Let’s be clear, there are way more investees than there are investors. Competition in the tough arena of investment pitching is fierce – Investees need to make the most of their opportunities and leave nothing to chance in terms of their presentation.
To that end, your pitch needs to be inch-perfect, highly polished, and instantly memorable. There are many things you can do to ensure your pitch is on point, but today, we will be looking at the specific area of pitch decks.
We even wheeled out the Startup Geek ‘head honcho’ for this post. Having held various high-level CFO positions on both sides of the fence, Oran Yeil knows a thing or two about pitching and has created this Ultimate Guide to Crafting a Winning Pitch Deck to help put your best entrepreneurial foot forward.
As the old saying goes, a light purse is an evil curse, so let’s ensure that does not happen – and help you nail those much needed funds.
What Is A Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a presentation investors use to learn about an entrepreneur’s business model and products or services. The goal of a pitch deck is to provide enough information to ensure investors have the broad strokes background necessary to invest in the company or pass on the opportunity.
A well-crafted pitch deck helps startup founders kick start meaningful conversations with potential investors in an effort to secure capital. A crucial part of this process is tailoring your message to meet potential investor needs and expectations, which often means differentiating yourself from other startups.
One argument for why entrepreneurs should craft detailed pitch decks is that it signals their commitment to the venture and their ability to anticipate investor questions. It further demonstrates that they are organized and prepared, which can be reassuring. Moreover, presenting a comprehensive overview helps investors understand how the company will generate a return on its investment.
Conversely, one argument against preparing extensive pitch decks usually comes down to time and resources. Especially when raising funds early on, entrepreneurs may not have the bandwidth available to create lengthy decks that go beyond the basics. Plus, too much information can be overwhelming and may cause investors to move onto another investment opportunity.
Regardless of which side of the debate you stand on, creating a strong pitch deck that clearly outlines your venture’s value proposition and long-term objectives are key for successful fundraising. In our next section, we’ll discuss key components that must be included in order to craft a winning pitch deck: from outlining your product/service journey to demonstrating market potential and more.
- 72% of venture capitalists are likely to request a startup’s pitch deck before investing in the business.
- According to CB Insights, 50% of slides should be used to tell the story, 32% of slides should show traction, and 18% should cover team slide and market information.
- Almost 85% of the best performing decks on angel.co have fewer than 15 slides.
Key Components Of A Pitch Deck
A successful and winning pitch deck contains key components that must be included in order to adequately convey a business’s goals, objectives, roadmap and value proposition.
At the core, a pitch deck should include an overview of who you are and what you’re trying to achieve, a problem statement that illustrates how your company solves the customers’ needs and wants, your solution, marketing strategy and competitive advantage, an explanation of how the company plans to monetize or generate returns on investment (ROI). Finally, information about the team members and some proof points or social proof showing why customers should trust you – customer feedback; press coverage; awards/accolades etc.
These vital components are essential for delivering a clear message, establishing credibility with investors, and demonstrating why you have a good chance of achieving success. Moreover, much of the content could likely appear from day one as you can explain your journey up to this point and indicate where you will be in the near future with potential assumptions about what happens next.
There are other considerations worthy of inclusion, such as financial projections and targeted market size, both of which are beneficial as they offer a deeper analysis of its growth strategy. Furthermore, a vision slide depicting where the company sees itself within 5 to 10 years provides longevity so that investors can see the long-term picture. Ultimately it is up to each business to decide which components best showcase their offering while preventing information overload or tangential topics.
Having discussed the many components which make up a comprehensive pitch deck let’s move on to discuss “Overview & Summary Slides” – For any investor to quickly understand what your business is all about means having an ‘elevator pitch’ format in which key messages are easily identifiable so as to compel potential backers for further investigation.
Overview & Summary Slides
The Overview & Summary Slides of a pitch deck summarize the main points investors need to know. It should clearly communicate your vision and answer any questions investors may have. Here are some details to keep in mind:
1. The slides should be concise and succinct. Remember, The idea is to provide a bird’s eye view of the business, without specific detail. Investors will appreciate that you are acknowledging the value of their time.
