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Updated Nov 06, 2023

In the Can: 5 Types of Presentations Every CEO Needs to Have

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Julie Thompson, Contributing Writer

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Being a CEO means wearing many hats ― particularly when communicating your venture’s vision and future plans. While your core ideas and values will remain consistent, you must be prepared to communicate with various audiences, including investors, customers, employees and peers. Tailoring your messages to your audiences’ diverse interests and needs is crucial.

We’ll highlight five presentations every CEO should craft, practice and have ready to go when the moment calls. While your industry and the unique aspects of your organization will inform your presentations, all leaders can benefit from having these pitches and presentations at the ready.

Did You Know?Did you know

According to Decktopus, professionals prefer presentations to be 10 to 15 minutes long, have more visuals than text and be interactive. However, ensuring accurate data visualizations is critical.

5 presentations CEOs must have ready

While industry trends and unique situations will dictate a CEO’s specific presentation needs, all leaders need the following five presentations. Be sure to practice and hone your presentations so they’re polished and professional ― you don’t want your business to go viral for the wrong reasons.

1. Investor pitch

Presenting your idea to investors is a delicate balance of sales, partnership, enthusiasm and vision. It’s essential to get straight to the point and convince investors to put their money and trust in your hands. If a CEO can’t make people care about their business in less than five minutes, they must return to the drawing board.

Angel investors and venture capitalists look for signs that a company is worth their time and money. Revenue numbers, customer data, a solid marketing plan and positive business trends are critical. However, don’t rely on the numbers to do all the talking: Investors want entrepreneurs they can trust.

Your investor pitch should weave together data with an engaging story that establishes that you’re an excellent, trustworthy leader with a capable team.

FYIDid you know

Finding and attracting investors ― and keeping their attention ― can be challenging. According to DocSend, in 2021, investors spent about three and a half minutes reviewing pitch decks. In 2022, it was less than three minutes.

2. Board meeting update

Once you have a group of investors and advisors, you must keep them updated on the pulse of your business. While the investor pitch highlights your company’s potential, board meeting presentations should offer a more diverse view of what’s happening in the business. From successes and failures to plans for the future, a CEO should provide stakeholders with information to give guidance where needed.

Giving positive updates is easy, since no CEO wants to look bad in front of the board. Thus, you may be tempted to avoid presenting dismal quarterly results. However, showing that you can learn from your failures is crucial. 

If you must present a less-than-optimal board meeting update, be honest about what went wrong and focus on what you and your company learned from your missteps. By showing the board you understand what went wrong and can avoid it in the future, you’ll build trust. In contrast, brushing failures under the rug will undermine trust.

3. All-hands vision pitch

Communicating with your team is crucial; employees want to hear from the C-suite and understand the organizations they work for. However, corporate communication is sorely lacking. According to Gallup, only 7 percent of employees feel they get accurate, timely and transparent information from their workplace.

CEOs must become cheerleaders, inspiring and motivating their employees to work toward a collective goal. Company-wide presentations should give employees a “big picture” view of the business and an eye toward the future.

This kind of presentation is often called a “vision pitch.” It conveys much more than your bottom line ― it shares your business’s potential impact on the world and inspires your team.

TipBottom line

Look to your company’s mission statement to inspire your all-hands vision pitch. Avoid abstract platitudes like “We make the world better.” Instead, share stories about how your business lives its mission and impacts the world.

4. Press-worthy announcement speech

Apple has perfected the show-stopping press event. When many people think of Steve Jobs, they often recall his dynamic and unique presentations at Apple’s major product launch events.

Jobs elicited emotional responses from his audiences. For example, when announcing the iPod in 2001, he didn’t describe it as just a beautiful MP3 player. He equated it with the freedom to listen to any kind of music, anywhere. 

Investor pitches and all-hands vision pitches must help an audience see beyond basic facts and figures to something more meaningful. Similarly, press-worthy announcements should drive at something much deeper than technical specs. If you want people to care about what you’re announcing, help them understand the implications of your news in emotional terms.

5. Thought leadership keynote

Industry events are opportunities for CEOs to increase brand awareness and reach a broad audience of potential customers. But when a CEO is asked to give a keynote at an event, organizers don’t want a company pitch. 

