkin

47)  “100 percent of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in.” – Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Legend

48)  “If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.” – Kevin Systrom, Founder of Instagram

49)  “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch, Former CEO of GE

50)   “You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn’t going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You’re going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people. They’re not going to buy it unless they know about it.” – Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines.

There you have it!

Phew! – now you have an additional 50 powerful quotes that you can add in your presentation arsenal. Leave an unforgettable impression on your presentation with these quotes starting today!

Comment down your favourite quote. And let us know if you have any that we didn’t add to the list!

Complete List of Free Icons Sites For Your Presentation Designs

Using imagery in your presentation is a sure-fire way to boost its visual appeal, increase recall and overall build a more persuasive presentation. Whether it’s a sales pitch or internal presentation, you simply can’t go wrong with using icons in your presentation. In fact, it might even help your presentation 6 Persuasive Presentation Techniques From The Science Of Influenceincrease it’s persuasiveness.

In the day-to-day work for the clients we work with, we use icons extensively as well. Even a simple technique like switching a normal bullet point for a relevant icon helps to not only improve the way our presentations look but offer viewers a visual reference as to what the bullet point is talking about.

In our presentation skills courses, we recommend using a variety of visual tools to accomplish this. These include photographs and stock imagery, as well as iconography and diagrams. Each tool can be used in different situations for varying objectives depending on what creative presentation ideas you have in mind.

We wrote an article recently about some of the best places to find free high-quality stock images for your presentations, so we decided to do one for icons to enhance your next presentation as well.

flaticon presentation icon

1. Flaticon

Flaticon is an excellent free icon and visual image repository that allows you to download icons in PNG format (transparent background) in a specific HEX color of your choice! Before we had enough clients to get access to a library of professional icons, we used this extensively to churn out high-quality icons that were consistent with our client brands.

If you’re looking to invest in some specialised icons, they also offer a premium pack that you can purchase for more specialised icons.

free icon freepik

2. Freepik

Freepik is another popular repository for images and iconography. You can find PSD files, photos and vector files for your next presentation project. They add hundreds of new graphic elements every day and boast about 400,000 different visual assets available for download on their platform.

free icon iconfinder

3. Icon finder

Iconfinder is home to more than 100,000 icons organized into neat little icon packs/sets. The only possible trouble you might encounter is that the styles of the icons vary greatly from completely flat graphics to skeuomorphic and some that look a lot like clip-art. You’ll be able to find some gems here for your presentation design if you look deep enough!

noun project presentation icons

4. Noun Project

This is one of our favorite resources that we use all the time. The Noun Project was created to help the world (and very likely, designers) communicate through visual language. They have a really strong community of committed contributors that produce really amazing vector icons in various styles. The really cool thing about this site is that they have a native Mac application (which requires a paid plan) that lets you drag-and-drop icons directly from their app onto your software of choice! (i.e. Adobe Illustrator or PowerPoint) Similar to Flaticon, you’ll be able to pick the colors of the icons too!

iconmonstr presentation icons

5. Iconmonstr

This site is all about simplicity – telltale from the black and white color scheme. There are basically two ways you can use the simply drawn icons from here. Click the first tab and get access to close to 4,000 different icons that are neatly organized in more than 200 collections. Otherwise, download the ‘icon font’ where you’ll be able to insert icons using your QWERTY keyboard when you type in software like PowerPoint and such.

icons8 presentation icons

6. Icons8

This repository has almost 60,000 flat icons all accessible within a FREE native application that works on both Mac and Windows. They offer a professional license for you to use all the icons for commercial projects at $19.90 a month.

material presentation icons

7. Material

The Material repository of icons is ‘officially’ meant more for UI/UX designs in iOS or Android projects. This doesn’t mean you can’t use those icons for your own presentations though! With more than 900 commonly-used icons at your disposal, add this one to your presentation icon arsenal.

endless icons presentation icons

8. Endless Icons

This free icon library has all of its icons conveniently tagged. It’s not the largest library, but you might be able to find some that you can use for your presentation to communicate complex messages.

Vecteezy presentation icons

9. Vecteezy

Vecteezy is one of the more well-known repositories for free vector art in various formats (i.e. svg, ai, eps and more). Besides providing high-quality icon sets, they also offer numerous flat designs for anything you can think of – from megaphones to silhouettes doing squats.

