Pitch Deck Fundamentals – What You Need to Include. Building an effective pitch deck is not impossible if you know what to include: here’s how to do it.
Securing investment requires more than a great idea. In essence beyond a compelling executive summary to tell your story and get you the pitch meeting; You will need to craft a great pitch deck. In my years as an angel investor I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of presentations. By the way without a doubt the best investor presentations use consistent building blocks. Have the right assembly and the components are arranged in a strategic flow. First things first; Pitch Deck Fundamentals – What You Need to Include.
You Actually Need Two Versions of Your Deck
Surprised: Generally you should have two different versions of your deck. Firstly one that has lots of white space and relatively few words; For instance use as a back-drop to a live presentation. In addition to the second one that has enough words that it can stand on its own, if you need to email it to someone. By the way never email the white space one or present from the wordy one. Overall don’t try to get by on just one version. For instance both mistakes are going to lead to bad results.
The single most important data to include in your deck is your contact info. For example list every single means of getting in touch with you. As an example put it on the very first slide. Sounds like a given, but the stories I could tell you…
Deck Building Blocks
Hence what does the deck need to have in it? After your contact information, it should cover the following topics in a 10-15 slide decks.
1. Customer Problem: description of customer pain and how you solve it–concept & key elements.
2. Product Overview: what you do, for whom and why it’s compelling
3. Key Players: founders, key team members, and key advisors, with industry backgrounds and expertise
4. Market Opportunity: market size, growth characteristics, segmentation
5. Competitive Landscape: competitors and competitive feature sets, plus your sustainable competitive advantages
6. Go-To-Market Strategy: how you will sell your product
7. Stage of Development: product development, customer acquisition, partner relationships
Also Read: Pitch deck do’s and don’ts
8. Critical Risks & Challenges: what can go wrong and how you plan to manage it
9. Financial Projections: how much time and money it will take to get to cash flow break-even. Including your five year projections (best to show Yr5 mid-case, worst case and best case with key assumptions)
10. Exit Options: categories of likely buyers, rationales, list of specific likely buyers and comparables with valuation multiples
11. Funding Requirements: how much, what you will use it for, what milestones you can hit
That’s it! For instance trying to do much more is not going to make your pitch more effective.-It is merely going to increase the likelihood that you will not get through it. Which can be the kiss of death. Details can be drawn out in the Q&A or during subsequent due diligence. Instead you should focus on covering all of the key elements to ensure you get the next meeting. If you have extra material, stick it in an appendix in case you need to flip to it during Q&A.
Tips on Mechanical Construction and Delivery
Mechanics matter too in successfully presenting your deck. Consider these points:
- Consider avoiding complicated animations or builds in your deck–they make it very hard to go backwards if you need to. Do not build in any videos–it is an AV disaster waiting to happen. Plan ahead to avoid last minute changes to your deck. Swapping and fumbling while everyone waits for you makes an unprofessional first impression and wastes your presentation time.
- You may want to avoid exotic presentation programs like Prezi. Even PowerPoint can be pretty buggy on some machines. So you may convert to PDF. But check the conversion before sending to make sure it didn’t introduce any embarrassing formatting glitches.
- Do not plan to spend time on product demos–just a couple screenshots if necessary.
- Plan for the worst in terms of screen size: no small fonts. And finally, bring multiple memory stick copies, as well as your own remote.
- If it makes more sense to use the remote that is provided. Get familiar with it before starting so you don’t get flustered and make a hash out of your presentation.
Also Read: How To Create A Great Investor Pitch Deck
Hence with some time up front and some practice. You will be well on your way to having an effective pitch deck is by learning the Pitch Deck Fundamentals.