We live in a world where 30 million presentations are given every 24 hours. Where, within the first 7 seconds of meeting someone, we have already placed judgment on them. And where if we haven’t been entertained or engaged enough in the first 8 seconds of a presentation, we won’t stay tuned for the next 5 minutes. Although the larger components of a sales pitch – such as establishing strong points and developing a cohesive, compelling narrative – the smaller, more detailed aspects could make or break a deal. Typographical errors are too often the most overlooked elements, but the easiest to spot and fix.

1. Casts a negative light on various parties

Just as solid spelling and grammar skills reflect credibility, care, complex thinking, and intellect, a lack of emphasis on these features will display the opposite to your audience. For example, Larry Beason’s “Ethos and Error: How Business People React to Errors” evaluated 14 case studies and discovered that bad spelling and grammar reflects poorly on both the individual presenting and the company or brand. The audience will perceive the presenter as a procrastinator – investment in the pitch absent and possession of pertinent knowledge inadequate. And the typo’s impact doesn’t stop there. Not only will the presenter of a sales pitch represent himself and his personal brand inadequately, but he or she will also fail to embody their organization or business in a professional and effective manner.

2. Threatens the possibility of pitch success

According to analysis completed in 2011 by online entrepreneur Charles Duncombe, online sales were slashed in half if a site contained just one spelling mistake. Furthermore, typos alter the readability of content – leading to decreased sales of some products, such as those that cannot be experienced prior to a purchase. This situation was demonstrated in a study called “Estimating the Helpfulness and Economic Impact of Product Reviews: Mining Text and Reviewer Characteristics” found that the less errors a product review contained, the higher the product sales. When giving a pitch presentation, you may or may not have the product available for the potential investor or client to interact with, so the presenter should look at their slides as the product experience. You wouldn’t want to ruin that experience with distracting typos, would you? Don’t risk losing a sale or pushing a customer or consumer away. You’ll likely have a limited time to express your concept and ideas, as well as display your deck, so confirm that the text on each slide is flawless – both in spelling and grammar.

3. Lessens the impact of messaging

In a survey of over 1,000 people, Global Lingo revealed the message-crushing power of grammatical and spelling mistakes when 59% of respondents said they would turn away from a company that had errors on any of their sales and marketing materials – from websites and eBooks to social media posts, one-pagers, and presentations. Even a 2006 Clemson University study found a correlation between the level of grammar and spelling quality and author credibility. Individuals trust content creators with a firm grasp on typo-avoidance over those that do not share the same tenacity.


Typos have sparked outrage in the publishing industry; have cost the Metropolitan Transportation Authority time and money following a misprinted fare amount; and have even lead to the explosion of NASA’s Mariner 1. Despite the truly lethal consequences of typos and other grammatical errors in your sales pitch, the methods to avoid demolishing a deal are myriad. Here are just a few strategies and tools for the everyday presenter to implement in their pitch production process:

  • Ensure that your pitch deck has been viewed multiple times, by several individuals – those comfortable with the content and those who are not. Make this part of the internal process.
  • Take ownership of your presentation by having a hand in the content and design at each stage of creation. This means accepting responsibility when a typo or other textual mishap is recognized.
  • Make a checklist of the most common spelling and grammar mistakes you make or that you have seen made within your organization. Go one-by-one through the list items and assess your presentation pitch slides, editing whatever necessary. Try importing all of your content into Microsoft Word and use the mistake finder function to double-check the accuracy of the text.
  • When you are rehearsing your pitch, read your content aloud while looking at speaker’s notes. This could allow you to catch mistakes you would have otherwise missed.
  • Utilize tools and software like Reverso, GrammarCheck, Ginger Software’s grammar checker, or Grammarly’s grammar checker plug-in.