This is it. This idea is the one. We’re not talking about an air fryer that also brews coffee or a restaurant that only serves pineapple pizza. This is an idea you can get behind, an idea that when you tell your friends and family about, they are truly amazed.
At this pivotal stage, the thing that can propel you forward or keep you stagnant is how well you put together your pitch deck. A pitch deck is a brief presentation, used to provide your audience with a quick overview of your business plan. Including the right content can mean the difference between hearing “how can we get involved” or ‘thanks but no thanks”.
Did you know that on average, investors spend 3 minutes and 44 seconds per pitch deck? Commercial breaks during The Bachelor are longer.
That means you really have to be impactful (especially since investors spent the most amount of time reviewing the slides concerning financials, team, and competition).
Your deck needs to be clear and simple, compelling, and easy to act on. Start by telling a compelling story. Think of your deck like a good book. Each slide is a chapter and when they all come together, there is a complete story. Don’t just talk about the facts, you have to get your audience excited. Your deck doesn’t need to be the complete guide to your business, but what it does need to do is generate interest.
Pitch decks have multiple slides, and you’ll want to make sure that you have a consistent design theme. Pay attention to fonts, colors, and styles. This helps to visually organize your presentation and not keep the audience guessing.
Your audience needs to understand the problem. The most successful startups have built a product or service that solves consumers’ problems. This needs to be a painful problem that people can relate to and that investors would not have issues with understanding. If your audience has experienced this same problem themselves, it will only entice them to get involved.
You know your stuff, and you’ll want to use a slide to talk about market and competition. Show that you understand the market and how your idea fits into it (and don’t overstate the market opportunity!). Talk about customers or potential customers. What makes you valuable? A mistake most startup founders make is saying that they are without competition. Every startup has at least one competitor. Identify your competitors and what you know about them (but don’t say anything bad about them! You never know who you’re in the room with).
Take some time to think about where you’re going, and include it in your deck. For potential clients, it’s important for them to know you’ve got a strong foundation and are in it for the long term. For investors, even if these are rough projections, they do provide a good idea of where the business is heading and potential outcomes.
You’ll also want to showcase your team. Focus on significant, relevant accomplishments for each member of your team. Highlight what makes them a valuable contributor to the project. Why is your team the best for this startup idea? It’s also a good idea to share if you have experience in working together.
What is the one thing you want someone to do once they have reviewed or listened to your presentation? That’s the call to action. Make sure your ask is clear and concise and makes sense as a way to move forward. You need to prove that your startup is worth the investment, and this is the section to do it!
One more thing – don’t forget to include your contact info! How else will investors get in contact with you after you’ve wowed them with your pitch deck.