Pitch Deck – How To Create The Perfect One?
Natalie Ediger, December 20, 2019· Marketing
Convince investors properly
Are you facing the big task of convincing potential investors? Are you trying to present your business idea vividly and standing a little on your toes? Whether in the “shark tank”, at another event or in a personal meeting, a well planned and first-class pitch deck is the be-all and end-all to convincingly present your business model as well as your personal corporate competence.
Everything you should know about this topic, from the creation, the important elements, the no-go’s to the presentation technique, can be found in our ultimate Pitch Deck Guide.
What is a pitch deck?
A pitch deck is a short presentation of a business idea or business model of a start-up that is used to address investors. Classic business plans are long. Very long. Established investors today have neither the time nor the need to fight their way through a 50-page presentation – and that at around 1000 – 1500 startups. Thus the Pitch Deck was able to assert itself as an important tool for the business plan to enable a short first presentation in search of financial injections. The aim of the Pitch Deck is to process the most important information in about 10-20 pages, so that the investors get an overview of the business idea and the investment needs in the shortest possible time. It is important that the following points become clear to the investor:
What is it I’m investing in?
Is the investment worth it?
But that’s not it. The creation of a pitch deck is a sweaty and complicated process for many entrepreneurs. We help you at this point and show you which elements belong in a perfect pitch deck.
The perfect Pitch Deck – important elements
It’s always nice to be able to swing the magic wand quickly and one, two, three,… everything has been created. Well, at least in movies. In reality, of course, everything has to be carefully planned and worked out. And so does the pitch deck. The perfect template doesn’t exist. Quite the opposite: You should leave your fingers off templates in general. The presentation should be adapted to the purpose and the respective needs of the audience, as well as to the corporate image and occasion.
Programs such as Powerpoint, Keynote or Prezi are best suited for the creation. And although there is no magic formula for the perfect pitch deck, all successful presentations are based on a similar structure:
The elevator pitch: In the introduction you should briefly and precisely illustrate the uniqueness of the business idea. What do you stand for? What is your slogan? A short pitch in the pitch, so to say. Remember: “Less is more”. The opening sequence should therefore not last longer than 30 seconds.
The Problem: Here it is important to emphasize the “paint points” of the society. What is the concrete need today? Think carefully whether it is really a problem that requires a solution. Ideally, you should use the principle of storytelling to attract the attention of the audience. Everyone must be able to understand the problem from the outset. Complex formulations are misplaced here.
The solution: Spotlight on for the actual product! Here you present your idea as an optimal solution for the previously described problem. There is a danger that too much unnecessary information will be integrated and that you will spend too much time on this slide. You are an expert and now face the challenge to summarize everything in a few words. Pay attention to a precise way of expression without too much talking around. Even without detailed expertise, the audience must be able to understand the solution. Ideally, you are already showing a prototype here.
Market Potential: Who is the target group? How big is the market? Of course, you should be able to prove that the product offers a profitable market, that is not already too saturated. Without research and exact figures you will not be able to convince any investors at this point. So, whether through your own surveys or existing market research, you absolutely confirm your statements with statistics.
The business model: An enormously important slide for the investor! If you want money, you have to clearly describe how and through which channels sales will be generated in the future. What income and expenses are to be expected? Where is the break even? How can sales be scaled in the future? A financial plan that has already been worked out can be very helpful.
Competition and Competitive Advantage: Invest an extensive research into this point and don’t say “We don’t have any competition”. This will not convince any investor and will only damage your credibility. A detailed SWOT analysis can help to map where you stand with your idea compared to others. At this point, emphasize your “unique selling point” and show how you stand out from the competition.
Proof of Concept: Actions speak louder than words. Show your previous milestones, which goals you have set yourself and which KPIs can be used to measure success. Investors want to see figures! Include first revenues into your presentation.
Team: The pitch deck is by far not only used to introduce the business idea. Even the best business idea will not be successful if there is no competent team behind it. Investors also want to know who they are investing in. Here you can introduce the most important team members and their competence, as well as the distribution of tasks.
The Purpose/ The Compensation: The investor slide. Show exactly what you need the investment for and what the investor can obtain in return.
Summary: So that you don’t fall into oblivion again, the most important contents should be summarized again on the last slide. Concentrate exclusively on the most important points so that the film does not appear overloaded. Also add your contact details and relevant social media channels.
Actually, it all sounds comprehensible and simple, right? Nevertheless, many enterpreneurs stumble across their own pitch deck. In order to land successfully with the investors, you should therefore avoid the following stumbling blocks.
Too much “around the edges.”
Remember: less is more! Avoid too many key points (or even complete sentences) on the slides and bring the most relevant content precisely to the point. Prove to the audience that you and your team can reproduce the USP in a few words.
No template please!
Boring presentation without any pictures and graphics, as well as a 0815 design will meet with little enthusiasm. The Pitch Deck doesn’t have to receive an Art Nobel Prize, but still convince with individual visual storytelling and be in line with the business idea.
It’s all about Storytelling
Instead of providing boring facts, your idea should be packed into an emotional and compelling story. After all, you need to attract the audience’s attention quickly and keep it throughout the entire presentation.
It goes without saying that the pitch deck should be absolutely flawless. No investor in the future will need a reckless way of working right from the first presentation.
With a well thought out pitch deck you have already laid an enormously important foundation. But if you have to present the pitch deck live, it should be well planned and rehearsed. Because a bad presentation will not give you much credibility. The goal is to present yourself and the team as a competent business.
Think especially of the first slide, which should convey your business idea impressively and captivatingly in the shortest possible time. If you have managed to convince in the first seconds, an important building block for the following presentation has been laid.
Don’t just read out your slides. We did not emotionally read out key points in primary school. As a business owner, you can show a little more professionalism. The lecture should also be well practiced so as not to degenerate into digressions and unnecessary information.
Pitch Deck vs. Business Plan?
What is the big difference between a classic business plan and a pitch deck and which one should you choose? Actually, this is not about “either, or”. You will need both, only for different purposes. The business plan includes a much more detailed description of the company and is therefore much more comprehensive. In general, you should only send a business plan if the investor explicitly requests it, but never as a first presentation.
Here are the most important differences:
Send to or present in front of investors; usually first time presentation
When explicitly asked for it
Detailed and lengthy company description
A pitch deck is an absolutely indispensable tool to convince investors in 10-20 slides. Pay attention to an appealing format, as well as short and precise key points of the most relevant information that will be packed into a story. With these tips you will be able to gain the attention and favour of the audience. Do you need a little help or inspiration? Then feel free to contact us.