Many great ideas have failed due to insufficient funding and a lack of potential investors to back them up. It's a common saying in Silicon Valley that about 90% of startups fail due to budgetary reasons (source: QZ). According to the National Small Business Association (NSBA), 1 in 4 small businesses experience hurdles in growth due to insufficient funding.
External funding is crucial for startups, and investors are often the key to achieving success. They have the resources necessary to establish your business, and a pitch deck is often the first step in securing their support. To convince potential investors and emphasize the uniqueness of your business, your pitch deck must be presented with extreme care and intelligence. With competition becoming increasingly intense, we offer practical and authentic tips for creating a professional and compelling pitch deck that will win over investors (source: Spectup).
1. Keep It Simple
Remember that a clear and concise explanation of your business idea and its potential benefits for investors is crucial, especially when seeking funding for your startup. Consider seeking guidance from a startup consulting agency to help you tailor your pitch and increase your chances of success.
2. Adjust Your Given Time Frame
We have all experienced boredom during long, uneventful presentations during our educational or professional careers. We quickly forget the details of presentations that are too long or lack substance. Therefore, we suggest that you present your idea deck within the set time limit. Allocate time to each slide in your deck to avoid rushing through content at the end. Remember, ending your explanation before the set time limit is also not acceptable.
Our Additional Tips
- Remember, you're not here for a book reading session; you're here to impress industry giants. Being boring won't get you anywhere. Instead of directly reading from the slides, act as if you're talking to the investors.
- Allocate a few minutes to each slide, and remember that no slide from the deck needs more than 3 minutes.
- Keep some time for a heart-to-heart discussion with the investors. Encourage them to ask questions. Be excited and transfer that excitement.
- Neither rush nor explain at a snail's pace. Bombarding them with too much information is unnecessary, and letting them stay too idle is also not a good strategy. So keep a steady pace of information in your pitch deck file.
- Your presentation should follow the pitch deck structure outlined in our Pitch Deck Structure guide.
3. Your Story Defines You
While facts and figures are important when presenting your idea or product, a story is what people remember, even when they forget your name. Sharing the unique story behind your brand will have a far more significant impact than just reading off slides. Keep the story fun and exciting while explaining your idea to keep the audience engaged until the end. This is your primary goal. Telling your story will have the following impact:
- It will make you a memorable highlight of the day in a creative way.
- It will make your tagline or motto even more prominent and explanatory.
- Including data alongside a light-hearted story is the perfect way to engage your audience.
4. Do Not Let Your Anchor Lose
When explaining your brand story, it's important to maintain a steady pace and pitch throughout the presentation. This doesn't mean you have to deviate from your main focus or theme. Instead, make sure that you've utilized your time in the best way possible by focusing on the main theme from start to end and staying within the established parameters.
5. Let the Numbers Do the Talking
While telling a story can be an interesting way to engage with angel investors or venture capitalists, when dealing with business tycoons who work with numbers day and night, you cannot avoid them. No matter how beautifully crafted your story is, you need the power of numbers to back up your ideas. However, remember that too many numbers can be overwhelming. Instead, explain market statistics, growth rates, growth tendencies, required capital to expand while maintaining a balance. Adding relevant statistics and a summary of your market research without overdoing it can help you portray yourself as an educated and well-prepared unit of the industry.
6. Create an Impressive Presentation
Your presentation is the first reflection of your expertise and competency. If it is not prepared efficiently, it will have a negative impact on your business. The infographics in your presentation are the chief elements that highlight the main points. Simplified charts and graphs in your pitch deck will help you summarize complex data into a self-explanatory analysis. Avoid lengthy paragraphs in your slides because no one will read them. If you need professional support, we recommend looking for a pitch deck design service to save time and money.
Following Tactics Will Help You Ace Your Presentation:
- Keep a maximum of 10-14 slides in your pitch deck presentation. Your presentation should not be longer than 20 minutes, and the bullets should not exceed 30 in the presentation text. This is known as the 10-20-30 rule, which helps deliver an impeccable pitch deck.
- Start your deck with a high excitement level, and then bring it down to the motto of your business.
