How to do a perfect PITCH DECK?

In this article you will find the exact set of necessary pitch deck slides, as well as good and bad practices of doing the presentation.

12 slides of a PITCH DECK

1. NAME AND MISSION

Easy one. Logo,  company name in a big font, smaller font — company mission or tagline.

2. PROBLEM

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Our intuition tells us to go straight to saying what we do and why is it so special. WRONG! Do not start with your product. Start with briefly describing a problem, that you want to solve. This stimulates imagination and will help understand what you are actually doing. Try to use infographics and images. It’s good practice to include a number, that shows the scale of the problem.

3. SOLUTION

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Here you talk about the general idea of how the problem can be solved. Again, use infographics, images, something, that will present this in the easiest way.

4. PRODUCT

A known practice: use just ONE slide for your product. Talk about how it solves the previously mentioned problem. Focus on the essence, do not talk about all features, do not spend exceptionally more time on this slide than on others. Remember — it needs to be short and to the point. At best, you should describe it in a way that a 7-year old would understand. Practice it!

5. MARKET

Time for some numbers. Tell about who are you targeting and how big the market is. This is where you should show the potential of your business. Prepare relevant statistics. Data must be real, do not risk doing it ad hoc. You don’t want to Investors find information, that is significantly different than what you presented.

6. BUSINESS MODEL

This is a place for you to shine. In the possibly simplest way show off how your company is going to get revenue. Graphics, circles, arrows, icons, big fonts work great here. And most of all — no bullshit. Something, that can be calculated, multiplied, assumed, compared is needed here. Investors will do their math. Expect lots of questions on this slide.

7. STRATEGY

Talk about the marketing strategy and growth plan that’s going to bring you (more) clients. You know the best what to include here.

8. COMPETITION

This is something that all Investors underline: BE HONEST. And do your homework. You need to know your competitors, their advantages and weak points, and be able to position your business among them. List all, that are the most relevant to your business. You don’t want to hear about your competition from your potential investors.

Good practice? Two axes that represent two most important features of your product. Place the competitors’ logos on it accordingly. Your logo will probably appear in one of the corners, since you want to show that your company is the best one to represent the two main features.

Also, talk about the competitive advantages your product has. You can list them here or on a separate slide.

9. ROAD MAP / MILESTONES

Information about at what stage is your idea / your company, what have you achieved so far, how many clients you already have and what you plan to achieve in the nearest future. Date of the company start, product stage, next steps and planned number of clients next to each milestone.

The time of the road map should reflect the period, for which you are raising money. It’s enough to focus on quarterly time span. At the very early stage of the company you would usually plan for a year. At some later stages you would plan for 3-5 years.

10. FINANCIALS

Past and projected spendings and earnings plus the total amount you are currently raising. Again, reflecting the time period you are raising for. Do not show the details, it’s enough to do amounts quarterly. However, prepare a detailed financial table with monthly spendings and earnings in case you need to talk about it more in detail.

Strongly mark here how much you are raising and for how long.

You may try to combine both above slides (Road Map and Financials) on one slide, showing general spendings, growth and needed investments on one axis.

11. TEAM

Briefly introduce yourself and your co-founders. You can also mention the hey employees if you want to. Add pictures, you can also add short bios if you want to boast about previous achievements.

12. CONTACT

Again — logo, company name, and your contact information. Some founders include social media as well.

GOOD PRACTICES

1. Short and simple — max 15 slides

This might be the hardest to do. Focused on our amazing businesses, product, advantages, etc., we want to boast about ALL we know about it. WRONG! Share only the information that will show best that you know what you do and that this  will make sense for investors. They will ask if they have questions. 15-30 minutes is not the end of the world! It’s best to fit into 12 slides, and you can always have more detailed info prepared just in case you are asked about them, e.g. in a longer version of presentation, or separately in spreadsheets.

2. Keyword — STORY

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Put everything together into an interesting story, that will easily present the problem and your solution. It’s good to start with an example, something like this: “Tom is 22 years old. He ends up in New York for the first time just by himself and has no clue about the city. He can go online to look up some information but would rather talk to someone nearby and ask for real-time ideas, advice, maybe meet some interesting people….”

Story engages your audience in the fastest and simples way, stimulates their imagination, or even evoke emotions, which will make them better remember you and your business. Ah, right, emotions!

3. Emotions

There is nothing worse than a presentation that is flat, does not cause any emotions and does not cause questions. You can even engage your audience only with your body language and tone of voice! This gives you chances to be remembered. Be confident, speak loudly, slowly and make pauses. If the stories connected to your business can cause emotions, that’s even better! Think about them and try to talk about them. Of course, do not go too far, everything needs to be 100% credible.

As a bonus, it is best to have a video that talks about the problem and your solution. As we know, good videos become well remembered they may be your shortcut to investors’ hearts. It can be a short movie or animation. Remember — it should be so simple to understand that a 7-year old would get it.

4. First Impression

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Remember, that it’s the first impression that counts. Prepare yourself especially focusing on the first 2 minutes. Most importantly, practice the first couple sentences.

5. Consistency and transparency

Nature loves harmony. And so does your audience. Choose one presentation style. Actually, it’s best to use ready templates. As for reminder, you may get them here. This will save your time and energy and make sure you are using the most up to date styles. Here is the presentation template that is prepared especially for pitch decks.

BAD PRACTICES

1. Do not include full, descriptive sentences. Keep only bullet points and keywords.

2. Avoid too many bullet points.

3. DO NOT READ slides. You’re killing the attention. Speak directly to your audience. Slides should serve only as a reminder to you and as a summary to them.

4. Do not put too much text. Do not use small fonts. Use icons, images, symbols, and big slogans.

5. Do not come unprepared hoping that it’s going to work out somehow. Investors will immediately associate your presentation style with the way you are doing your business.

Good luck! 🙂

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