7 Must-Have Slides for the Perfect Pitch Deck
When it comes to funding, the pitch deck could make the difference between the “yes or no” answer on that crucial email. Every startup has a story, and the pitch deck is the perfect opportunity to convey it to the potential investors. Though there is no right or wrong way to build the deck, there are several key slides that could help getting the message crossed:
1. The problem
The intro part of the deck should tell everyone in the room the reason why they’re here. This is an opportunity to define the real need or issue recognized, and stress why it should be solved, preferably by the amazing product in the next slide. This part should be short and clear, and set up the stage for the solution.
2. The solution
Once everyone agrees on the problem that needs to be solved, it’s time to present the solution. First describe the solution as simple as possible, using one or two lines. Once the concept is set, go into detail, explaining technical specifications, which part of the solution will be built from scratch and which will be outsourced, what are the services or platforms involved, etc. Give a comprehensive view of the product and its advantages.
3. Competitor analysis
Talking about the competitive landscape is important for two reasons: first, it will show familiarity with the ecosystem in which the product or company operates. Second, it’s a good way to stress the advantages of the product in comparison to the competitors. It could be done in a table or verbally, but make sure that the main differences come across clearly.
4. Business model
When presenting to potential investors, one of their main concerns would be how the product is going to yield a profit, or more straightforwardly – how are will it pay the bills? Proving the product answers a real need and is better than others is not enough to get investors excited. Be clear about the way you are going to make profit, whether it is by advertising, freemium, or subscriptions.
5. Major milestones and P&L
Startups usually operate in a fast changing environment, but investors want to see stability and long-term planning. Therefore, presenting the major milestone of the product is so important, especially if it is still in the R&D stage. When examining the P&L, investors want to see the business side of the technology, and if the numbers add up. Be prepared to answer questions, and make sure all the figures make sense.
6. Funds allocation
Once the potential of the product and the company is established, it is necessary to disclose exactly what amount of funds are you seeking in this funding round, and where is it going to be allocated. Is it for R&D purposes? Marketing? Manufacturing? A smart investor would like to know specifically what will the funds be used for before signing the check.
In a small company, such as a startup, every team member counts. The right team can make the difference between success and failure, and investors are aware of that. Presenting the team, their background and connection can be very influential in the final decision whether to invest or not.
Two more tips:
· Style - If you are not using the services of a professional designer for your deck, keep it relatively clean and simple. Choose a color scheme and a certain layout and stick to it. What’s important is the message, try not to get the audience distracted.
· WIIFM – Keep in mind the investors are asking themselves: “what’s in it for me?” When writing the content for the presentation make sure the deck clearly answers this question, and adjust it accordingly if not.
No matter what you decided to include in the pitch deck, keeping it simple and clear will make it easier for the investors to understand and connect with the vision. Play around with the slides to create the flow that suits you best, and will help you deliver the story. Don’t forget to add your contact information, so that the coveted email could arrive to the right place!