Sarah, my friend, and I were having coffee to celebrate a new milestone in her startup, when the lady at the next table turns to us, introduces herself, and says I’m interested to help you expand to another market.
The right thing to do here is to whip up your phone and send the interested investor your Pitch Deck, but Sarah needed at least a few days to prepare for a follow-up to her conversation.
Now imagine the investor’s impression of Sarah and her business potential if she had sent an investor-tailored presentation then and there. She would have also been in a much better negotiation position.
Let’s start from the beginning, what’s a Pitch Deck?
A brief but comprehensive presentation that’s used to introduce a business to investors, customers, or other stakeholders.
While they are primarily used to address investors or potential partners, they can be used for other circumstances such as securing a franchise, attracting a major new client, or updating your team and current investors of your overall position.
5 must includes in your Pitch Deck
1-Keep it brief and visual
Focus on giving potential investors a concise overview of your business and its value. Keep it under 15 slides.
Don’t try to cram too much information into your deck. Focus on the most important points and leave the rest for follow-up conversations.
Your first slide needs to be strong, clear, concise, and persuasive. This is your chance to make a good first impression.
3-Focus on key figures
What you do; your target market; your market share; capital; P&L; projections
Highlight your key points with visuals. People tend to remember information that they see, so use graphs, charts, and images to illustrate your points.
4-Easy to share, easy to update
Make sure it’s easy to share with a few clicks.
Upload it to a hidden link on your website or on Google Drive, this way you can update the existing file and have it automatically synced to the recipients’ devices.
5-Tailor to your audience and goal
The top three figures you’ll focus on when pitching to potential investors are very different from what you need to highlight when working on a potential cooperation with another company, for example.
5 Things to avoid in your Pitch Deck
1- Too much
Aim for a cap of 20% text and 80% infographics and other visuals
Keep it simple, clear, and non-technical. Avoid using any words that your audience may not understand.
3- Complicated infographics
Your audience should get the point with one glance, no matter how experienced the person you’re presenting to may be.
4- Forgetting the call to action (CTA)
CTAs aren’t only for websites and social media, the executive reading your presentation needs to know exactly the next step you want him to take. i.e you are seeking $10 million for a 30% share.
5- More isn’t merrier
We all want to show how incredible our business is and include all the figures that highlight that or include a long list of achievements over the year. PLEASE DON’T.
Stick to key figures only. If the decision maker reading your presentation scans it in 60 seconds, what are the main points you want to make sure he gets?
Whatever the answer to that is, that is only what you should include. You can always share more information later.