How to Create a Winning Investment Pitch Deck
Are you looking to showcase your business, startup or organization to investors to raise money? Do you need to put together compelling pitch decks that showcase your business model.
You can put together your own pitch deck or find a rockstar design company to help you achieve creating a winning pitch deck
Best pitch deck examples
Where do you start when you create an investor pitch deck?
You could look at pitch deck examples or startup pitch deck examples before you start your slide deck.
You could also look for pitch deck templates to save time when you create your presentation, so you can focus selling your product or service. Another way to save time is to use a professional design company. Some of the best pitch deck examples are the Facebook pitch deck, Uber pitch deck, Buffer pitch deck, Intercom pitch deck, or Mint pitch deck.
A pitch deck in itself is a startup accelerator, that can really help you in terms of raising money if you create a great pitch deck.
Define the goal of your pitch deck
Pitch decks in general is to show investors why they should want to learn more about your startup. It is not a customer service based presentation, you’re trying to specify what makes you as unique in the market in your slide deck.
If you think about the pitch deck example of Facebook or the pitch deck example of Uber, and even the AirBnB pitch deck think of what differentiates them from the other businesses in their industry.
You should also highlight your company culture and the people behind your product or service with a team slide. This is another key element of thinking of your initial pitch deck draft – that team slide can really highlight a community that needs to be served with funds.
Think of the pitch deck as a hook or movie pitch – you want to give a good, clear overview of your business that is easily explained and memorable. An impressive pitch deck isn’t loaded with key metrics that are pages long, but key points that people can retain.
The best pitch decks can be based off your business plan or general business idea. Think of all the ideas that are passed to a venture capital firm – they hear thousands of pitches, and you’re just the next competition slide.
Spark interest with your personality and your startup deck, and include key messages. Your audience members may have some underlying assumptions about your pitch presentation, but a good pitch deck leaves the audience with no more assumptions about your service.
Ask yourself if you were to raise funding, where those funds would go to and maybe include that in your pitch deck in your key slides, to show achievable monetary goals in your financial projections.
Show alternative solutions to unique problems, and get your audience excited. That is the sure fire way to raise funding.
Create your key messages in your pitch deck
Similar to a blog post, a deck stands out with a couple traction slides and a value based key component. Instead of creating an original deck, you can start with writing out your key messages prior to building a presentation.
First off, define what you do. Do you have an online service? What makes it easy to use compared to other services of its kind? Do you have course content that is easy to access and constantly updated?
Think of a couple selling points of who you are and why your service is unique. Also consider defining the big picture market and the opportunity behind funding your business. How big is the market around you?
Is your company a new, emergent one or a large one that needs a refresh? What is your current and potential reach for your services? The reachable market is where you can start crafting your key messages for your potential investors.
The best investment pitch decks tell a story like the one delivered by Molly Berry at at her TED talk, “How I built a brand with story.”
Need some help with your design?
Showcase compelling data and supporting information
Think of the problem in the market and how you’re solving it. Use real-life examples besides tables of data – show the impact your work currently has so far. Instead of having dense write ups, you could create a video or do a quick demonstration of how your product works.
If you have a current customer base, get their feedback and present that in your pitch deck.
Any data should highlight the current success of your progress, and also highlight challenges. Anything else is extraneous. Keep your pitch deck focused. Focus on market opportunity.
In a nut shell, what you need is conveyed in the bullet points below. Each bullet point could be its own slide.
- An executive summary
- Pricing model
- High level ideas in written form
- Detailed financial forecasts as a separate sheet to take away
- Key expense drivers
- Target market
- How much money your business needs
- Potential investors (if any)
- Competitive landscape
- An easy to understand business model for venture capitalists
- More detailed documentation should be put into a take-away document to be read in detail
- How to reach prospective customers
- An easy to understand revenue model
- The value of the investors spend on your business
The star of the show is YOU when you pitch your product or service
Practice your pitch and get a few colleagues to listen to you pitch. They can give you initial feedback on how to balance your storytelling, key information and data.
It is a good way to also boost your confidence and test your material and delivery. You can leave your mistakes in the test kitchen of your pitch, and not live.
