A pitch deck is traditionally a PowerPoint presentation made by entrepreneurs in front of a round of potential investors. It is a brief of the product, what problem it is tackling, and what solution it provides.
It is actually a fundraising tool. The craft and challenge in creating a killer pitch deck are persuading and conveying the most in brevity. The most successful pitch decks are those which are clear, compelling, and easy to act on.
The following points will help you in creating a sure-shot pitch deck for any investor.
Most presentations lose their ground by running for too long. The investor is reviewing many pitches every day. A 35 slide long presentation will neither be able to catch an investor’s interest nor will it be able to retain an investor’s attention for that long.
Keep your slides under 13. Don’t beat around the bush or over-explain in your pitch. In-person presentations are ideal for going over the specifics, in a pitch deck, cut to the straight point, and paint in broad strokes.
Don’t use acronyms or jargon in your presentation that your investors might be unaware of. Write using direct, clear, and simple language. Bank more on visuals and use fewer bullet points.
2. Essential Slides
When creating a pitch deck, always include the following slides: problem, solution, product, market, traction, competition, and financials. Always make a different slide for the said problem and the solution you are providing. Don’t overwhelm your investors with too much information in one slide.
For financials, market, and traction, use graphs and charts instead of writing down bullet points. Know your tractions by heart and make sure they are up to date in the presentation. Don’t re-churn the same information or overlap it. Keep all slides different and fresh.
Limit each slide to express one idea. Your essential slides should be self-explanatory and obvious.
Foremost, a slide should appeal to the visual senses of the investors. First impressions are last(ing) impressions. The look of the presentation should be in sync with the product.
Make all slides look consistent with the same font, color scheme, capitalization. It should be rich in pictures, not in words and numbers. Even then, avoid making bullets in small font. Everything written in a slide should be visible to one and all.
Headings should be 32 or 44 sizes, whereas points should be no less than size 28. Your pitch should never look old and out of date. No factual information should be unrevised. Ensure the date on the cover slide (if there is one) is recent and not from months ago.
Make sure the layout of the presentation is trendy without being distracting. All images and graphs used should be of high resolution and good quality.
Always dedicate a slide to the team members of the start-up or business. Let your investors know the brain behind the product you are pitching. Add a specific and significant accomplishment of each member. This creates a ‘winner’ image in front of the investors.
It also showcases that confident and intelligent individuals are leading the business. Ideally, those seeking capital, that is, the co-founders, should be mentioned.
Read Also: How To Build A Startup Team – Complete Guide
5. Emotional Association
The best way to catch your investors’ attention is by adding an emotional association to your product. Tell a memorable and exciting story to engage with your investors. Let your slides be more than just a pitch. Make the story seem like a driving force behind your business.
This is where you can get unique and give a breather to your investors. Let them perceive you as passionate individuals who are putting hard work into solving the problem. Most advertisements work by harping on the emotions of the consumer, and it should be followed here.
Read Also: How to Identify a Good Idea for Your Startup
6. Sending A Pitch Deck
You can create two pitch decks. One you send to the investors before the meeting and another which you showcase in person. The one you send beforehand can be longer and include more details. Your investors can go through this pitch deck at their own pace and time so that you can highlight many small points on this pitch deck.
If you don’t wish to create a different pitch deck, you can send the one you are showcasing. Make sure the investors receive it in a pdf file. If they have to convert the file or download any app to view the presentation, it would just create a barrier. No one wants to put extra effort into something they are still mulling over. Make all information easily accessible to them.
7. Know Your Competition
It is crucial to know your competition in the market. If you feel your product is wholly unique and has no competitors, you’ve not researched adequately. Include a slide on your competitors in your presentation. Use it to illustrate how your product is the more cutting edge for the market.
Build your product on how it is better than its competitors, is far more efficient and reliant and solution, and should be invested in. Avoid using sentences like ‘first business to..’, ‘only business to..’, ‘first product ever..’, etc. High chances are that very similar products are in the market, or many other people have pitched similar ideas.
The effort should be in being the best available option and not the only available option.
The presentation holds high stakes so put your best forward in creating them. You can also hire a graphics designer to help you make the perfect pitch deck. There are many pitch deck templates available online as well.
Before you start creating your pitch deck, go over some of the best pitch decks available on the net. Airbnb, Uber, Facebook, etc., are always used as examples of a perfectly all-rounded pitch deck. Brevity is the essence of a killer pitch deck.