How to Design a Pitch Deck that Doesn’t Suck

The pitch deck is a staple of recent entrepreneurship — folded into the startup survival course of. As a rising enterprise, how compelling and intriguing yours is might be the distinction between getting the capital you could get off the bottom and getting buried earlier than you will have the prospect to make one thing of your organization.

An distinctive pitch desk is a stable asset for any enterprise seeking to safe funding and take that subsequent step. However a mediocre one is simple to move over and might undermine how cutting-edge or viable your organization truly is.

Each entrepreneur must have a stable grasp on the idea, so right here, we’ll get a extra definitive image of what a pitch deck is, evaluation a number of the data you could embody in yours, go over some applications you should use to assemble considered one of your individual, see some examples to make use of as reference factors, and pin down how one can make yours as participating as attainable.

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Pitch decks aren’t keynote displays. You are not attempting to blow individuals away with deep dives and fancy language. The most effective ones are succinct, simple, and straightforward to digest. Yours must be lean — fleshed out along with your most spectacular, related data and arranged with a point of stream and cohesion.

There are specific containers you could examine — data you could convey concisely and engagingly. And you could get these factors throughout with out bloating the presentation with an excessive amount of fluff. 

Listed below are the bases that your pitch deck ought to cowl.

1. Primary Firm Info

Begin with the basics. It’d go with out saying, however you could let your viewers know precisely who you might be. Embody your brand, firm identify, and make contact with data — particularly, your cellphone quantity and electronic mail.

You need to make your self readily accessible to traders. That is powerful to do in case you do not embody the mandatory, baseline particulars to assist them establish and attain you.

2. The Drawback

Why does your organization exist? What are you attempting to treatment? Who does it impression? And why does it matter? You have to talk a point of urgency along with your pitch deck.

Be capable of current a urgent, related drawback {that a} important base of prospects goes by means of. If you cannot present that you just’re fixing an actual, significant subject, your potential traders will possible tune out or ditch your deck at this level.

3. The Answer

Okay, so you have established there’s an actual drawback that impacts a profitable area of interest. Now, you must present how your services or products, particularly, can be utilized to resolve it.

Give a basic image of your worth proposition right here. What does your answer do? Do not get too caught up in describing specs and options — you are higher off offering a higher-level overview on this part.

4. Your Enterprise Mannequin

Traders must have an image of how you intend on buying clients and earning profits — that is type of the entire level of investing in a startup. That mentioned, the character of this part is fairly fluid. As you scale and new challenges come up, your small business mannequin will most likely change.

The important thing right here is to current a cogent roadmap that demonstrates your essential considering and strategic planning expertise. Present your traders that you just’re considerate and enterprise savvy — the mannequin itself most likely is not set in stone.

5. Info Concerning the Aggressive Panorama

Who’re your opponents? How do you stack up towards them? How do they serve your target market? How large is your market normally? Give your potential traders an image of what you are up towards.

Then, clarify your aggressive benefits. Present them what you will have that the opposite aspect does not. Traders need to know that you’ll set your self aside, so show that you just’re not going to be simply one other face within the crowd.

6. Product or Service Specs and Advantages

Here is the place you get into your includes a bit. See in case you can present what your services or products appears to be like like in sensible use. Pictures are a wonderful approach to help this. Use mediums like screenshots, diagrams, blueprints, and even actual photos — relying on the character of your services or products.

7. A Monetary Forecast

This is likely one of the most important parts of an efficient pitch deck. Traders are investing as a result of they need to earn a living — that is the literal objective of investing. You have to present them that your operation is financially viable.

Embody related metrics that may present what it can take so that you can break even and finally make a revenue. On the finish of the day, traders are taking a look at your pitch deck for a purpose, and that is to gauge the potential return you possibly can provide. Here is the place you give them a transparent image of what that may very well be.

8. Info Concerning the Staff

Traders aren’t simply investing in your services or products — they’re investing in you. You have to present that you just’re reliable and competent. Embody some details about you, your employees, each your and their expertise, and any related accolades your staff members may need accrued.

Put traders comfortable by demonstrating that their investments are going to wind up in succesful, smart arms.

9. Info About Different Stakeholders

One of many higher methods to encourage confidence from traders is to allow them to know they’re going to be in good firm ought to they make investments. Having the ability to tout sizable contributions from different traders can mitigate the notion of threat among the many VCs taking a look at your deck.

By referencing success in earlier funding rounds or demonstrating that respected sources think about your organization, you possibly can put traders comfortable and make them extra inclined to listen to you out — on the very least.

The factors above must be addressed, however they will not do an excessive amount of for you if they don’t seem to be conveyed with some model, cohesion, and style. Let’s take a look at some methods to make yours as participating and considerate as attainable.

The way to Design a Pitch Deck that Would not Suck

1. Make your textual content extraordinarily legible.

That man who forgot to put on his contacts as we speak and someway ended up within the again row of the convention room? Yeah, he wants to have the ability to see your slides simply in addition to everybody else.

The importance of making extraordinarily legible, easy-to-read slides shouldn’t be underestimated. It is greater than a matter of aesthetics: In case your slides are in any respect troublesome to learn, even individuals with 20/20 imaginative and prescient are going to shortly lose curiosity and zone out.

They did not come right here to expend effort — they got here right here to be spoon-fed. And it is your job to make your data as digestable as attainable. To maintain the main focus in your content material, stick with large, daring fonts on highly-contrasting backgrounds.

Do not do that:

This font coloration does not distinction sufficient with the background, and the textual content dimension is not giant or clear sufficient to be learn comfortably from a distance. Do not make your poor viewers stare at this for too lengthy.

Do that:

This font is large and daring sufficient to be seen from the again of the room, and it contrasts properly with the background. When all else fails, a daring sans-serif font is the best way to go.

