13 great tools for pitching to clients

When a big design project is on the line, you want to have the best tools at your disposal. Here are some great ones.

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Giving the perfect pitch is never easy. You have to know your subject inside-out. You have to grab people’s attention and know the answer to all their questions. And throughout it all you have to keep smiling, even if you’re dying inside. 

The good news is, there are lots of tools to help the whole experience run smoothly. In this post, we’ve gathered together some of our favourites. 

If we’ve missed out your preferred tools though, please let us know in the comments below!

Presentation tools

Use Powtoon to create animated presentations and explainer videos

To truly wow your clients with your pitch, you’re going to have to ‘show’ as well as ‘tell’. Whether that means a series of slides or a short animation, there are a number of tools to help you put together a visual presentation quickly and easily.

These apps all take your words, images and videos and join them together to create a smooth and elegant slideshow or explainer video:

Prezi: This visual storytelling presentation software offers an alternative to the restrictions of the traditional slideshow format. Instead, it gives you an limitless zoomable canvas and the ability to show relationships between the big picture and fine details. 

Powtoon: A powerful, cloud-based platform for creating animated presentations. Using templates, drag and drop and in-built voice elements, this app enables you to create a professional looking demo or explainer video in very little time, without any technical skills. 

Curator: A free app offering fast way to create minimalist presentations for your designs or illustrations. They're emailed to you in PDF format so you can either forward to your clients or present them in a pitch meeting.

Bunkr: This presentation tool’s killer feature is that you can use it to display any online content. For this reason, TechCrunch called it “the definitive PowerPoint alternative designed for the web”. 

There are plenty of other tools on the market, of course. So if none of the above float your boat, check out this list of free presentation tools

Prototyping tools

Figma is a popular browser-based tool for building interactive prototypes

If you’re developing a web app or site, just showing stills of what it will look like may not be enough to satisfy a potential client. When they ask: “What happens if you click this button?”, telling them verbally can be a bit clunky. It’s much more impressive to show them, via a working prototype. And the best news is, you no longer have to spend a lot of time and budget on developing one. The last few years have seen a ton of tools landing on the market that make it quick and easy to get a prototype up and running. They include:

Sketch: A Mac-only tool focused on interface design that’s taken the design world by storm since its release in 2010. All the alternatives below are very much playing catch-up with Sketch. 

Adobe Experience Design: Launched last year, Experience Design (aka XD) is Adobe’s answer to Sketch. Its most obvious point of difference is that it’s available for Windows as well as OS X.

Figma: An interface design tool based in the browser, this free app makes it easy to collaborate on a prototype, even if your team is distributed around the world.

Subform: A CAD-inspired design tool centred around the unique constraints of UI/UX design, Subform puts a strong focus on the creation of responsive layouts with consistent styles, using real content.

Moodboard tools

Moodboard has a range of templates for creating digital mood boards

When the design ideas you’re pitching to a potential client are more nebulous, freeform and open to discussion, it can be difficult to know what to show. This is where mood boards come in. 

Rather than a mockup of a finished product, mood boards a communicate creative concepts in a more abstract fashion. Featuring a collection of textures, images, text, fonts, colours and more, they’re about representing themes and encouraging discussion. 

Mood boards can be analogue or digital, and when it comes to the latter, there are a number of apps that can help you create them. We’d recommend the following: 

Moodboard: Unsplash’s free app for creating moodboards. You can start with a blank moodboard or use one of a series of templates, then share your moodboard with others via a link.

Boards by Invision: A plugin for users of the prototyping app Invision that helps you to creative mood boards collaboratively across teams.

The Matboard: A social bookmarking hub for the creative world often described as ‘Pinterest for design work’. Among other things, this cool app offers an easy way to collaborate on creating moodboards remotely.

Style Tiles: This online tool has been specifically designed for pitching web design projects. Style Tiles allows you to create digital moodboards featuring different fonts, colors and interface elements.

Want more options? Then check out this list of mood board tools

Projectors

The Cube LED projector is powerful and portable

If you’ve put a lot of effort into creating a cool slideshow, animation or video, you’re going to want your potential clients to see it in the best possible quality, even in daylight. 

Currently, one of our favourite projectors is the Cube LED projector, a tiny device that transforms any screen (including smartphones) into a cinematic experience, with a fine quality image of 120 inches and an LED life of 20,000 hours. 

For more options, you can check out more of the latest and greatest business projectors here.

Do you have a presentation tool you’d like to recommend? Please let us know in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in design and technology. He was previously associate editor at Creative Bloq and deputy editor at net magazine, the world's best-selling magazine for web designers. Over two decades in journalism he's worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.