How can you put your best foot forward before meeting a potential investor? Making the perfect pitch deck can be daunting. There is often too much information we want to put out in front of the investor, and we explain every little detail of the business we have created. Ultimately, will we be able to convey the essential points? Pitch decks are supposed to be crisp and concise—with the ability to get the message and leave the investor gasping for more. The question is, how does one go about doing this?
It is not a complex process. Sure, it will require some introspection and a lot of editing—often involving the deletion of aspects of the business that might even be part of the genuine thrill from your perspective. But after all, it will come to you.
Fundamental principles to keep in mind while creating a pitch deck.
1. Keep it Simple
The age-old marketing proverb still holds in creating pitch decks. You can not expect your prospective investor to have technical knowledge about the processes and details you describe. As Richard Feynman, the incredible physicist and Nobel laureate, once said, the mark of understanding a subject is the capacity to point out its core to someone as if they were a five-year-old.
Break your business down into the main factors that make it financially attractive. Important questions you can expect to receive while meeting prospective investors:
What is the target market?
What is the size of the market?
How can the market grow?
What is the revenue number based on sound market research?
How much can it potentially bring in? What kinds of profitability ratios?
What would their exit options be?
Your prospective investor would expect you to answer the above in an impressive but understandable manner. Lastly, keep in mind the most crucial aspect of going to the presentation in the first place—be very clear about the problem your business can solve. Weave your business story around this idea.
2. Focus on design
Be very careful about how you make design choices for your pitch deck. As a general rule, try to explain ideas and concepts with graphics. However, do not overwhelm your pitch deck slides with information. Filter through the plethora of information you may have about your business to select details from a financial and marketing perspective.
Apart from this, some general principles of design that you should keep in mind are as follows:
- Keep the style of the pitch deck consistent.
- Make your slides stylish, but do not overtly design them.
- Focus on two or three main numbers or bits of information on each slide.
- Use simple, lucid language when drafting the descriptive parts.
3. Keep it short
A good pitch deck is short. A pitch deck that is too long would inevitably end up losing an investor's interest. One of the most incredible pitch decks online for the world to see is that of Airbnb. Every slide has 2-3 bits of relevant information: short and relevant.
When it comes to successful pitches, the entire deck required is rarely over 11 slides long. It should be your aim too. Focus on the most integral aspects of your business and the primary forces you expect to underlie the growth of your business in the future.
You would have far greater leverage when demonstrating your deck and conversing with your prospective investor in a room, simply by stuffing your deck with immense quantities of information. Thus, keep your deck short. Focus on making the presentation so that you will make it as impressive as possible.