- Explain the market standing related to your product, such as opportunities, specifics, and the ideal consumers of your brand.
- Add eye-catching charts, graphs, and pictures, as they have a lasting impact compared to a simple long paragraph. Keep your graphical content as strong and impactful as possible.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
No matter how passionate you are about your business, stage fright or the scrutinizing eyes of investors can make you feel overwhelmed and cause you to fumble over your words. Therefore, it's better to be fully prepared beforehand. To achieve that, practice in front of your friends, family, or colleagues. Let them evaluate your performance, ask questions, and address their inquiries to get a first-hand experience. So now you know how to present a pitch deck. Last but not least, keep the content of your presentation deck in mind to avoid frequently referring to cue cards as it can be distracting and annoying for your audience.
The Importance of Knowing Your Audience When Presenting a Pitch Deck
Knowing your audience is essential when presenting a pitch deck to potential investors. Each investor has different priorities, expectations, and expertise, and tailoring your pitch deck to their specific needs is crucial. Here are some tips on how to know your audience and present your pitch deck accordingly:
1. Research Your Investors
Before presenting your pitch deck, research your potential investors. Look for information about their investment history, the types of businesses they usually invest in, and their investment criteria. This will help you tailor your pitch deck to their specific needs and expectations.
2. Customize Your Pitch Deck
Customize your pitch deck to your audience. Highlight the aspects of your business that are most relevant to them and address their specific concerns and questions. Use language and terminology that they understand and avoid jargon or technical terms that they may not be familiar with.
3. Anticipate Questions and Concerns
Anticipate the questions and concerns that your potential investors may have and address them in your pitch deck. This will show them that you have prepared for the meeting and are familiar with their specific concerns and needs.
4. Be Flexible
To improve your ability to be flexible and adaptable during your pitch deck presentation, consider working with a pitch trainer who can help you practice adjusting your pitch on the spot based on feedback and questions from potential investors.
5. Follow Up
Following up with your potential investors after your pitch deck presentation is essential. It shows them that you are committed to your business idea and that you value their input and feedback. Keep them updated on your progress and address any questions or concerns they may have.
Knowing your audience and tailoring your pitch deck to their specific needs and expectations is essential when presenting a pitch deck to potential investors. By doing your research, customizing your pitch deck, anticipating questions and concerns, being flexible, and following up, you can increase your chances of securing funding for your business idea.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Presenting a Pitch Deck to Investors
Presenting a pitch deck to investors is a critical moment for any startup, and avoiding common mistakes can make the difference between success and failure. Here are some mistakes to avoid when presenting a pitch deck to investors:
1. Overcomplicating Your Deck
One of the most common mistakes when presenting a pitch deck is overcomplicating it. Your deck should be simple, concise, and easy to understand. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that investors may not understand, and focus on explaining your business idea in plain language. Keep in mind that investors are busy people and may not have the time or patience to decipher a complex deck.
2. Failing to Tell a Compelling Story
Investors are not just interested in the facts and figures of your business idea; they also want to know the story behind it. Failing to tell a compelling story can make your pitch deck boring and forgettable. Use storytelling techniques to engage investors and make your business idea more relatable. Highlight the unique journey of your business idea, how you came up with it, and why it's important.
3. Ignoring the Competition
Ignoring the competition is a common mistake that can turn off potential investors. Your pitch deck should include a clear analysis of your competition and how your business idea stands out from the crowd. Highlight your unique value proposition and explain why your business idea is better than the competition.
4. Focusing Too Much on the Product
While the product or service you are offering is essential, focusing too much on it can be a mistake. Investors are interested in the potential of your business, not just the product. Your pitch deck should explain how your business will grow and scale over time. Highlight potential revenue streams, target markets, and growth opportunities.
5. Lack of Passion
Investors want to see that you are passionate about your business idea and committed to its success. A lack of enthusiasm can be a major turnoff for potential investors. Make sure to convey your passion and excitement for your business throughout your pitch deck.
6. Not Knowing Your Audience
Not knowing your audience is a common mistake that can lead to a failed pitch. Investors have different priorities and expectations, and tailoring your pitch deck to their specific needs is essential. Do your research on each individual investor and their specific preferences and expectations. Customize your deck to their needs and highlight the aspects of your business that are most relevant to them.
