What is the most nerve-wracking experience in a business? It’s pitching your startup idea or product to a room full of investors. However, it doesn’t need to be complicated or terrifying. Instead, you can hold investors’ attention log enough to explain your idea or product and get a good investment with the correct presentation. So, before we discuss creating a compelling pitch deck, let’s go through what it is.
Pitch deck and its purpose
A pitch deck, commonly referred to as a slide deck or startup deck, is a set of presentations that displays a brief but informative overview of your business or idea. It usually covers critical points of your business plan, the products, and the services you provide, including high-level financial projections and your funding needs. Even though it should work well as a visual document, it’s primarily a tool to tell the story of your business or the idea.
The actual goal of your pitch is not to raise money. I know it doesn’t sound right but hear me out. The real goal is to get to the next meeting.
Take the Netflix pitch deck, for example. The idea behind that isn’t a streaming movie and tv series online. The local cable can do the same. Instead, they started a subscription service using the pay-per-rent model, with rates and due dates similar to its competitor, Blockbuster.
What happens is, as the competitive slide may be, getting to the next meeting is a challenge. The first meeting usually includes creating a spark of interest in investors. However, if you are lucky enough, you get what you need in the first meeting. You need investors to ask for more, not just show you the door.
What should you include in your pitch idea?
Every business is different, and so is a pitch for them. For example, a sales pitch deck or a film pitch deck for a film you want to make. However, did you know 90% of all startups fail, often because of budgetary reasons? Although there are many reasons behind startups falling apart, the main reason can be the unviable business model and just running out of money.
One most significant example of such failure was the Fyre festival that got popularized a few years back. How do you think the Fyre festival pitch deck started? Even though they could secure investment, they didn’t know what to do, and with lousy planning and timing, everything went down the drain. Yet, they were somehow able to check every list of reasons why startup fails.
Now, you don’t want that, right. So here are steps to design a competition slide that you need to know before pitching your idea.
Vision, value, and proposition
Like any headline in news or an article, this quick one sentence is the complete overview of your business idea. The best way for it to be effective is to keep it short and straightforward. You can also think of it as a brief tweet that describes your business in 140 words.
Most tech companies or people with better ideas make their propositions by comparing them with well-known companies. You may have heard pitches like:
“An Uber for Pets”
“We are Blockbuster but online.”
“Something like Netflix for Video Games”
It only works well if your comparison makes sense because you are using high profile company like Uber to signify growth potential. In addition, your business model has to be like the company you are referencing or better. Else it won’t work.
The problem and the solution
You aren’t solving some problem in the world. You have a long climb with your business before that.
It should be your second slider. Here, talk about the problem you are solving and define who has a problem. Here, you can talk about current issues and solutions in the market. However, remember not to spend too much time. Take the headline approach if needed. You’ll get a chance to explain later on further.
Another idea is to tell a relatable story to make the problem as accurate as possible. This way, your investors will have a better understanding of your business idea and goals.
Target market and an ideal opportunity
Here you’ll add who your ideal customer is and how many of them are there. You will find it a hard time to display the technical use words here. Google pitch deck idea is an example here. They used graphs and charts showing all the technical information that represents your business.
Divide your sides by converting them to a competition slide. Find your data through survey sites or from Google that has some values to back it up. Graphs, especially bar ones, seem more attractive with the proper use of figures. If the extended range of charts looks similar, limit the bars on dates that focus on spike or fall. Keep these slides visually attractive, and it will surely gain the investor’s attention.
Just remember, the more specific you are, the more realistic your pitch will be.
A better, more focused solution
Finally, you have arrived at describing your product or service. Now, describe how your product or service addresses the problem discussed earlier in headlines, taking not more than two slides.
You will be thinking of moving this slide at the beginning of your pitch, but that is a bad idea. Instead, think of a film pitch deck or a documentary pitch deck where you build-up to the climax or ending you need. In the case of pitch, it’s not getting the investment but displaying an idea that sells. You can take references from different sales pitch decks here but keep them relevant to your product or service.
Another problem your pitch may have is that you might be focused on your product rather than a product that customers need to counter their problem. As I mentioned before, keep your pitch focused, telling a better story. If possible, use pictures to describe your levels and described the proposed solution. Because, in most cases, images are worth a thousand words.