2. Inform a narrative.

After we course of data in checklist format, the essential language-processing areas of our brains get activated. Scientists name these sectionsBroca’s space and Wernicke’s space, and they’re responsible for translating phrases we see or hear into coherent meanings — however they do not assist us keep or retain data.

In different phrases, bullet factors do not normally produce a really thrilling response in our brains, leaving the remainder of our minds to wander.

When our brains are given a narrative as a substitute of an inventory, issues change — large time. Tales engage more parts of our brains, together with our sensory cortex, which is liable for processing visible, auditory, and tactile stimuli. If you wish to maintain individuals engaged throughout a presentation, inform them a narrative.

Centering you presentation round a narrative, as a substitute of an inventory of details or figures, is important for preserving individuals and leaving an enduring impression.

Do not do that:

This data may be spectacular, however it is not prone to stick along with your viewers when introduced in checklist type.

Do that:

Weaving your spectacular case examine right into a story is more likely to have an effect on the viewers. 

3. Break all the things down into very simple elements.

On the subject of pitch decks, it is time to wean your self off of bullet factors. Though they’re nonetheless higher than slapping a dense paragraph of textual content onto a slide and calling it a day, they are often overwhelming, and stop your viewers from actually absorbing your details.

You may assume you are already simplifying your content material, however take it a step additional. Every slide ought to convey a single, easy concept — not a a number of concepts, not a multi-faceted concept, and never an concept that requires a level in rhetoric to meticulously decode.

If it looks like you are making issues means too easy, then you definitely’re heading in the right direction. Keep in mind — not all of your speaking factors must occupy actual property in your slide deck. Save the slide area for the massive concepts, and discuss your means by means of the remainder.

Do not do that:

These factors may appear easy, however they may very well be damaged down even additional and separated onto completely different slides.

Do that:

There’s nothing obscure about this straightforward, simple slide.

4. Make the factors apparent.

The purpose of every slide needs to be apparent. Your viewers should not must work to know what is going on on, particularly when graphs or charts are concerned.

Any data you embody on a slide needs to be instantly translated for the viewers, even in case you assume it speaks for itself. Ask your self:

  • What level are you attempting to make by together with this piece of knowledge?
  • How does this truth or determine join again to your important premise?
  • What would you like the viewers to get out of this slide?

Do not do that:

Whereas this graph clearly reveals progress, the purpose does not clearly tie again to your premise.

Do that:

The title on this slide tells the viewers precisely what they need to take away from the graph, directing them instantly to the conclusion that advantages your trigger.

5. Give attention to the prospect’s challenges, not your self.

It is secure to imagine that your prospect has spent a while researching your company, so there isn’t any must waste invaluable presentation time speaking about your accomplishments or accolades.

You are not simply convincing the viewers you are superb at your job — you are convincing them that you just perceive them, and that you are the greatest individual to assist them overcome their distinctive challenges.

The enterprise pitch consultants at Blue Lobster suggest asking your self just a few inquiries to focus your presentation round your viewers:

  • “Who’s the viewers?”
  • “What’s their drawback?”
  • “How are you going to assist?”

Do not do that:

Whereas that is all very spectacular, it does not categorical an understanding of your consumer’s issues or delve into how one can assist them. Plus, your prospect most likely already discovered this data from a fast scan of your company’s web site.

Do that:

This slide reveals that you’ve got achieved your analysis, and expresses a transparent worth proposition to the prospect. 

6. Complement your deck with further supplies.

Even when it is smart to make use of a pitch deck, you needn’t spend the entire presentation speaking at your viewers. As a substitute, think about supplementing traditional pitch decks with further supplies, equivalent to “handouts, prototypes or posters to encourage dialogue so the presentation and the presentation deck usually are not seen as one and the identical.”

Now that you’ve an image of what your pitch deck must include and the way it can greatest be conveyed, let’s check out a number of the pitch deck-creation sources you will have at your disposal. 

1. Canva

Canva is a horny possibility for any startup seeking to simply create visually compelling pitch deck slides with out design expertise or a considerable funds. It is a easy, simple program that has a wide range of pitch deck slide templates obtainable.

Pitch deck canvaImage Source: Canva

2. HaikuDeck

HaikuDeck is one other simple design software program that reconciles accessibility with highly effective performance. It includes a easy interface and boasts a variety of various presentation templates — together with ones for compelling pitch decks.

pitch deck HaikuDesk

Image Source: HaikuDeck

3. Slidebean

Slidebean separates itself from related applications with its obtainable library of pitch deck templates. It truly supplies presentation codecs pulled immediately from varied firms’ profitable startup pitches — providing a collection of distinctive, provenly efficient avenues for rising companies to take.

Pitch Deck slidebean

Image Source: Slidebean

4. Google Slides

Google Slides is a staple of the GSuite — and for good purpose. It is an accessible, no-nonsense, free answer that nearly any startup can work out. With lots of of pitch deck template integrations obtainable on-line, Google Slides is likely one of the higher choices companies have when establishing their pitch decks.

pitch deck google slides

Image Source: PoweredTemplate

Let’s examine what these ideas, buildings, and factors seem like in observe.

Pitch Deck Examples

Here is a have a look at some pitch decks that delivered outcomes. 





Pitch decks aren’t going to go away anytime quickly — regardless of what number of pitches begin to come within the type of crazy stunts. Generally, a pitch simply calls for an easy, no-frills presentation. And in these circumstances, you have to chew the bullet, swallow your inventive satisfaction, and open your presentation software program of selection.

So, given how essentially ingrained in startup tradition they’ve turn out to be, it is in your greatest curiosity to have a grasp on the character of pitch decks and an image of how one can do them proper.

Editor’s word: This publish was initially printed February 16, 2017 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

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