7. Forgetting to Follow Up
Forgetting to follow up after your pitch deck is another common mistake that can cost you potential investors. Even if investors did not express immediate interest in your business idea, keeping them updated on your progress can help maintain their interest. Send them periodic updates on your business, such as new product launches or major milestones that you have achieved.
By avoiding these common mistakes, you can create a pitch deck that effectively captures the attention of potential investors and convinces them to invest in your business idea.
How to Follow Up with Investors After Presenting a Pitch Deck
Presenting your pitch deck to potential investors is only the first step in securing funding for your business. Following up with investors after your presentation is crucial to maintaining their interest and moving the process forward. Here are some tips on how to follow up with investors after presenting a pitch deck:
1. Send a Thank You Email
After your pitch deck presentation, send a brief thank you email to the investors who attended. Thank them for their time and express your appreciation for their interest in your business idea. Keep the email short and professional.
2. Address Any Questions or Concerns
During your pitch deck presentation, investors may have asked questions or expressed concerns about your business idea. Address any questions or concerns they had in your follow-up communication. This will show them that you take their feedback seriously and are committed to addressing any issues they may have.
3. Provide Additional Information
If investors expressed interest in learning more about your business idea, provide them with additional information. This could include market research data, customer surveys, or financial projections. Make sure to provide them with the information they requested in a timely manner.
4. Schedule a Follow-Up Meeting
If investors expressed interest in learning more about your business idea, schedule a follow-up meeting. This could be a one-on-one meeting with individual investors or a group meeting with all investors who attended your pitch deck presentation. Use this meeting to provide more details about your business idea and answer any additional questions they may have.
5. Keep Them Updated
Even if investors did not express immediate interest in your business idea, keep them updated on your progress. Send them periodic updates on your business, such as new product launches or major milestones that you have achieved. This will keep them engaged and interested in your business idea.
Following up with investors after presenting a pitch deck is essential to securing funding for your business. By sending a thank you email, addressing any questions or concerns, providing additional information, scheduling a follow-up meeting, and keeping them updated, you can maintain their interest and move the process forward.
Examples of Successful Pitch Decks and What We Can Learn From Them
A successful pitch deck is one that captures the attention of potential investors and convinces them to invest in your business idea. To create an effective pitch deck, it's important to study successful examples and learn from their strengths. Here are some examples of successful pitch decks and what we can learn from them:
Airbnb's pitch deck is often cited as one of the most successful pitch decks of all time. The deck is simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. It begins with a clear explanation of the problem that Airbnb is trying to solve, followed by a description of the company's unique solution. The deck also includes clear explanations of the market opportunity and potential for growth.
What we can learn: Keep your pitch deck simple, straightforward, and easy to understand. Start with a clear explanation of the problem your business is trying to solve, followed by a description of your unique solution. Include clear explanations of the market opportunity and potential for growth.
Uber's pitch deck is another example of a successful pitch deck. The deck focuses on the market opportunity for ride-sharing services and includes clear explanations of the problem that Uber is trying to solve. The deck also includes a clear explanation of the company's unique solution and how it differs from traditional taxi services.
What we can learn: Focus on the market opportunity for your business idea. Include clear explanations of the problem you are trying to solve and how your solution differs from existing solutions.
Buffer's pitch deck is a great example of a pitch deck that focuses on the team behind the business idea. The deck includes clear descriptions of each team member's background, expertise, and experience. The deck also explains how the team members complement each other and contribute to the success of the business.
What we can learn: Showcase your team's expertise and experience in your pitch deck. Include clear descriptions of each team member's background, expertise, and experience. Explain how the team members complement each other and contribute to the success of the business.
Square's pitch deck is an example of a pitch deck that effectively uses data to support the business idea. The deck includes clear explanations of market trends, growth rates, and other relevant data. The deck also includes clear explanations of the company's unique solution and how it addresses the needs of its target market.
What we can learn: Use data to support your business idea. Include clear explanations of market trends, growth rates, and other relevant data. Use data to explain how your solution addresses the needs of your target market.
