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Lisa-Marie Hatcher, September 21 2020

What is a Pitch Deck?

Pitch decks are brief presentations created by startups/entrepreneurs to present their idea or company before the investors with the ultimate goal of securing funding. While funding is a multiple-step process, pitch decks are your critical, first rung on the ladder to wooing investors.

With startups mushrooming everywhere on the business landscape, investors are flooded with options. It’s not surprising that one Harvard study found that investors only spend an average of 3 minutes and 44 seconds reviewing a pitch deck. All the more reason to make your next pitch deck as engaging and relevant as possible. Here are a few tips to help you do just that.

Keep it Short

Brevity is key. While creating a pitch, remember that it’s just the first step, so avoid information overload. But how long is too long? Former Apple Chief Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, is a big advocate for keeping slide decks to no more than 10 slides and no longer than 20 minutes. Note: a 10-slide deck is perfect, but you may add a few additional slides if you have a wider product range or verticals.

Get to the Point

With the value of capturing attention increasing exponentially, engage investors out of the gate by giving them a quick overview of your proposition. Don’t force them to guess where you’re going to take them. Tell them up front. Overall, get to the point, stay focused, and don’t waver from the pitch deck.

Establish the Problem

Everyone wants to know: “what problem are you solving?” Pitch decks should have a slide presenting a distinct and concise problem statement, explaining the problem you’re trying to solve. Explain the effects and implications of the problem and the urgent need to solve it.

Convey Your Start-Up Story

Build your pitch decks around a compelling business story. Facts and figures are important but they won’t create the emotional bond you need to get the decision you want. Make your pitch matter and make it memorable. Wrapping your numbers and graphs in a story will help you do that.

Communicate your Product/Service USP

Be sure to convey the unique selling proposition or USP of your products or services. What competitive edge do they have? What differentiates your problem-solving approach from others in your space? You may also mention any patents or licensing that you have received for your products and services.

Know Your Numbers

While too many numbers, graphs, or charts may take away the effect of your story, you must mention of few crucial numbers the investors may be interested in. Your current sales, overheads, inventory, and profits, and your future projections may be covered in here. These key figures will validate your business understanding and preparedness.

Introduce Your Team

Investors want to know that you have a solid team behind you. Pitch decks must highlight the key members, their expertise, and their commitment to the company. In case your team is still incomplete, identify, and present the critical positions that need to be filled and their crucial role in the company.

State Your Competition

Be sure to mention your competition in your space and explain how you fit in the competitive landscape. Let the investors know what differentiates you from your competition.

Ensure Your Pitch Deck Can Stand On Its Own

It’s great when you’re there to present your pitch in person. But what happens when your presentation is finished? A few days go by and investors are left with only the deck you shared. A good pitch deck has to wow investors even when you’re not there! It has to stand on its own. Investors will likely want to go through it again on their own time. Keep your pitch deck slides simple and your storytelling clear to keep investors engaged. 

Explain Why You Need Their Investment

Investors need to know that their investment is being used for the right purpose and will result in generating profits. You need to explain what you need the investment for and your plans for using their capital. 

Be Prepared for the Next Step

While pitch decks are there to create an initial opportunity for you, it is important to be prepared for the next step. Keep your documents ready, anticipate questions, ensure you have the right answers and be prepared to take the next step if the investors show an immediate interest in the pitch.

If you have an important investor meeting coming up, it would be a good idea to get the professionals to tell your story and create a perfect pitch deck for you. It’s a great investment and is likely to bring better results from the investors. Reach us at https://communicate4impact.com/ for expert help in creating a seamless pitch deck to help you make your mark with the investors.

Written by

Lisa-Marie Hatcher

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