By now you understand that-as a startup- turning to investors for funding requires a great deal of preparation, including detailed plans of your business, understanding of your market, and prepared financial statements. (If you’re still unclear we suggest that you look at our previous blogs for more info!) Additionally, there is separate key element essential to even gain ground with your potential investors: a pitch deck. Today we’re going to discuss the do’s and don’ts of creating a successful pitch deck:
What is a Pitch Deck?
A short presentation created to visually demonstrate your product or service, a pitch deck intends to drive your sales or enhance opportunity for funding. A successful pitch deck needs to be simple and easy to understand, professionally designed, and ultimately persuasive by concluding a call to action for investors. Furthermore, a pitch deck should include alluring information to explain why your startup is important, outline a problem, and your unique solution to fix it. To support these key areas, include information about your specific product/service and it’s market, then describe your methods to advance your business with the assumed funding. This is your opportunity to shine. Honestly, the chances to securing an investment profoundly revolves around the ability to make a positive first impression, and-if it sets on the wrong foot-you can assume you’ve spoiled the possibility with that investor. On the flip side, if you prove yourself and execute an impactful demonstration, your new credible connection can provide you with many more future opportunity. While the starting of your business continues to serve as the most imperative time for your pitch deck, further use aids in recruiting quality advisers, partners, and team players. Clearly, a great deal resides on your ability to create a successful pitch deck, emphasizing the importance of acknowledgement through time and energy investment to ensure initial accuracy.
Here are our top Do’s and Dont’s for your Pitch Deck:
Keep it clean and simple: If you even doubt whether or not to include a particular area, just leave it out. Instead of creating a presentation muddled with filler words and unnecessary statements, aim to only incorporate what your investors want to see, and remember that it’s favorable to leave blank rather when needed rather than fill it with noise. Too much information shifts initial interest into boredom, significantly decreasing your ability to initiate an eager response upon your call to action.
Place Emphasis on 4 slides: Yes, it takes critical efforts to create an effective deck, especially when deciding which elements to include and which to dismiss. The truth is, your enthusiasm and passion about your business will pressure you to incorporate each detail floating in your head, causing difficulty in striving to condense your material. To ease the efforts of this process, focus the most energy into creating these 4 key slides to investors:
Cover slide: it’s all about first impressions, keep them sliding
Problem slide: demonstrate clarity on the problem and how big it is
Financial slide: investors spend most of their time here
Team slide: the team is even more important than your startup idea
Demonstrate Your Accomplishments So Far: Too much enthusiasm easy for people to talk a big game, but very few people can execute and demonstrate. This is where you can expect questions along the lines of, “But how are your sales?” Tackling this and similar questions will differentiate you from the rest, further increasing investor interest. Show progress you’ve been making, milestones you’ve achieved, and growth you have maintained.
Discuss What You Will Use the Money For: Investors want to know why you need their money and how it will be used. By having a detailed plan in place, begin to ask yourself a few questions pertaining to their money. Specifically, how much of their money you will need to achieve the results you want? If you still need to build a prototype, do you need experts? Or do you need help to scale? Make certain that your dollar ask lines up with these questions? By asking yourself these questions you can better support your request upon presentation while increasing investor confidence with you.
Request Feedback: Once you’ve spent a great deal of time and energy into your pitch deck, prevent your enthusiasm from sending it right to the investors. Instead, get a third party opinion. Get feedback from qualified advisers to ensure genuine advice.
We’ve discussed the importance Do’s when creating a pitch deck, and now we’re going to shift gears and discuss the equally important Dont’s.
Go For Too Long: You can ensure that shorter is better when generating your pitch deck. It should be no more than 20 slides, or-ideally-under 12 or 10. One look at your lengthy slide count can put investors off before even looking at your first slide.
Don’t Overwhelm with Detail: This is where you should not be discussing the concrete details of your product or service, it’s technology, and all of it’s technical features. They don’ need to know this information, nor do they want to. This will only distract from key points and further present you as someone who didn’t bother to research creating an effective pitch deck.
Don’t Put Anything Requiring an NDA: If you have real proprietary information that you prefer to not share, just say that. Don’t shrink your investment opportunity by demanding an NDA and only allowing a few to look at your deck.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: While there are many opportunities to disrupt routine, this is not the time or place. Do not attempt to change formats, show off innovation, or reinvent the pitch deck. Investors expect a particular format and changing it will only lead to confusion and frustration.
Don’t Forget Your Contact Info: This one serves relatively obvious, but easy for many to overlook. Be sure that your pitch deck includes information to get into contact with you.
Creating a powerful pitch deck demands a quality level of effort and a dedicated measure of time to ensure that it encompasses your product or service without including superfluous information. If, however, you find yourself severely struggling to create one in a sufficient manner, outside help may be necessary to eliminate the potential of insufficient work. Contact us to see how our team of professionals at MCDA CCG, INC. can assist you in developing a compelling pitch deck to demonstrate to investors. Furthermore, we can help get you and your business in front of various investment firms to increase your overall opportunity. If instead you’re looking for quality feedback of your already existing pitch deck, we will review it at no cost to you. With our services, you can ensure a well-structured and professionally designed presentation to maximize your confidence in getting the funding you need.