Spotify's pitch deck is a great example of a pitch deck that effectively uses storytelling to engage with potential investors. The deck includes a clear explanation of the company's unique story, including how it was founded and how it has evolved over time. The deck also includes clear explanations of the market opportunity and potential for growth.
What we can learn: Use storytelling to engage with potential investors. Include a clear explanation of your unique story and how it relates to your business idea. Include clear explanations of the market opportunity and potential for growth.
By studying successful pitch decks and learning from their strengths, you can create a pitch deck that effectively captures the attention of potential investors and convinces them to invest in your business idea.
How to Tailor Your Pitch Deck for Different Types of Investors
When seeking funding for your business, it's important to tailor your pitch deck to the specific type of investor you are pitching to. Different types of investors have different priorities and expectations, so it's essential to understand what they are looking for and how to present your business in a way that appeals to them. Here are some tips for tailoring your pitch deck for different types of investors:
1. Angel Investors
Angel investors are typically high net worth individuals who invest in early-stage startups. They are often looking for opportunities to invest in innovative and disruptive ideas, and are willing to take on more risk than other types of investors. To appeal to angel investors, focus on the unique aspects of your business idea and how it has the potential to disrupt the market. Highlight your team's experience and expertise, and explain how you plan to use the funding to grow and expand your business.
2. Venture Capitalists
Venture capitalists are professional investors who invest in startups with high growth potential. They are often looking for businesses that have already demonstrated some level of success, such as a strong customer base or revenue growth. To appeal to venture capitalists, focus on the market opportunity for your business and how you plan to capture a significant share of it. Highlight your traction to date, such as customer acquisition or sales growth, and explain how you plan to use the funding to scale your business.
3. Corporate Investors
Corporate investors are companies that invest in startups as a way to gain access to new technologies or markets. They are often looking for businesses that have a strong alignment with their own strategic goals and objectives. To appeal to corporate investors, focus on how your business can help them achieve their strategic objectives. Highlight any synergies between your business and theirs, and explain how you plan to collaborate with them to achieve mutual success.
4. Crowdfunding Investors
Crowdfunding investors are individuals who invest in startups through online crowdfunding platforms. They are often looking for businesses that have a compelling mission or story, and that align with their own values and beliefs. To appeal to crowdfunding investors, focus on the social impact of your business idea and how it can make a positive difference in the world. Highlight any social or environmental initiatives that your business is involved in, and explain how the funding will be used to further these initiatives.
By tailoring your pitch deck to the specific type of investor you are pitching to, you can increase your chances of securing funding for your business. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and it's important to do your research on each individual investor and their specific preferences and expectations.
The Role of Storytelling in Creating a Compelling Pitch Deck
When creating a pitch deck, it's important to remember that investors are not just interested in the facts and figures of your business idea. They also want to know the story behind it. A well-crafted story can make your pitch deck more engaging and memorable, helping you stand out from the competition.
Here are some tips to help you incorporate storytelling into your pitch deck:
1. Start with a Hook
The beginning of your pitch deck is your chance to capture the attention of your audience. Use a compelling hook to draw them in and make them interested in your business idea. This could be a personal story, a surprising statistic, or a bold statement. Whatever you choose, make sure it's relevant to your business idea and sets the tone for the rest of your pitch deck.
2. Tell Your Story
Once you've captured your audience's attention, it's time to tell your story. This should include the unique journey of your business idea, how you came up with it, and why it's important. Use vivid language and imagery to make your story more engaging and memorable.
3. Highlight Your Values
Your business values are an important part of your story. Use your pitch deck to highlight the values that drive your business and explain why they are important. This will help investors connect with your business on a deeper level and understand the motivation behind your business idea.
4. Use Examples
Examples can help bring your story to life and make it more relatable. Use real-life examples of how your business idea has made a difference or solved a problem to show investors the potential of your idea.
5. End with a Call to Action
End your pitch deck with a clear call to action. This should be a specific action you want investors to take, such as scheduling a follow-up meeting or investing in your business. Make sure your call to action is clear and easy to understand.
By incorporating storytelling into your pitch deck, you can make your business idea more engaging and memorable, helping you stand out from the competition and secure funding from potential investors.
