Creating presentations and slide decks has now become a vital part of the start-up world. If you are running a start-up, you probably have or will have to look for investors at some point. This is where pitch decks come in. A good slide deck can be the difference between an unsuccessful pitch and the one that gets you the funding for your dream startup.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when creating a pitch deck to help make that difference.
- Structure your deck logically
An example of a structured deck. Pick from more structured decks from our list of templates.
When creating your deck, ensure there is a logical structure. The slide order should be in sync with your narrative about the business at the time of the pitch. A good practice would be to conceptualize the structure with an outline before going into finer details. You can first try writing down slide names and the message you want to convey in each slide.
For example, if your business idea is to create modern office spaces for businesses, your first few slides should explain any perceived problems with the current work environments. This can be followed up by another slide mentioning how your company is planning to address this problem. You can follow this up by a slide about the functioning of your business followed by the revenue generated by the company. Having this logical flow will ensure that the investor is able to follow the pitch clearly.
Keep the 10/20/30 rule in mind
According to marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule, a presentation should not have more than 10 slides, should not take more than 20 minutes to finish, and should contain no smaller than a 30 point font on the deck.
These guidelines offer benefits in two ways. The investors will not be overloaded with information from too many slides and the presenter will have to choose the content of their pitch wisely, focusing only on the most exciting and crucial information.
That said, this rule need not be viewed as a strict rule but is a good guideline that you can always keep in mind at the time of designing your decks.
Graphically represent your data
Using visual elements to represent your data.
Make sure not to present the data in your slide in textual format. Graphical elements provide eye-catching data to the viewer in an easy-to-understand format. You can make use of charts, graphs, and other smart elements to illustrate and showcase your data instead of conveying it using just text.
Visual elements can be a big asset to help grab the attention of the investors. You can use line charts to showcase your profits, bar charts to show traction gained by the business, and column charts to show the expected future growth. Just ensure that you keep all the charts simple and easy to understand for your potential investors.
Limit each slide to one topic
When it comes to presentations in general, having minimal content on your slides is generally advised. This is all the more important when you want to use your pitch deck to convince someone to fund your idea. Think of it from an investor’s perspective: if there’s a lot of text on the screen, with a crowd of numbers and data, would you read the entire thing?
Pick one specific focus for each of your slides. Going by the previous example, you could talk about the problems of the existing work environments on one slide. You could then show how your design of modern working spaces will help solve this problem in the next slide.
The deck is for investors, not customers
Even if you spend time picking the right colors and visual appeal for your brand, you need to keep in mind that these pitch decks are for business-minded investors. Think twice when deciding if your company branding adds to the story you want to tell in your pitch deck.
For example, if you run a company that sells baby apparel, the branding will mostly have a gentle visual appeal with simple, even cutesy language. If you choose to use this branding on your deck, it might not be received well by the investors. At the time of designing your deck, focus less on using your brand’s tone and more on delivering it in an understandable, professional voice. Brand identity might be a vital part of any business, but this is one place it’s advisable to turn it down a notch.
When it comes to communicating with investors, your pitch deck is perhaps the most important tool at your disposal. While there are numerous other factors to consider while creating decks, these are five basic points you should always keep in mind.
A pitch deck should be able to convey all the important information in a way that is easily understandable and catches the attention of your potential investors. If you can combine your passion with a clean, compelling pitch deck, you can close those deals and get the funding to take your startup to the next level.