If you’ve read 10 Pitch Deck Principles (or How to Blow them Away With Your Deck) then you’re already familiar with what you should do to create a killer pitch deck. This short post deals with 3 things you should not do. There are many more but these are some of the most common mistakes that are rarely acknowledged:

1.  Leaving a slide on screen.  Since you must be the focus of your pitch, once you your slide has served its purpose make it disappear and allow your audience to focus on you and what you say as you elaborate  on the point made by the slide.

In case you don’t already know; press the ‘B’ key to make the screen turn black and the ‘W’ key to show the slide.

2.  Presenting linearly. One of the keys to keeping your audience engaged, is to pitch in a way that disrupts and resets their attention.  This means that you should feel free to move back and forth through your deck in a way that is consistent with natural communication.  Prezi can also be a great presentation tool for resetting your audience’s attention.

Presenting in a manner that follows your audience expectations can have a hypnotic effect.   For more on keeping your audience engaged and focused, see The Problem with Pitches.

3. Turning to face the screen behind you.  This is a mistake I made recently when delivering a keynote speech on how to pitch in New York.  I hadn’t arrived early enough and consequently didn’t ensure the Mac screen was close enough for me to see.

No one wants to see the back of your head. When your pitching, have your laptop in front of so that you can see what slide is on screen.

Martin is the author of ‘Here’s the Pitch – How to Pitch Your Business to Anyone, Get Funded and Win Clients’ available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Audible and all leading booksellers