Linearicons presentation icons

10. Linearicons

Another font-pack that’s usually meant for UI design but still great for presentations. This one offers about 700 thin-style icons that you can use for your next project for free.

nova presentation icons

11. Webalys

The Nova Icon Pack by Webalys is a 350-icon vector pack that you can download for free. It has icons for most messages you can think of and even icons about beauty and gardening. If your presentation needs to be visually consistent, using icons from this icon set an easy way to achieve that.

pixelsmarket presentation icons

12. Pixelsmarket

A marketplace of free design goodies, the Pixelsmarket icon section also boasts plenty of high-quality and really colorful icons packs up for grabs. Just head over to the website and you’ll be able to download these icons in vector or PNG formats.

Fribly presentation icons

13. Fribly

Fribly is a gold-mine repository of visual design assets. In their section for icons, in particular, you’ll be greeted by superbly drawn icons of almost anything you can imagine – from household items to energy icons.

Ego icons presentation icons

14. Ego icons

The Ego icon-set is a fantastic way to give your presentations a futuristic feel with the hexagonal-style drawings that the set contains. You get up to 3,600 icons if you buy the paid set, but the free set is good enough for most usages.

creative tail presentation icons

15. Creative tail

design repository gem that not only offers icons, but also backgrounds and free stock images that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. They have paid products that are more complex to execute such as cut-out images and the like. If you have the budget to spring for some, do consider purchasing the paid items.Otherwise, their free goods are pretty good too.

Pixeden presentation icons

16. Pixeden

Pixeden is one of the longest-standing design marketplaces in existence. Similar to Creativetail, they have both paid and free products such as mockups and the like. They also have pretty comprehensive icon sets in the repository as well. Their latest product release: Orion Icon Library has 4,500 icons in 4 styles – Line, Solid, Color and Flat with an app similar to The Noun Project so you can always have access to icons of almost every style for your presentation design projects.

Other icons presentation icons

17. Other icons

Similar to Iconfinder, they organize their icons into little categorized packs for you to download and search. Don’t be fooled by the name though, the interesting thing about this platform is that they only accept 15% of the icons contributed. You’ll only find top quality icons for your presentation here. They have about 10,000 icons in their repository currently but they are always adding more to the collection. If you’re going for quality over quantity, head over to their site.

dribbble presentation icons

18. Dribbble

This is more of a quick hack to find some custom icon sets made by some of the best designers in the world on Dribbble. Many of them leave high-quality resources up for grabs after clients reject them. Go ahead and do a quick search to see if you can find any ones that suit your presentation project.

Linea presentation icons

19. Linea

The Linea icon set has about 730 icons in its numerous, neatly categorised icon packs. They all sport a distinct line-icon style that is very popular for businesses that want to look professional, or those that work with technology.

SquidInk presentation icons

20. SquidInk

This might be the only icon site you really need to get started on your projects. They have more than 8,000 icons in their repository that split into varying styles like Flat, Line and Solid design styles. With more than 2,000 icons in each of these styled-packs you’ll always be able to find the right icons in the right style for projects of any setting.

Inscribemag presentation icons

21. Inscribemag

Inscribemag is also an aggregator of some of the best design resources available on the web. If you’re looking for icons in particular, just head over to their ‘icons’ section to feast your eyes on some of the nicely-styled options like drop-shadows and social iconography.

CSS author presentation icons

22. CSS author

The selection of icons on this site is a little limited, but still unique compared as to what you might get on the other sites. Consider browsing here if you’re looking for something you haven’t seen in the other sites above.

Free goodies for designers presentation icons

23. Free goodies for designers

As its name suggest, this Blogspot page aggregates plenty of graphic assets for free, commercial usage. The only drawback would be that you might need to keep clicking ‘older posts’ to navigate previous resources that they may have posted about.

Graphic Burger presentation icons

24. Graphic Burger

This is one of those resource pages we keep going back to. Graphic Burger curates some of the best free design resources on the web from sites like Dribbble and Behance. You’ll be able to find anything from fonts to icons for your presentations.

There are more than 24 free sites on this list to get you started with using effective icons in your next presentation. Coupled with  the other resources we included in our previous posts about free stock images, I’m confident you’ll be able to start taking those presentations to the next level!

Here are links to some of our previous articles to get you started on the right path towards boosting your presentation visuals:

Which resource was your favourite? Share with us in the comments below.