2. The slides should also contain key takeaways and action items for investors – this allows them to understand the story behind your company quickly and easily. Some key points you should include in these investor pitch deck slides are: what is your business model? What value does it bring? What’s the size of the market? How will you make money? What challenges do you expect to face?
3. Make sure that all your claims are backed up with credible data and statistics. Investors want proof that your product is viable and that it can deliver on its promises. Use charts and graphs as well as hard numbers, such as investment figures, market sizes and future growth projections.
4. Clearly explain your competitive advantage and how you differentiate yourself from the competition – why should an investor choose to invest in you instead of other companies? Tell a captivating story and emphasize what makes you unique.
Overall, a well-crafted Overview & Summary slide can make a big difference in convincing investors to put their money behind your startup. So make sure to keep these points in mind when creating yours!
Now that we’ve covered how important Overview & Summary slides are, let’s move onto discussing Goal & Objective Slides in the next section of this guide!
Goal & Objective Slides
When constructing your pitch deck, it is essential to include a competition slide that highlights the goals and objectives of your business. On these slides, you should provide a clear articulation of what motivates you and your team.
This could be anything from addressing a specific need or problem in the market to outlining how and why your product stands out from competitors. It’s important to also make sure that you don’t get too lost in the details at this stage–your goal is simply to communicate with your audience about where you are headed.
When deciding what to include in these goal slides, there needs to be a balance between addressing the needs of the market and expressing your unique value proposition. While both aspects are important to address, they should not take up too much real estate on the slide. A good way to ensure that this happens is by highlighting no more than three main points.
Additionally, try to refrain from getting too creative with design elements or visuals on these slides. It may seem counterintuitive, but neat, concise text is often all that’s necessary here.
Finally, when crafting your goal slides, remember that consistency is key. Not only should they have similar formatting and color schemes as other slides throughout the presentation, but they should also reflect the same mission and vision across all platforms (i.e.: website copy and product descriptions).
This will help create an overall cohesive message for potential investors or customers, making it easier for them to understand what you’re trying to achieve.
Next in our guide we’ll discuss presenting your pitch deck – stay tuned for more!
Presenting Your Pitch Deck
Before you can begin building visuals for your pitch deck, you first need to know how to present it. Presentations are the most important part of the process as it is the final opportunity to clearly communicate what your business does, its potential for success, and the reasons why potential investors should consider investing in your company.
Practice, Practice & Practice!
The tried-and-true method is to practice until you become comfortable with managing questions that may arise during the presentation. This should include learning how to use body language effectively and speaking confidently throughout.
You’ll also want to develop summarizing tactics which will allow you to convey complex information simply while keeping people’s attention.
Practice also includes being familiar with any tools you plan on using (a laptop, remote clicker, etc.). If you can make a flawless presentation it will add an extra layer of professionalism and reliability.
Present Your Pitch As A ‘Double Act’ With Two Presenters
Another aspect worth considering is who else should be present during the presentation. Although it’s not necessary to have other people with you (outside investors), having a second set of hands in attendance could be valuable. Someone who is knowledgeable about the business and who can contribute by providing additional explanation or enthusiasm could be beneficial in certain cases.
Ultimately, one side of the argument would suggest that the individual presenting has all they need to succeed if their training was comprehensive enough; while the other side would advocate for bringing someone along as a show of confidence and believe that two heads are better than one in unpredictable environments like a presentation.
The group dynamics created by having somebody accompanied are hard to replicate when an individual undertakes such responsibility – it leaves limited space for mistakes or misunderstandings and if done correctly, puts forth a professional image backed up by mutual respect between presenter(s) and investor(s).
By presenting the pitch as a ‘double act’, you are introducing subtle psychology, if approached strategically. A pitch deck conveys two contrasting propositions when you think about it: facts and data, along with drive and sentiment. You can replicate these two aspects by working with another presenter. One presenter could take the role of the calculating, sensible, data-driven person, while the other presenter could assume the role of the charismatic and passionate visionary.
By approaching your pitch this way, you are conveying trust and safety with passion – two things that bounce off each other very well.