The Dos and Don'ts of Using Data in a Pitch Deck Presentation
When presenting a pitch deck to investors, data is an essential component that can help support your business idea. However, it can be challenging to use data effectively without overwhelming your audience. Here are some dos and don'ts to keep in mind when incorporating data into your pitch deck presentation:
- Use data to support your key points. Data should be used to reinforce your main arguments and highlight the potential of your business. Use data to show the market size, growth trends, and other relevant metrics that demonstrate the potential of your business.
- Make data easy to understand. Use graphs, charts, and other visually appealing visuals to help your audience understand the data. Make sure that your visuals are clear and easy to read, and avoid using too much text.
- Provide context for your data. Data can be difficult to interpret without context. Make sure to provide clear explanations of what the data means and how it supports your business idea.
- Use data to anticipate potential objections. Use data to address potential concerns that investors may have about your business idea. For example, if your business is in a highly competitive market, use data to demonstrate how your product or service has a unique selling point.
- Don't overload your audience with data. Too much data can be overwhelming and detract from your main arguments. Instead, focus on the most important data points that support your business idea.
- Don't use vague or irrelevant data. Make sure that your data is specific and relevant to your business idea. Avoid using vague or generic data that does not add value to your pitch deck.
- Don't manipulate data to support your argument. While it may be tempting to manipulate data to make your business idea look more appealing, this is not ethical. Make sure that your data is accurate and presented in a transparent manner.
- Don't forget to explain your data. Remember that not all investors may be familiar with the metrics or terminology used in your industry. Make sure to explain any technical terms or data points to ensure that your audience understands the significance of the data.
By following these dos and don'ts, you can use data to effectively support your business idea and increase your chances of securing funding from potential investors.
How to Use Your Pitch Deck to Showcase Your Team's Expertise and Experience
Investors not only invest in a business idea but also the team behind the idea. In your pitch deck, it's crucial to showcase your team's expertise and experience to convince investors that you have the necessary skills to execute your business plan successfully. Here are some tips on how to use your pitch deck to highlight your team's strengths:
1. Introduce Your Team
Start by introducing your team members and their roles in your business. Include their professional background, areas of expertise, and relevant experience. This slide should give investors a general idea of who you are and why you are qualified to pursue your business idea.
2. Highlight Relevant Experience
Investors want to see that your team has the relevant experience to make your business idea a success. Include any relevant experience your team members have in the industry or related fields. This could include past projects, successful ventures, or relevant certifications.
3. Showcase Accomplishments
Highlight any notable accomplishments of your team members, such as awards, publications, or media coverage. This slide should demonstrate that your team is respected in the industry and has a track record of success.
4. Demonstrate Complementary Skills
Your team should have complementary skills that will enable you to execute your business plan successfully. Show how each team member's skills complement each other and contribute to the overall success of your business. This slide should reassure investors that your team is well-rounded and capable of handling any challenges that may arise.
5. Highlight Advisory Board
If you have an advisory board, include them in your pitch deck. This slide should highlight the relevant experience and expertise of your advisory board members and explain how they will support your business.
By showcasing your team's expertise and experience in your pitch deck, you can instill confidence in potential investors and increase your chances of securing funding for your business idea.
Presenting a pitch deck to potential investors is a critical moment for any startup. By avoiding common mistakes, tailoring your deck to your audience, using storytelling and data effectively, showcasing your team's expertise and experience, and following up with potential investors, you can increase your chances of securing funding for your business idea. With these tips and examples of successful pitch decks, you'll be able to create a compelling pitch deck that captures the attention of potential investors and convinces them to invest in your business.
Tailor your pitch deck to the specific needs and expectations of your audience.
Avoid common mistakes such as overcomplicating your deck, failing to tell a compelling story, ignoring the competition, focusing too much on the product, lacking passion, not knowing your audience, and forgetting to follow up.
Follow up with potential investors after your pitch deck presentation to maintain their interest and address any questions or concerns they may have.
Use storytelling and data effectively in your pitch deck to engage with potential investors and support your business idea.
Showcase your team's expertise and experience to instill confidence in potential investors.