Pitch Deck 101: Everything You Need to Know

Perhaps the most important document in a startup’s life is the pitch deck or also known as the investor presentation. But what is a pitch deck? The goal of this short, yet informative PowerPoint or Keynote presentation is to convey an entire business story and convince investors that it’s worth their time and money. It’s very difficult to capture everything about your company on just one page, but most investors and entrepreneurs will say that it’s surely possible (and preferable).

In this article, you’ll discover how to create the best pitch deck and check out some pitch deck examples to get you started. 

If you have a powerful name or tagline for your company, this is where you’d want to display it. It’s important to make sure the company name is prominently displayed on this document because it represents all the work you’ve already put into it. Investors’ attention should be grabbed by this, so make sure it’s there.

If you don’t have a logo for your company, create an icon.

It can be something as simple as Nike’s “Swoosh” icon, or something more elaborate that symbolizes your product or service, like Starbucks’ famous “Siren“. Using icons is an effective way to promote brand recognition because they can convey messages quickly, capture attention, and can be applied in an array of ways. 

Talk about the pain points and how to solve them.

You’ll want to include a “problem” slide or an “opportunity” slide that conveys the pain point your target audience feels and the value-add that your product provides. The “problem” should be stated in terms of loss (e.g., “We are losing X annually”), whereas the “opportunity” should be stated in terms of gain (e.g., “With our solution, we can generate $X monthly with very little effort”).

Use the power of infographics.

The easiest way to empathize with your target audience is through a personal story or an infographic. These not only humanize you and your business, but they also convey information in a more concise and easily understandable manner.

Your solution should be clearly illustrated in the following slides. Describe its functions and how it benefits your customers visually; this is an easy way to break up the text and scramble through complicated concepts and ideas quickly. Venngage has thousands of infographics and cover letter templates to choose from. Remember: investors will skim through most slides very quickly to determine if they should continue reading.

Deal with the competition.

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Every great investor pitch deck will include a slide about the competitive landscape and how the startup plans on conquering it. Many investors consider this as important as your solution slide. While it’s true that no business is 100% unique, explaining why your product is different from those of its competitors can convince investors that there’s room for everyone in the market.

A chart or graph can easily illustrate your competitive advantages over others in the industry.  Be honest, but try to establish yourself convincingly as “the best” without overselling it. Remember that you’re doing this to secure investment; not to simply boast about your accomplishments.

Tell us who’s with you.

Investors will want to know about your team, but they’ll also want to see proof of your partnerships and potential clients. This is where you list the key people on your team (with their experience and roles, of course!) as well as any other business partners or advisors you may have.

Whenever possible, include hard numbers about your growth.

Since investors are looking to visualize potential business growth through scaling, you’ll want to include some graphs or other visuals that depict your company’s reach.  If you have impressive milestones, list them—especially if there is accompanying press coverage. Most importantly, just be prepared to answer questions about your business growth during the pitch.

There’s more to every investor than an investment check.

You’ll also want to include information about your company that goes beyond what it does. This could be anything from the PR potential of the product (and how you intend to leverage it) to capitalizing on any synergies with your business partners. Investors care about the overall picture of their investment, so this is a good place to sell them on why they should work with you and your team. To get you going, here’s a pitch deck design available in Venngage: 

Remember: always ask for what you want.

The best way to gain an investor’s commitment is to ask for it explicitly. You’ll want to end the pitch by clearly asking your target for either an investment or continued support in another form (e.g., advice, equipment, etc.). Closing the deal immediately after showing how mutually beneficial working together can greatly increase the chances of success.

The purpose of this article isn’t just to give you tips on what to include in your pitch deck. By now, you should be well aware that the quality of each slide is equally important. This means not only including images and graphs where applicable but also making sure they are visually pleasing. Remember: these are the slides that investors will look at the most, so make them count. If all goes well, you’ll end up closing a deal at the end of the pitch!

With this in mind, Venngage is here to assist you with creating an impressive pitch deck that will captivate everyone and secure that investment! There are hundreds of pitch deck templates available that have been prepared to impress investors. Good luck!

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