Be Concise & Prioritize Your Points In Your Pitch Deck
When it comes to creating a pitch deck, it’s easy to get carried away and include every piece of information that you think is important. But remember, you only have a limited amount of time to make your case, so being concise and prioritizing your points is key. A good rule of thumb is to keep your deck to around 10-15 slides and aim for a presentation time of 20 minutes or less. This not only keeps your audience engaged and attentive but also forces you to focus on the most important information that will resonate with them. So, take the time to rehearse and refine your pitch, and remember that your pitch deck is there to enhance your presentation, not to replace it.
At this stage of the process, you should have a well-structured pitch deck, in terms of core messaging. We now need to inject a little energy and verve into the presentation and for that, we shall turn to visuals. Let’s take a look at the best way to use them.
Building Visuals For Your Pitch Deck
We need to find a sweet spot of balance here: too many graphics will overwhelm and detract from the messaging, while too few will result in reduced engagement. Again, we need to find that sweet spot, somewhere in the middle.
Having an engaging design that shows information and expresses emotion can be hugely beneficial when convincing investors about the worth of your business. Additionally, infographics are great tools for communicating complex topics in a quickly digestible manner. When used correctly, visuals can be an incredibly powerful tool for strengthening your message when pitching.
In order to successfully incorporate visuals into your pitch deck, consider things like brand consistency, legibility of fonts, cohesiveness among slides, as well as color scheme clarity through transitions between slides. It’s important that all these elements work together to create one unified story: Your company’s narrative and mission.
Now that we’ve talked about building visuals for a winning pitch deck, let’s move on to understanding what makes for a standout pitch deck.
Examples Of Great Pitch Decks
A successful pitch deck is essential for attracting investors; it’s the core presentation you need to convey your business idea and goals. Good pitch deck templates follow a logical progression, making it clear what the startup does and how it will make money. To help understand what makes up an effective startup pitch deck template better, let’s look at some of the best practice examples from successful startups and how they deserve their success.
The first key element of the best pitch decks is a simple and elegant design that captures the attention of investors. Pinterest’s deck, for example, provides an easy-to-follow visual narrative that clearly explains its solution and value proposition. Features and benefits are highlighted in a clever, almost quite shrewd way. The layout of the slides also establishes a dynamic rhythm that keeps viewers engaged until the very end.
Source: template by bvp.com
Another strong element found in many successful pitch decks is credibility. For instance, the Airbnb pitch deck was able to leverage its existing user base as early traction data in its pitch deck when trying to raise capital. Sharing such performance data on a traction slide gives investors confidence in the startup’s product or service.
It is important to include customer testimonials, awards won, special recognition from press media and other milestones achieved by your team or company. By including these elements, you can help build a compelling case for your own pitch deck and demonstrate to potential investors the credibility of your business.
Source: template by pitchdeckcoach.com
Finally, it’s great if you can demonstrate projected growth potential with backed-up research data and market forecasts presented in graphs or shareable infographics. Airbnb used this approach too by including curated lists of cities and countries where Airbnb saw the potential for growth in order to attract additional funding. Through these facts and figures, investors gain faith in the startup’s ability to create solid market traction.
These are only some of the elements together that make up an effective pitch deck example; there are many more that could be discussed such as appealing copywriting techniques, video embeds for showcasing products/services, or even visuals about target markets and competitors.
Ultimately it all comes down to showing your precise understanding of the problem your target audience faces, combined with a well-researched strategy outlining how you plan to solve it – all within a storytelling framework delivered in a crisp, sharp visual design piece.
These pitch deck examples should hopefully help you to understand the required look and feel of a great pitch deck. Let’s now move forward and demonstrate on to discuss some helpful tips & techniques for creating an effective fundraising pitch deck that stands out from the competition.
Pro tip – sign up for a Business Insider subscription (first month at $1) and get access to 975! Pitch decks templates from successful startups like Uber, Airbnb, BREX, including historical ones like the Facebook pitch deck. (just to be clear, we are not an affiliate and don’t get anything from referring to their website, it’s just a great source for you)
Tips & Techniques For Creating A Pitch Deck
When crafting a powerful and successful pitch deck, there are a few key tips and techniques to keep in mind. With the right strategies, you’ll be able to create an impressive presentation slide deck that will engage your audience and leave them wanting more. Here are some essential tips to help you build an effective pitch deck that drives results:
Create A Clear Narrative:
A well-crafted pitch deck should have a defined narrative from start to finish. The presentation should tell a story that prepares the audience for your big idea — what problem you’re solving, why it’s important, and how your solution provides value. By keeping this thread of storytelling throughout the presentation, you increase the chances that your message will land with maximum impact.