Reflecting a revenue or business model
Now that you’ve described your product or service, you need to talk about financials. It means how it makes money. A common focused question here is what do you charge or who pays the bills. Flesh out details or references as required here. Defining questions like, are your premium, offer high-price, or a budget offering and how that undercuts solutions already available. You may also add a pitch deck financials slide here, followed by some graph giving better detail on your business model.
Traction & validation or roadmap to success
Here, tell about your sales if you already have it or if you’re an early adopter using your product. Investors love to see if you have some proven aspect of your business model. This a proof of a low-risk business that validates the solutions of problems you are working to resolve.
You can also display your milestones in your slides here. It includes all significant goals you have achieved so far and the next steps you are planning, in short, a roadmap that defines your business with all milestones in-between.
Marketing and sales strategy
This part is where most of your funds go if you don’t have a proper plan to follow. First, how are you plan on getting your customers’ attention? What will your sales process look like? It should be the meaning of the headline you will use. Next, you’ll want to go through crucial tactics that you intend to use to display your product in front of potential customers.
You can find references in the nonprofit pitch deck used by nonprofit organizations. discover their marketing strategies online. They use an intelligent approach to the market by focusing on events. For example, children welfare markets their services near children’s day, earth day, Christmas Day, Easter. You get the idea.
One thing you should know, keep someone as your competitor. This way, your marketing and sales process should not differ from your competitors.
Team building and growth
After telling about everything, how can you forget about your core? Mention why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this company here. Highlighting key team members and their expertise by briefly talk about what they bring to the table.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a team, you should identify the key positions available and why they are critical for your company’s growth. You can take ideas from the google pitch deck to talk about what they will grow into or use their milestones for inspiration.
Financials & sales forecasts
Inverters will need to assess your business based on the information you represent. They will expect to see your financials like a sales forecast, income statement (profit and loss statement), and cash flow forecasts for the next three years. Don’t add in-depth spreadsheets that can be challenging to read, and two, boring. Keep the interest in the room by displaying graphs that make your point, with spikes and falls to keep things interesting.
Here, trying to be realistic can help you secure additional investments, but they will be cut in half. Explaining your goals with graphs of similar businesses or competitors can help. Keep your pitch deck financials slide more visually attractive, or your idea goes out the door, and considering how far on you are, it will not look good for you.
Competitive landscape and you
Every business has competition, and some can kick others out of markets sooner than later unless they offer something similarly different. A simple example here will be Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s android-based devices.
If you are opening to a new market, you may also come across potential customers using alternative solutions like the above example. You should describe how you fit into the competitive landscape and are different from other competitors. If you have a secret ingredient no one has, this is the place to mention it. The key here is what makes you different.
Getting the investment and its use
Finally, it’s time to ask for the money, but don’t be so obvious, they know it too. If you’ve been creative till now, it’s better to be the same here too. Wait, I said that if the pitch is not to get funding, then why this step. Because your potential investors need to know how much money you are looking for.
It defines how much you need and what you will do with it. Investors are also people, and they don’t want their money wasted. You can set short-term and long-term goals to get your investors eager to invest. Think of Google. If anyone knew how big they’re going to be, everyone would have supported them.
Anyhow, you have some investors on board, then talk about those investors and why they chose to invest.
Making pitch deck more irresistible
Keeping your pitch short is the key, but a few extra slides more profoundly express your business pitch. Here are few honorable mentions of slides you can use for your pitch.
Exit strategy –
It means showing investors an exit plan in case you reach your full potential. There is also an option for some high-growthstartups bought by other more prominent players in the market. For this exit strategy is needed.
It includes the roles a partner would play in your business or what kind of partners your business or services will need.
Demo and screenshots –
Most Apple products open their presentations with an issue or a demo. It can be a short, entertaining presentation of your slides. You can also use it to display your product and how it benefits everyone.
Other documentation –
Keep your pitch as short as possible. The usual goal is between 3 to 10 minutes, but it can be longer if presented with a demo video. You don’t need to provide all the information to investors. Instead, they need to get excited, which could lead to a follow-up meeting and potential investment.
To get an overview or assistance in your pitch idea, there are services like pitch deck service you can inquire about.