As a startup, your pitch deck is used to present an overview of your business. Startup founders often rely on pitch decks to prove to investors and other programs (like accelerators and incubators) that they have a reliable business and compelling business model. In order to acquire funding or secure a position in a coveted program, a pitch deck is necessary.
A pitch deck typically consists of 15-20 slides, and normally doesn’t last more than half an hour to present. Because there’s so much riding on your pitch deck presentation, it’s important that you nail it right the first time. Here are a few tips for creating a winning startup pitch deck:
Follow The 10/20/30 Rule
According to Guy Kawasaki, all startup pitch decks should follow a 10/20/30 rule. This means that your presentation should consist of 10 slides, be no more than 20 minutes, and be created using a 30-point font. There are concrete reasons each of these concepts:
Ten slides: The average person isn’t able to comprehend more than 10 concepts during a single presentation.
Twenty minutes: If you keep your pitch short and sweet, it will allow your audience to stay focused, and leave plenty of room for discussion afterwards.
Thirty-point font: Too much small text in a font will result in the audience reading ahead of you as you read out loud, which puts you and your audience out of sync.
Have a Reliable Website
When your pitch is done, the people in your meeting should be able to easily find you online and reference your website for further decision making. A platform like WordPress will allow you to quickly launch a beautiful site in a short amount of time. If you plan to be getting more traction, consider a virtual private server, which means you won’t be sharing as many resources with other websites and there’s less of an opportunity for slow loading pages and website crashes.
Have An Elevator Pitch
Your introduction to your presentation should essentially be an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch a short, persuasive pitch that should spark interest in your business. It should be no more than 30 seconds, and include the name of the company, the product, target audience, unique selling proposition, and a call to action. Check out this list of great elevator pitch examples.
Have The Appropriate Slides
Earlier, we mentioned how 10 slides is the perfect amount for your pitch deck. But which 10 should you focus on? Here’s what you should consider for your presentation:
Your vision and value proposition. This is where your elevator pitch comes in. What makes your business different? What’s special about it? Sometimes, it helps to compare it to other successful business. For example, you might say, “X company is the Airbnb of boating.” For some great examples, check out different headlines across startup profile pages on AngelList.
The problem and solution. What does your product or service solve? Why is it useful? Try to tell a story as you define the problem.
Your target market. Investors want to know what your demographics are. Knowing more about your target audience allows them to better understand potential revenue. This section should be backed by data.
Your revenue model. How does your business plan to make money. What are your current projections? Is your revenue model sustainable?
Your marketing strategy. Marketing is an integral part of any business’s ability to succeed, and it’s important that you have a marketing plan in place to reach your target market.
Your presentation shouldn’t be purely text-based. You want to demonstrate your ability to create a beautiful piece of work that’s as visually appealing as the business itself. Include different graphical elements like charts, photos, and graphics. By breaking up the text, your audience is able to condense information while still retaining the essence of your presentation.
Check Out Other Successful Pitch Decks
One of the best ways to create a pitch deck is by seeing how other successful startups have acquired funding. This list of startup pitch decks includes slicks from well-known companies like Airbnb, Facebook, Buffer, Square, LinkedIn, Mint, and much more. Go through each pitch deck and pay close attention to the type of slides they include in their presentations.
What sort of graphics are they using? What verbiage is being used? You’ll notice that many of these companies have short pitch decks, with no more than 15 slides. Some are fairly straightforward with small amounts of texts, while others are more complex.
Let this be a starting point and use it as inspiration. Don’t be afraid to stray away from a traditional Powerpoint. Other software options include Prezi, Zoho Show, Google Slides, and Keynote.