Pitch deck: the word must ring a bell if you are an entrepreneur or lead a sales team and wish to raise money. But remember that throwing a million slides with information everywhere is not a pitch deck. With so many entrepreneurs selling their brands, products, and ideas, only a few can crack it. Why?
It’s because they know the value and the art of how to make a pitch deck. These types of decks always strike an accurate number of slides. They have apt and minimal design while documenting only portions of data relevant to investors.
This blog explores how to make a sales pitch deck, the most vital 11 slides to include, and some dos and don’ts. But before we dive headlong into creating pitch decks, let’s start with what it is anyway.
What is a pitch deck?
A pitch deck refers to the presentation you prepare to build a holistic view of your business. It covers all prime points of your
- Business plan
- Future roadmap
- Financial projections
- Funding needs, etc.
Your pitch deck is not just some visual element. Rather it will sell your business on your behalf and act as a tool to convey your brand story.
Purpose of a pitch deck?
The main goal of a pitch deck is to arouse interest, engagement, and excitement among investors when you describe your company. An ideal pitch deck paves the way for another meeting. Or, it draws another potential investment opportunity and discussion. However, remember that the pitch deck is critical to support your fundraising initiatives, but it’s just a stepping stone.
How to make a pitch deck: 3 key elements
Founders or entrepreneurs mostly have to create two versions of pitch decks. The first is via email or the read version. The second will be the one you will present to your investors or the listed version.
Often, investors want you to send the email or reading version of your pitch deck. This means your email version needs detailed info and data to stand out. In contrast, for the listen version, you will be presenting it vocally to the investors. It should be visually appealing with minimal details.
Apart from this, keep in mind these 3 prime elements when crafting a pitch deck.
Clear, Simple, and Straightforward
Your pitch deck should be verbose and straightforward. More information should put off investors. So explain the points clearly. On the other hand, present visuals like infographics for support and better impact. Too much text is hard to grasp, leading to unnecessary doubts and questions later.
Easy to Act-On
The sole purpose of pitch meetings is to engage investors. Merely stating numbers and metrics are boring. They will elevate your brand story less than a narrative approach would do. Build a story about your company that sounds relatable. For instance, you explain the way your customers prefer using your products to simplify their lives.
Make sure your pitch deck acts as a standalone deck. Investors often ask pitchers to send in their pitch decks after the meeting. So ensure you don’t leave out any critical info and make it compelling and easy to grasp.
11-Must Have Slides For Your Pitch Deck
While there’s no one-size fits all strategy when preparing a pitch deck, there are a few critical items that you must include no matter what you sell. Follow this list of 11 must-haves, and ensure you have them in your deck.
- Vision and Value Proposition
This should be a quick one-sentence explaining how your business provides value to your customers. It should not exceed 140 characters.
What problems do your products and services solve? How do they reduce your customers’ struggles? How do they differ from the current solutions available in the market? Bring all these answers together in the deck and build a story that defines the problem-solution relationship. Create urgency by answering the why, why now, and how you will achieve it.
Put this slide at the top since this is the ultimate hero element of your deck. But make sure you resist this temptation. The classic storytelling rule involves first building a problem. Explain the nuances of the problem. And then explain how your solution comes to the rescue. Try using pictures when describing the solution.
- Opportunity and Target Market
Mention these three things in detail in this slide:
- Who is your niche or the total addressable market (TAM)?
- What is the market size?
- How do you position your company?
- What is the possible size of the opportunity?
If you have diverse product lines, keep these answers for each segment separately. This is because they would have different niches and unique go-to-market strategies.
- Business or Revenue Models
What does the basic structure of generating leads and revenues look like? How do you charge, and what is your customer acquisition and retention cost? How will your price strategy best fit the larger market? This slide will include these answers. However, ensure you don’t go too much deeper since these details will evolve, and tactics will change.
- Traction Roadmap
Talk about early adopters or sales numbers in this slide. Show investors that you have justified some portion of your business model and can reduce risks. Also, highlight what are your milestones, major goals, and what your roadmap for the next 3-5 years looks like.
- Marketing and Sales
What does your sales process look like? How do you reach your customers? Is your product omnichannel? What is your go-to-market strategy? What are your conversion numbers? Answer in detail and in numbers.
A company’s team structure holds the utmost importance. Do you have any partners or co-founders? Who manages the sales and marketing? Who manages the tech side and operations? Who is the CEO or point-of-contact for investors? Elaborate on these insights in this slide.
This is a crucial part of your how-to-create pitch deck guide. You don’t need to put detailed financial statements or spreadsheets. Just include:
- Gross margins
- Net margins
Use graphs and pie charts to make it visually appealing and graspable.
All companies have competitors. Interestingly many of those competitors hold a first-mover advantage in the market. Ensure you are well-prepared with your competitor's stats, differentiation, advancements, gaps, etc. Also, remember to highlight how you will surpass their growth and what's your secret sauce.
- Investment and funds
Finally, it’s your time to ask for money. But before investing, investors would like to know how you will use these funds. What is the share of equity you are offering? Did you go for any prior rounds of investments? What is the current holding of other investors in your company? The main element here is to justify and build trust that the fund you are asking for is to propel your brand's growth and brand image.
Other slides you may like to include
- Exit strategy: Explain how you plan to maximize the returns of your investors.
- Partnerships: Showcase the partnerships and tie-ups that help you elevate your services.
- Demos: If you are an app-based service or an asset-light model, the best way is to include a demo video or visual and explain how your business functions.
How to make a sales pitch guide: The Dos
- Keep your pitch simple and crisp. Less is always more.
- Always try stitching a story. Our brains are not wired for PDFs and whitepapers; they crave stories. Use that to build engagement and interest.
- Keep your presentations at most 20-30 minutes.
- Be clear about your ask. Clarify how it will take an influx of cash and how much return investors can expect.
- Make sure your deck is updated. It should have all the latest information and current research and metrics.
How to make a sales pitch guide: Don’ts
- Do not use complex concepts. Your product can be hard to understand, but delving deeper should be easy.
- No unreadable text. Don’t use dark fonts over dark background colors or vice versa. Also, make sure investors can read it easily from a distance without whipping out their eyes.
- Don’t make pitch decks wordy. When we say stitching stories, it doesn’t mean you will create a whole fictional novel out of it. Be verbose and direct.
- Don’t keep too many bullets. It makes the slides look monotonous.
- Don’t overstate market opportunities. Use data for how an early version of your product drove conversions. Use that to draw accurate forecasts.
- Never include buzzwords. They turn investors off. Moreover, incorrectly comparing values with other bigshot names can be a deal breaker.
- Do not use unusual metrics. Make sure you are transparent and precise with your numbers.
- Never ever flaunt your ego. Put more emphasis on your growth and transformation journey and expertise.
Begin With Crafting your Pitch Deck
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