All inventions and services that took society by the storm were once silent ideas embedded on a pitch deck. May it is Apple’s Macintosh or Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, all business ideas start with a bunch of slides presented to an audience of curious investors and potential believers of the product.
Elements of a Pitch Deck Presentation
Pitch decks are business industry staples used to raise money for business ventures. They are brief, concise, and persuasive in nature. An effective pitch deck is composed of 10 main slides, which are usually the following:
- Introduction: It is the slide that contains the title of your business proposal with your name on it. During this part, you, as the presenter, will have to introduce yourself and your purpose in a short and simple manner.
- Problem: This is the urgent problem that you are trying to solve with your product or service. In presenting the problem, you should also be able to tell the investors the gap in the market you are trying to fill. Pitch deck presentations are limited to only one problem and going over the limit would overwhelm the investors as well as drag the whole duration of the presentation.
Solution: The solution should immediately come in after the problem. It is a simple description of your business plan and how it will cater to your mentioned market. Your solution should be relative to your business size. If you are a business startup, then it is best not to go overboard with complicated and expensive business procedures.
- Market Size: It is the researched number of potential customers that will avail your product. This slide should contain graphs that describe the past, present, and future trends of your market share. Some investors treat market size as their deciding factor in jumping into your proposal, so make sure that it looks credible by adding sources and impressive by showing its potential.
- Product: This slide contains the methodology of your business plan. Present it in a tangible way and pack it with examples. If you already ran a prototype, then provide the customers’ feedback to make it more convincing.
- Traction: Sometimes considered as the climax in pitch deck presentations, traction is the growth of your market share over a specified interval of time. It is in this slide where the potential of your product is greatly seen based on the number of active users and its potential to expand further.
- Team: After you have shown the main components of your business proposal, it is time to build confidence to the investors by reassuring them the plan is being carried out by the best people available.
- Competition: The competition is the part where you compare your product to existing ones and it should always be in a way that it is advantageous among the rest. Take this part as an opportunity to show that your idea is unique and worth investing for.
- Financial: This slide is your monetary projection for 3 to 5 years. It indicates your confidence with your business and how much you will be asking. In projecting your asked funds, give a range rather than an exact amount to attract a wide range of investors. Also, present this slide only when you are in a closed meeting with investors and not with a huge audience.
- Contact: More than putting the usual contact information like e-mail address, it is also important to include your social media accounts so that investors can check on you. If you have a large following, it will constitute for a strong character reference and a reliable social evidence.
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Steps to Make a Great Pitch Deck Presentation
- Think of a visual theme: Before you start with the contents of your presentation, choose a visual theme that boldly represents your vision in your business. All slides must follow this design motif with little variation. As the texts and illustrations are your main highlight, keep the theme simple and easy for the eyes. Base your design choices on readability first and impact second.
- Start with the introduction: Your introduction slides are comprised of your cover slide, the problem, the solution, and product demo if possible. Investors will be hooked to your presentation if your business plan will give them an apparent return of investment, if your presented problem is something they can relate by past experiences, and if it is a subject matter they specialize in. In presenting your solution, including the sense of immediacy and the perfection of your timing.
- Convince your investors with the meat of the presentation: After luring them in with the introduction, present to the investors the reasons why they should reach to you through your expanded presentation of your business model. Under this part of your pitch deck are your slides on the market size, the product, traction, your team, and the competing products or business ideas. Basically, these slides must answer the question why you can make them rich. For the slide where you show the comparison of your product with the competition, have a diagram that shows your product is better than the other alternatives, and for the slide presenting your team, list down at least three achievements of your members in bullet points.
- Create an impression with a reliable wrap-up: The product traction, financing details, and contact details make up the pitch deck presentation wrap-up. The traction describes the positive market share growth of your product and is backed up by a convincing pitch that the product can be more with financial support. The contact information is also vital to keep you in touch with your investors.
Tips for a Pitch Deck Presentation
- Follow the 10/20/30 rule: Advocated by renowned venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki, the 10/20/30 rule states that a business presentation should only have 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and have font sizes not smaller than 30 points. The idea first surfaced in 2005, and, although more than a decade has passed since then, this rule remains to be relevant as it continues to create punchy presentations with lasting impressions. The technique makes use of minimal words and relies heavily on the presenter’s ability to captivate the audience with his or her speech.
- Vary the design for each slide: It is important to keep your investors from snoozing by using good, interactive visuals. Having the audience see the same thing over and over again will make them lose focus and, worse, interest.
- One slide, one topic: Don’t cram in too much information in one slide. Make sure to make use of bullets and phrases instead of paragraphs and sentences. This will keep your investors glued to your words while keeping a close tab on the topic through your presentation. Remember that your pitch deck is only your word cue and the investors’ visual outline, not the proposal itself.
- Do away with cliche lines: The investors in your audience have probably sat through three or five more business proposals for the day and a hundred more in their lifetime. They have probably heard all of the cliched lines used in business pitch like “best of the breed,” “well-seasoned,” and “first-mover advantage.” To keep them engaged, strengthen your business vocabulary and focus on specified terminologies that relate to your business idea.
Types of Pitch Deck Presentations
The following are the design themes that are most commonly employed in pitch deck presentations:
- Dual toned: A theme that utilizes only two colors can be effective. The dual tone is a strong theme that does not take too much time to make. Use the psychology of colors when choosing what hues to go within your presentation. For example, blue emanates calmness and trustworthiness, orange represents modernization, and red indicates urgency. It is also important to choose colors that complement each other for the best effect.
- Illustrative: This type of pitch deck design heavily relies on your graphics elements like photos, illustrations, and charts. Illustrative pitch decks gain the most interest from the audience as they are always fun to look at. Remember to choose the right kind of illustrations to still come off as formal and modern without looking childish.
- Minimalist: This pitch deck presentation takes minimalism to the extreme as it uses no graphic designs at all, only texts and pictures. Entrepreneur Masayoshi Takahashi and the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs are some of the notable people who employ this type of presentation. Preparing one is the easiest, but you have to make sure that the audience’s attention is held by your speech instead.
- Scandinavian: This design language prioritizes elegance and simplicity. They are the most formal pitch decks that focus on the harmonious combination of lines and colors. Scandinavian designs are effective in conveying the message without the graphical elements getting too distracting. Furniture company IKEA provides a ton of Scandinavian design examples in their portfolio.
Pitch Deck Presentation Template Sizes
Pitch deck presentations come in two standard sizes: 4:3 aspect ratio and 16:9 aspect ratio. The latter has two sizes, which are 5.63 in. x 10 in. and 7.5 in. x 13.33 in.
Pitch Deck Presentation FAQs
What are top-down and bottom-up methods commonly heard during pitch deck presentations?
Top-down and bottom-up analyses are the two approaches in presenting your market in pitch deck presentations. The top-down approach determines your total market to produce an optimistic estimation of your product market, working from the “top” of the total market and then “down” to your potential market. It is straightforward but usually produces inaccurate results. On the other hand, the bottom-up approach determines your potential market first so you will know your total market, working from the “bottom” and then “up.” It takes into account specific product factors, which makes it complicated, and produces more accurate results.
Should I use a 16:9 or a 4:3 aspect ratio in my pitch deck presentation?
Pitch deck presentations that are solely for digital presentations are at a spatial advantage following the 16:9 aspect ratio while presentations that are shown across different platforms is best at 4:3 aspect ratio.
Presenting a business proposal to potential investors is always a nerve-wracking experience. Yet, armed with composure, confidence, and a creatively crafted pitch deck presentation, you should be able to nail in the funding for your idea, which might be the world’s next big thing.