I helped Zingfin hone their pitch to tell their story in front of an 800+ person audience of potential investors. As a part of this process, I also helped them refine the brand (logo, colors, typography, voice/copy) and user interface of their functioning prototype.
Both content and cadence are essential in any pitch. Too fast, and people don’t understand the content. Too slow, and people’s minds wander. For the presentation to make sense, it helps to hear the words being said over each slide.
Speaking of words… Although Balaji Viswanathan (Zingfin’s CEO) was comfortable talking to investors one-on-one, he wasn’t sure how to pitch in front of a large audience. I wrote the script that he memorized two days before, then recited word-for-word on the presentation day. He was a great sport about it.
After having already heard several pitches before this one, we needed to do something so the live audience would pay attention. So we embraced what was once an obstacle, Balaji's thick accent, and had a little fun with it. With the first slide, anyone who was paying attention, laughed. Anyone who wasn't, couldn't help but look up.
There are pitch decks you send to people before meetings. Those decks tend to have a lot of words and are meant to be read. Then there are presentations, where the deck serves as a visual placeholder for what’s being said. This is one of those visual presentations.
Animations punctuate key details to keep the viewer engaged. This video shows those animations you may have missed in the first video when Balaji was talking.
The pitch was made and investors were intrigued. Now they needed to see what they’re being asked to invest in. While brilliant economists and mathematicians, the Zingfin engineers were not very good at organizing their numbers in an easy-to-read and easy-to-use set of tools.
The challenge was similar to taking all of the gauges in a fighter jet cockpit and organizing them so a novice user could understand what each one was showing and whether or not that data was good or bad. With so many functions, there is a lot to take in. Colors show improvement or decline, +/– icons indicate gain or loss, and gauges displaying scale give users performance for each measure.