If you’re a startup, you need a pitch deck. Why? Because you need funding. But it’s not only for investors. A pitch deck is a concise, engaging, and factual way to say who you are, why you exist, and what you intend to do. If you’re ready to take on collaborators or partners, you’ll also need one. We’ve collected the top pitch deck tips from the pros. So, let’s get started.
What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is like a power-point presentation but more engaging. It’s for today’s fast-paced, high-tech world. A series of cleverly crafted slides will introduce your company to potential investors and convince them to become partners with you in your mission.
It’s Not a Business Plan
A business plan should be one of the first documents you prepare before you launch your business. It will include a lot of detailed information, some of which will also show up in your pitch deck. If you’re only at the stage of getting a business idea off the ground, it’s not the time to prepare a pitch deck. This comes after you develop your business concept, write a business plan, and launch your startup.
6 Pitch Deck Tips From the Pros
Do Advance Work
Think of all the questions your investors will ask. Get to know their personalities. What do they focus on? What kinds of numbers are important to them? Justin McLeod, founder, and CEO of Hinge, recommends first building a relationship with a potential funder before making the pitch. Check out winning slide decks before jumping into designing your own. Many are online. For example:
Remember, this is not your company’s annual report. Only include pertinent information on your slides. Guy Kawasaki suggests a 10/20/30 rule. What does this mean?
- Use 10 slides
- Pitch should last no more than 20 minutes
- The font should be at least 30 points.
Using this pitch deck tip, your presentation slides will look like this:
- What problem do you come to solve?
- How will you solve it?
- Why you?
- Who are you up against?
- What’s your track record?
- How will you make money?
- How does your product or service work?
- What’s your marketing strategy?
- Status and timeline
- How much do you need and how will you use it?
Tell Your Story
This is an important pitch deck tip. Your presentation should be professional, yet at the same time, you want it to be emotive. You want potential investors to get excited about what you have done and your potential to contribute even more to your industry. Tell them where you’ve been and where you think you’re going.
Galyn Bernard, the co-founder of Primary, says that if you fill your deck with numbers and metrics, you risk drowning out your story. Investors may lose excitement and turn off from your pitch.
Slides Are Not a Speech
Don’t turn your slides into a speech. Limit each slide to a single point, with a little text to support it. Provide a grand vision and concrete execution objectives. Pay attention to graphics. Be sure to include your logo on each slide and try to make them fun while conveying serious details.
Describe the Competition and Market Landscape
- What are they doing?
- How are you going to differentiate?
- Why you? Why now?
- Include data such as metrics and surveys when possible to prove you’re filling a need in the marketplace.
What Will you do With the Investment?
This is another critical pitch deck tip. Be specific. You don’t want to say something general like, “to build the company.” Anu Duggal, founding partner of the Female Founders Fund, recommends providing a five-year growth plan. Be sure to let your potential investors know how long it will take before they recover their investment.
Key Pitch Deck Tips Takeaways:
- Be prepared.
- Tell your story.
- Keep it short and precise.
- Engage and inspire.
- Consider your slide share a work in progress. Pay attention to feedback and make adjustments as needed.