Keep It Simple:
Avoid overly complex words or visuals in your presentation. Complicated content can make it hard for your audience to follow along or understand the main points of your pitch. Instead, use simple language and graphics that effectively demonstrate your message. Striking the right balance between clarity and creativity is key to keeping viewers engaged with the content.
Highlight Impact & Relevance:
When putting together your deck, be sure to focus on how your project or product impacts the lives of those who use it, as well as how it’s relevant to practical applications in the present and future. Back up claims with real-world examples and data points — including user feedback — whenever possible. This helps to validate what you are conveying and demonstrates that you have done your homework.
Focus On Visuals:
The visual elements of a pitch deck should draw people in and keep them engaged throughout the presentation — so use visuals wisely! Make sure all images are professional and high-quality; avoid low-resolution images or clashing colors. Utilize images, videos, graphs and other forms of media to help drive home messages without relying too heavily on text-based slides. Additionally, resist overwhelming viewers with every detail; instead, include only the most necessary information while ensuring they don’t feel overwhelmed with too much content at once.
Test Your Pitch Deck:
The best way to determine whether or not your pitch is ticking all the right boxes is by testing it out before presenting it in front of investors or other stakeholders. Get feedback from colleagues perhaps or even strangers that could provide an impartial opinion about what works and what doesn’t within the presentation.
The more dialed in your presentation feels beforehand, the less work you’ll need to do when honing it for future presentations — plus, feedback from testers is often invaluable when it comes to refining visuals and making sure messaging lands correctly across multiple audiences.
Overall, creating an effective pitch deck takes time and strategy–but with these tips & techniques in mind, you can craft one that really wows its audience!
Common Questions And Answers
What Mistakes Should I Avoid When Creating A Pitch Deck?
When creating a pitch deck, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can weaken your presentation. Firstly, keep your presentation simple and focused. Don’t crowd the slides with too much text or images—make sure there is one main point per slide and provide evidence to back up your assertions.
Secondly, be sure not to rely solely on slides—clarify any key points by speaking directly to your audience. Finally, avoid giving too much detail—stick to the basics and focus on the highlights of your product or service. By following these tips, you can craft a winning pitch deck that will help you successfully communicate your message and engage with potential investors and partners.
What Components Should I Include In A Pitch Deck?
When crafting a winning pitch deck, there are several critical components to include. First and foremost is an executive summary that explains the purpose and message of the proposal in one or two sentences. This should be followed by a presentation of your company, including information on its history, mission, and vision.
Next, clearly articulate the problem that your company solves, as well as the market opportunity and competitive landscape. Following this should be a comprehensive list of objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs) which show your audience why they should invest in your solution. Additionally, it’s important to include details on funding valuation, milestones achieved thus far, and projected plans for future growth.
Lastly, make sure to include relevant financial documents such as income statements and cash flows which demonstrate the sustainability of your business model. By adhering to these components and using persuasive visuals where possible, you can craft an effective pitch deck that is sure to impress potential investors.
How Do I Create An Effective Pitch Deck?
Creating an effective pitch deck starts by identifying the key points that you want to include and then organizing them into logical categories. First, think about what kind of information you need to provide in order to make a persuasive argument. This will likely include elements such as problem statements, solutions, business models, key financials, market analysis and a roadmap for success.
After you have all of this information gathered and organized, you can move on to designing your pitch deck. Think about how the data you are presenting should be visually presented – infographics, graphs, or charts may be helpful here to help explain and visualize concepts that would otherwise take up too much space on the slide.
Additionally, think about how to make sure your slides not only communicate the facts but also tell a story. Enlisting professional help in this area can be invaluable when it comes to ensuring that your final product is visually appealing and effective.
Finally, don’t forget to practice your presentation! The more times you go through it before actually pitching your idea, the more confident and persuasive you will be when it comes time to present it in front of an audience. Using practice sessions with friends or colleagues who are willing to give honest feedback can help ensure you hit the right notes when it matters most.