Prepare a compelling pitch deck that stands out and get the funding that you need.
Pitch decks work like calling cards. It is what investors get to see even without meeting you first. Ultimately, a well-put-together pitch deck goes a long way as it will give a clear presentation about the business strategy or concept. When you can make the investors read and understand your pitch deck, you can establish your selling points that will, hopefully, facilitate funding.
In creating a pitch deck, you must be already aware that it must cover the most essential topics, such as the concept of the problem that you want to solve, market size, potential competitors, various growth models, and a clear plan of how you can pull it off. The real challenge here is how you can cram all this information into a pitch deck. More so, you need to make sure that you will be able to create a persuasive presentation that can land you a meeting with the right investor.
So, how do you make a winning pitch deck? Read along to discover the formula of a solid pitch deck.
What is a Pitch Deck and What is it For?
Basically, a pitch deck is your sales pitch or a well-structured presentation that gives details about a product or service. It allows the investor to see the value of the proposed business to the audience for them to consider funding it.
What you are aiming for is to entice a meeting with investors so you can further discuss in person about your pitch. Investors are shrewd and will not decide to invest based on a pitch alone. They need to know every salient detail so you have to present more data and information. You need to demonstrate your diligence in creating your business plan for them to assess and approve of your business personality. The pitch deck, therefore, is the key to encouraging investors to hear more from you.
To do this, you have to incorporate design in getting your message across. A picture says a thousand words, they say and this adage can very well be applied when creating pitch decks. Your creativity and ability to present your conceptual thinking beautifully also reflect the way you approach business in general. That’s how you can get the attention that you need so that you get a shot at setting up meetings with future investors. We will get into the details of this bit later. It is essential to learn first what you must include in your pitch deck as its content is as critical as raising the funds for your business.
Pitch Deck Must-Haves
Every business is different but the format of creating a winning pitch deck hardly changes. The most important thing to consider is that it has all the information that would persuade investors to meet with you so they will be able to know more about your business.
The following slides must be included in developing your pitch deck:
1. Business Value and Vision
This serves as a quick overview of your business and its value to target consumers. It is like a short tweet that is direct to the point and would generate interest right off the bat.
Your business should be focused on solving a problem. Providing a solution is the only way to create a business thus it should be a priority to identify a real problem. You can share a relatable story to help you define the problem. You may present a situation where investors can see the problem and will get a grasp on the nature of your business.
3. Opportunity or Target Market
This slide is intended to show who the ideal customer is, the total market size, and what your position will be in the market. It will be best to research relevant data so that the investors get a real and quantifiable sense of the scope and scale of the problem that you are trying to provide a solution for.
One thing to remember though is to try to be very specific in presenting your market. Being specific gives the impression of being realistic instead of a large number that tends to appear skeptical.
This is the part where you are allowed to dive deeper in explaining your product or service. It should address how it can solve the problem you earlier presented. Try to focus your narrative on the customers and their problems so you will have the opportunity to describe the solution in detail. You may use pictures to describe the solution to give the investors a clearer picture of your vision.
5. Business Model
Now that the investors have an idea about your business, the next step is to give them the information that they want from the start, how can they get money out of it? You have to present a revenue model where they can see the details of your pricing, what you charge, and who pays the bills.
After proving that you have a viable business, you need to further convince the investors that your solution will work to solve the problem. This roadmap will show traction and validation so you need to present milestones and current achievements. You can include the major steps that are already underway to achieve your goals.
7. Marketing Strategy
Finding and winning customers is one of the major challenges in any business. This slide should include your marketing and sales plan or the tactics that you want to use to get attention and convert prospects into paying customers.
Investors can only be convinced to do business with you if they can see that you are capable of achieving your goals. You have to present all the reasons why you and your team are qualified to build and grow this business. Showcase your experiences and successes from your field so you will appear an expert. If you do not have a team yet, you may identify key positions that must be filled and must explain why those are critical in achieving business success and growth.
Because investors are going to shell out a significant amount for your business, you also need to show your financials. It can be your cash flow forecast, income statement, and sales forecast. Being transparent on this matter will help build their confidence in you. Instead of discussing in lengthy paragraphs or providing spreadsheets, you can use charts to present sales, total customers, expenses, and profits.
Although it is possible to open up a unique business, there is a greater chance that your potential customers already have alternative solutions to their problems. You have to be open to the idea of having competition and take this slide as an opportunity to explain why you are better than anyone already in the same business.