Instead, CEOs should cultivate a platform of ideas beyond their products or services to call upon for keynote presentations. They can use these thought leadership tenets to prepare a presentation that is meaningful to the audience while effortlessly raising their organization’s esteem and profile. 

TipBottom line

Incorporate your brand’s story into your keynote. Focus on your experiences, challenges and obstacles to engage your audience.

The best tools for creating presentations

While PowerPoint presentations are ubiquitous, this software isn’t the only game in town. Consider the following free and low-cost presentation tools that can take your pitches to the next level.


Canva is an excellent presentation tool for artistically challenged CEOs. Users can drag and drop elements and search for high-quality, professional graphics and templates. Canva is similar to higher-end design software but without the expense and learning curve.

Here are some basic facts about Canva:

  • Templates: Canva provides thousands of templates and millions of stock images.
  • Price: Canva is free to use for basic templates and graphics. It costs $119 annually for premium templates, graphics and publishing features.
  • Compatibility: You can use Canva on Macs, Windows PCs and iOS and Android devices.


Pitch is an excellent presentation platform that can help you secure new partners and increase capital. The software allows you to “Go live” by clicking a camera icon (top-right) to start a live video call. Team members can collaborate in real time, and you can assign individual slides to invited team members.

If you work with other companies, you can invite them to collaborate. The paid plan also gives you access to shared private folders and version histories.

Here’s what you need to know about Pitch:

  • Templates: Pitch has over 100 templates to choose from.
  • Price: Pitch is free for unlimited presentations. It costs $8 per user per month for presentation analytics and advanced features.
  • Compatibility: You can use Pitch on Macs, Windows PCs and iOS and Android devices.

Google Slides

Google Slides is an excellent, free alternative to PowerPoint that works on all devices. Collaborating with Google Slides is easy because it’s a cloud computing application. 

Here’s what you need to know about Google Slides:

  • Templates: Google Slides has 23 themes with simple color, typography and layout changes.
  • Price: Google Slides is free with sharing capabilities.
  • Compatibility: You can use Google Slides on Macs, Windows PCs and iOS and Android devices.
Did You Know?Did you know

Google Slides is part of Google Drive, which is one of the most effective internal collaboration tools a business can use.


Visme is an all-in-one presentation-creation platform with easy customization features. Visme is more robust than PowerPoint but just as easy to use. It’s great for teams that want a professional look. You can use its free version with limited features or upgrade to its paid tiers for more functionality. 

Here’s some information on Visme:

  • Templates: Visme provides thousands of templates and millions of graphics, audio and video options for a wide range of industries.
  • Price: Visme’s free plan has limited features. Paid tiers cost $15 and $29 and provide additional options and functionality.
  • Compatibility: With Visme, you show and edit presentations in a web browser.


Prezi’s presentation software allows you to create nonlinear stories. It can manage slides in groups so you can quickly bounce from one topic to the next while keeping your audience engaged. Prezi also allows you to share presentation links to collaborate with co-workers.

Here’s what you should know about Prezi:

  • Templates: Prezi offers over 200 templates catering to various industries.
  • Price: Prezi has a free plan and paid tiers. The Plus plan is $15 per month and the Premium tier is $19 per month.
  • Compatibility: You can use Prezi on Windows PCs and Macs (offline access). You can also access it on iOS and Android devices.

The software uses artificial intelligence to upgrade the standard human presentation. The platform is excellent if you are short on time. Import all your information and will organize your slides to be clear, concise and aesthetically appealing.

Here’s some basic info on

  • Templates. provides 62 templates that focus on use cases instead of industry.
  • Price. costs $12 per month for unlimited slides and $40 per month for sharing capabilities and custom templates.
  • Compatibility. With, you show and edit presentations on a web browser.

Peter Arvai contributed to this article.

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Julie Thompson, Contributing Writer
Julie Thompson is a professional content writer who has worked with a diverse group of professional clients, including online agencies, tech startups and global entrepreneurs. Julie has also written articles covering current business trends, compliance, and finance.
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