When you think about a pitch deck, you tend to imagine a founder standing up in front of a crowd.
They’re talking with their arms out just as if they were doing a Ted talk.
And in the background they have the support of their trusted presentation deck.
That does sometimes happen at startup accelerators or pitching events.
But most of the time, that’s not how it works.
It’s a lot more boring than that:
Generally you somehow manage to connect with an investor and you give your one liner.
If they’re intrigued, they will ask you to send your deck. And they will get back to you if they’d like more information.
You don’t get to stand on stage and be all charismatic.
Your pitch deck needs to work as a stand alone sales pitch. And it needs to do these 5 things:
This is where most founders fail in the first version of their deck.
Their message is not clear.
It may be clear for you because you’ve been living and breathing your business for the last 3 months, but that’s not the case for your readers.
They are not experts in your field.
And they are bombarded by decks every day.
Anything confusing will go straight in the “No” pile.
Your first 3 slides need to be clear:
There are variations of this. But your first 3 slides need to get these simple messages across as clearly as possible.
And if you need extra paragraphs to explain, your message is not clear enough.
Most of the time, you won’t be there when the potential investor reads your deck. And your deck will be shared between colleagues completely out of context.
So the goal of each slide should be to get the readers to the next slide, until they get excited enough to schedule a meeting with you.
This is a balancing act between clarity and excitement. Clarity will keep the investor on your deck, but excitement will get them to act and get in touch.
Well done, you’ve finally managed to schedule a face to face with an investor.
But then founders have a tendency of focusing on their pitch. They try to read each word of their document and get to the end as fast as possible. As if just finishing the pitch was a win.
But it’s really kind of the opposite.
This meeting should be a conversation.
You need these people to be engaged and to ask questions.
And you should also ask questions too.
Not all investor money is equal. Angel investors and VCs have completely different approaches to managing their portfolio companies. You should dig into that.
Investors will only invest in you if they trust you.
You’ll make statements in your deck about market size, traction, revenue model.
And your statements need to be big, bold and sexy to get investors to listen.
But you will be tested on these numbers.
If you can back them up, it’s the first step towards earning the investor’s trust.
I think this part really gets missed out in all the conversations about pitch decks.
Yes, you are making your pitch deck for investors. But it’s you who is actually investing the most here.
The average startup exits after 7 years. That’s 7 years of your life you will be investing into this project. So these slides are key for you too!
It’s a really valuable exercise in clear thinking.
And if making a deck does not make you even more excited about your business, then it’s probably time to pivot.
A good pitch deck changes everything for you and for investors, but it’s not always easy to do it alone.
Whether you’ve finished your deck and would like a review, or you’re getting started and you need some direction, I do pitch deck reviews and workshop sessions here:
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£79. That’s it, nothing else. No subscription. No hard sell for another product during the call. For £79, we will review your deck together in a 30 minute Zoom session.
I always suggest 1 or 2 members of your team. Any more than 2 and the conversation can get confusing.
Of course. This is probably the most common scenario. Some slides will come easily, some will not. We will review what you already have, and make a plan for your final slides.
Sure. We have a template structure that we can work on together. This is actually a good way to structure your thoughts and save a lot of time.
Yes, of course. Simply use the calendar to book your follow up. Each extra 30 min session has a cost of £79.
Yes, as long as you give 24h notice.