The last part of the pitch deck is where you should explain the investment opportunities and how much money you need to fund the business. Transparency is the key to piquing the investors into considering your plea for funding. You have to fully disclose how funds are going to be used.
12. Optional Slides
Ideally, pitch decks should be kept short but you may also want to consider adding a few slides that would serve as a good source of information for the investors. You can include slides for Partnerships, Product Demos, or other documentation that might be crucial in getting a positive decision from the investors.
How to Design a Captivating Pitch Deck
Naturally, you need more than just an informative pitch to hold attention long enough for you to quickly give a business overview. Adding visuals will convey a lot of information in less time than plain words can. Adding a variety of visual instruments, therefore, is a significant factor that you never should miss if you want to captivate the audience with your pitch deck.
Here are clever ideas that you can use when designing a presentation for your start-up:
1. Keep a simple brand
Branding is an investment of its own. It is going to be tough to create intricate branding when you are strapped for a budget. Try to demonstrate that you value creativity and design by keeping it simple. Choose an uncomplicated color palette and harness color psychology in conveying messages. Find the appropriate color that is deemed fit for the brand that you want to pursue later on.
2. Use Charts to Accentuate Numbers
Investors are busy individuals and they do not have the time to sort through endless pages of information. It is your obligation to present relevant and pivotal information in simpler ways. Using charts is the wisest thing to do as it will highlight and emphasize all key figures, like staffing, budget, operations, and others. A pie chart, for example, can show spending distribution or the target market percentages. The key here is to use bright colors to draw attention to specific sections.
3. Simplify and Reduce the Number of Texts with Icons
Icons can convey information quickly and at the same time add personality to your pitch deck. They are like headings that alert the audience when to focus. Investors who are in a hurry can skim through the content but still be able to identify the key points of your presentation with icons.
4. Summarize with Tiled Layouts
It would be such a bore to have a lot of parts with large sections. You can instead break them off into smaller sections so that the information will be easier to read and digest. You may divide one of the pages into ten or fewer sections and add borders or alternating colors to create tiles. You can then include an icon and a brief summary on each tile. This eliminates the need to throw in multiple pages that would only be left unread.
5. Visualize Milestones on a Timeline
A visual presentation of progress is easier to take in rather than denser and text-filled content. A timeline is basically a map that gives the audience an idea about what will happen in the next, say, 12 months, of the project. It does not need to be so elaborate, two to three sections will be enough and you have to list down the key milestones underneath.
6. Show Market Trends in Word Clouds
Word clouds can be effective at conveying the most prominent groups in market trends. It works by showing the data in differing sizes, reflecting the popularity of the trend. You may use circles in different sizes and colors to do this.
7. Use Compelling Photos to Differentiate Sections
An all-text pitch deck will not only look boring but is going to be tiresome to read. Give the audience a break from text and add a few relevant photos to keep them interested. You may also take it as an opportunity to establish your brand or render your business personality by providing compelling photos.
8. Use Professional Photographs when Presenting the Team
A visually-compelling pitch deck should have a team of genius people behind it. Team photos are essential because it adds a good perception. You must, however, use photos that are as stunning as your pitch. They must convey professionalism and your drive to deliver what is in your pitch. You can provide relevant information, such as names and the role that each one plays in the team.
Make Your Pitch Successful
Now that you already know what to include in your pitch deck, it would help to remember the following tips:
First, keep your pitch simple. The primary purpose of a pitch deck is to build excitement towards the story that you want to tell. You need to make it as short and succinct as possible so that the investors will clamor to gain more information.
Another tip is to skip the bullets and instead use large fonts and images in your slides. Images are more effective in building an emotional attachment to your ideas. Bullets, on the other hand, will only make for a boring and confusing story.
You also need to keep your deck current. You are likely to pitch your business a lot of times before finding the right investor. Update the roadmaps, latest data, and all other information on your slides to avoid presenting an outdated deck to possible investors.
Finally, you have to prepare all the documents that investors may want after your pitch. These documentations must support your presentation and must be sent right after you deliver your pitch. Some of these documents may include, the executive summary or your pitch deck in written form, the technical documentation or information about your technical claims, the diagrams, workflows, etc., detailed financial models, and the detailed market research.
Ready to get started? Start developing your pitch deck with these tips and we hope that you are able to find the resources that will aid you in perfecting your pitch.