How Many Slides Should a Pitch Deck Be?
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A pitch deck is a presentation that provides a high-level explanation of your business model. It explains your business, its products/services, who it caters to, and expected results (financial or otherwise) to an audience. It also provides visual support to a presentation or pitch that someone is giving.
Pitch decks are usually seen during business operations. For example, new companies will use a pitch deck to present information on their business model to potential investors. Not-for-profit organizations may make a pitch deck to support their fundraising efforts and convince investors to donate to their organization. Marketing companies typically use them to convince clients to sign on with their services. The possibilities are endless.
Content & Structure Of A Pitch Deck
A winning pitch deck should contain specific information about your company and how it fills a niche in the market. When a speaker chooses to explain their startup and its product or services, potential investors can better understand the business model when it is formatted in a pitch deck.
Investors will want to know how much other businesses spend in this market to predict the market size for your business and gauge its relevance. Any data or information about your target market, the market size, and current spending should be included.
Describe Your Team
Investors want to know that their investments are in good hands. A pitch deck should include a team slide about your team. This slide will explain why you and your team are the best people to grow your startup. Points of proof could include previous credentials, how you relate to your target customers, and so on.
Business financials explains the financial situation of a startup. It is important to include a slide or several slides about financial projections including sales, revenue, and how many customers you can expect in the next 3 to 5 years. These projections will allow investors to gauge your market and get an idea of possible success.
Another slide on how much money your products/services will require and how much you are seeking from your audience will cover important questions potential investors are asking themselves; they will want to know exactly how much financial investment your company is seeking before they choose to back it.
Call To Action
How To Make Your Pitch Deck A Success
Skip The Bullets
Most entrepreneurs will include bullet points in their pitch deck because they believe it will help investors understand the key points of their message. While this may be true, they are greatly overused and aren’t as detailed as your pitch deck should be.
Rather than include bullets, cover the important information in your speech. Include as few words as possible in your pitch deck’s slides. Slides should be populated with data and pictures to help an investor gauge your story and view your traction. This will connect your speech to the slides of your pitch deck and help keep a possible investor engaged in your pitch.
Tell Your Story
A pitch deck should be structured similarly to a story in order to hook the audience and get them invested in your project. The best way to do this is to follow the hero’s journey story template.
The hero’s journey, also known as the monomyth, is a story template that follows the rise and fall of a character. Almost every beloved Disney movie follows this format, as well as other novels and movies. Without knowing it, you are probably quite familiar with this format.
First, the hero is called to “adventure” by a problem that they need to solve. They experience many challenges while trying to find a solution. After all of the hero’s potential solutions keep failing, they nearly give up hope. Then, they undergo some sort of transformation or personal growth – or have a revelation about a possible solution – then take action. They solve the problem that began their initial journey and experience great happiness for doing so. As a result, they share this happiness with others.
Following the hero’s journey template will not only allow you to speak about your key points but will ensure that your pitch deck is in an easy-to-follow format. The last thing you want is for your point to get lost as you present your slides.
Investors are also more likely to sympathize with your vision and see its value when your business model is presented in a story format. This can make it a great option for those creating a pitch deck for fundraising purposes.
So, How Many Slides Should a Pitch Deck Be?
Determining how many slides your pitch deck should be can be a difficult task. Typically, most beginner entrepreneurs look to famous businesses’ pitch deck templates in hopes of following in their steps. While it is a good idea to take inspiration from successful decks, it is important to understand that not every deck or their amount of slides will suit your startup.
For example, Peter Theil, the co-founder of Paypal, investor, and legend from silicon valley created a pitch deck template in 2012 for entrepreneurs. This template was once very popular. Its mere 10 slides cover more than just the key points and it goes in-depth into sales, the market, team, products, and other information on its few slides. While this was once effective, the 10 slides which are packed full of information are a lot to digest.
Theil’s deck started the industry’s 10/20/30 rule. Simply put, a competitive pitch deck should include 10 slides, be no more than 20 minutes long, and should only include up to 30 points.
You also need to remember that if you’re getting a deck created professionally, a pitch deck with more slides will cost more.
While the 10/20/30 rule was the standard, many people altered this rule to include 10-20 slides. This is because some companies find that they need more slides to make their point known. In fact, Uber’s first pitch deck was longer than 20 slides! Co-founder of Uber Garrett Camp used 25 slides in his pitch deck to discuss his ideas thoroughly. This is a great example to show that the number of slides that a deck should depend on the company itself and how many they need to get their point across.
Make Great Pitch Designs
A pitch deck is all about standing out. Every entrepreneur wants to ensure that their presentation is unique, professional, and competitive. One of the most important ways to achieve this is by designing every slide of your pitch deck to perfection. Many famous startups like Facebook, Airbnb, and Peloton have made graphic design one of the most important factors in their decks.
Despite this, most entrepreneurs follow a pitch deck template. While using a pitch deck template can be easy and time-saving, it lacks personality. The graphic design of a pitch deck is an important part of capturing an audience’s attention. It also provides an opportunity for presenters to brand themselves and their startups like they would during marketing endeavors. Those who choose to use free templates may find their business meetings going poorly.
Consider hiring a professional pitch deck design agency to create a pitch deck design for you. They will use their artistic skills and knowledge of the market to create a design that complements your company and its vision.