With a few good friends, colleagues or even strangers, you can recollect your thoughts and improve your material.
Take notes on what you stumbled on or what you could do better.
You can also time yourself and see if you’re going on too long. A pitch should consist of 10 slides & no more than 15. The presentation should last no more than 20 minutes. This is the Guy Kawasaki rule.
You can also record yourself to do a play-by-play after you’re done presenting. You can also think of your physical performance – your posture, or how you’re standing by your presentation.
Being mindful of your presentation and your presence can help improve your performance in a tangible way.
Tips for designing your presentation
Tell a story by planning your content out before you think of your visual elements
Before you start laying out slides for your entire presentation, think about the main points you would like to get across. This will help inform the design of your slide layouts and is one of the few practical tips for creating a good presentation.
A great example of how content planning informs design is first coming up with a great title. For eg, if you are doing a presentation on increasing literacy for children in school, you could think of what major points you could make for your presentation and craft a title like “How to Fund for Middle Grade Fiction and Non-Fiction Books” versus something to broad like “Get Kids Reading”.
When you define like this, in this example, you can find middle grade children photos versus a wide range of children at different ages, and you can make the Powerpoint geared to finance and grant funding, so you may consider a template that looks like more like a business presentation than say a Powerpoint presentation that looks like it was meant for children.
Establish a consistent layout or use your branding
Really, you can do a lot with one slide in seeing which colours, fonts and images work for you. But if you want to get in deeper, you can start with designing three slides: your title slide, a list slide and a slide with a blurb and photo.
Once you design these three, you can use the style for the Powerpoint, and keep it clean and consistent on any new slide you create.
Use effective fonts for your presentation template
You can get a lot of using one main font and playing with its types: italic, light, regular, semi-bold, bold and extra bold, and you can also use size to create a hierarchy.
For instance, you can make all titles bold and size 44; all sub titles semi-bold and size 40; and the body font regular and size 30, and as long as the entire slide follows this order, things will look clean and consistent.
But if you would like variety, pick two fonts to use and do not use more than that. One font should be clean and readable, like Times New Roman, Arial or any font that is similar.
Like font, it is best if you only pick a few colours for your presentation.
You can use colour wheel theories. Primary colors in the RGB color wheel are the colors that, added together, create pure white light. Secondary colors are colors that result from mixing two primary colors.
Think of the most effective brands and what are their colour schemes?
Think of Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – they have one key colour and maybe one or two more colours associated with them.
A photo or video is worth a thousand words in a presentation
A photo can illustrate a point or concept without words and within seconds, so use images to your advance.
When picking colours, you could start with your branding colours or simply think which colours are readable.
Would white and teal work in terms of reading? Probably not.
But a nice navy blue and white would. And if you choose an accent to navy and white, looking at a colour wheel would show you perhaps choosing yellow would be a nice compliment.
An engaging presentation relies on people being able to read it and for their eyes not to get distracted by too many colours in the powerpoint slides.
The last thing you want is your slide deck to look too gaudy and bright for your audience to read.
A way of thinking of colour and seeing its use in the real world is this: the next time you are in a cafe or fast-food restaurant, what colour and design are their menus?
Menus have a detailed list of items but they’re very easy to use and very well designed in terms of colour and readability.
You could also use an animated gif or animate the images to appear one by one if you are presenting something that needs to be shown in steps.
You can keep your audience engaged in what you’re saying if you have a powerful supporting visual.
Maybe you have a flow chart or a series of images to illustrate a point. The fade-in animation can do wonders for staggering information out as you present just on a single slide.
Pay attention to white space in your presentations
One simple technique is to pay attention to white space in your powerpoint presentations. This is probably the most important of our powerpoint presentation tips.
White space is the area between design elements. It can be any color, texture, pattern, or even a background image.
In your presentation slides, make sure there is enough breathing space between images and text; that the reading order works with the design.
Use a presentation template
There is also nothing wrong with using a powerpoint presentation template for your slide deck.
What if you just want to work on your performance and not the presentation design? Maybe you’re feeling more nervous and need to work through the public speaking component of it, which is a reality for many people.
You can read more design tips in our other article here!
What decks do you find the most impactful? Share below!