Entrepreneurs out to know how to pitch their businesses. The information in a pitch deck can be useful when you finally choose to seek investment. You may be asking yourself — what is a pitch deck? This is a presentation that helps potential investors and venture capitalists learn more about your business.
Understand that generating a successful pitch begins with having a thorough business plan. You can identify those elements that make your venture valuable and worth investor funding from the plan.
One challenging thing about pitching your business is that you often have limited time and space to cover the most important details. Since the future of your startup depends on your presentation, you need to research widely and create exceptional content.
Each slide in your deck should be carefully thought out and immaculately designed. Here are a few insights on how to write a pitch deck for your startup or small team.
Use the 10/20/30 Rule of Presentation
It is important to reiterate that presentations are crucial components of a team’s workflow. Whether intended for internal communication, reporting, or startup pitches, they help keep small teams on the same page. While collaboration in small teams is important for creating presentations, having too many people working on tasks can be confusing.
Having rules and guidelines for your pitch deck design ensures that all decks for your startup or small team are created professionally and consistently. One of the most popular rules for creating pitch decks is the 10/20/30 guideline formulated by Guy Kawasaki.
To save audiences from boring presentations, Kawasaki invented the rule that a good presentation should comprise ten slides. These should be covered in no more than twenty minutes and should use a font not smaller than thirty points.
The rule ensures that startups and small teams create legible, concise, interesting, and retainable presentations. The rule of ten slides is particularly important for pitches because less is always more. You shouldn’t expect your audience to understand or even recall content delivered in more than ten slides. Each of your slides should contain one main message, which must be apparent to all audience members.
Open Your Deck With an Elevator Pitch
In business presentations, an elevator pitch implies a concise and memorable description of your core functions or the products or services you wish to sell. The objective of the elevator pitch slide is to earn a second conversation with your audience.
Remember, the goal of your opening is not to close a deal. Rather, it is a chance to capture the interest of your audience and encourage them to give you more of their time and attention. It should entail a brief introduction to your company and how your product solves a problem. In your first slide, present one or two sentences that summarize precisely what your startup is trying to accomplish.
Include a Demo in Your Presentation
Effective presentations contain demo presentations. These are visual demonstrations of the service or product offered to current or prospective customers. Having a great demo as part of your presentation captures your audience’s attention from the onset. It communicates what the investors care about through the use of dependable and high-quality visual presentation tools.
Your investors and venture capitalists will likely want to see your idea or product in action. While having screenshots and pictures help your slide deck for investors, having a demo is even better. Experts recommend avoiding including videos in presentations as they can introduce technical problems.
Choose a Good Presentation Software
One of the most important elements of a successful presentation is choosing the right software. In addition to finding the right application, you also need to know how to use it for optimal results best.
When choosing your presentation software, consider the types of presentation. Your presentation can either be non-linear or linear. Slideware software like PowerPoint and Google Slides uses linear flow to generate a presentation. The other option is to use canvas-based software like Prezi, which increases the analytical value of the information presented.
Some of the basic features to look out for in a presentation software include:
- Help features — Make designing your deck easier as you are less likely to run into challenges;
- Search tools — Help users to perform searches and locate valuable information;
- Possibility of real-time co-authoring — This allows you to share your slides with other members of the team;
- Transition features — Transitions help you capture and maintain the attention of your audience;
- Cost of using the software — Does the price of using the software align with your budget;
You also need to consider how user-friendly the software is and whether it allows embedding content. For instance, does the software allow users to add audio, video, or animated content to their presentations?
Know the Why of Your Business
When creating a presentation, it is important to highlight the gap or problem your product or service seeks to resolve. Whether the goal of your presentation is to pitch to investors or develop a business strategy within a small team, knowing the why of your business is crucial. Plus, it is always wise to begin with a story before even thinking about creating a startup deck.
You need to connect your audience with the needs of your intended clients. After that, focus your subsequent slides on providing a solution to the problem. How did you develop the solution? You also need to show how you designed your product or service to generate revenue continuously. This section of your pitch deck for investors should include graphs, pictures, screenshots, and other visual presentations.
In essence, presentations are crucial for the success of any business venture. However, they are most crucial for startups and small teams as they serve as vessels for delivering information. For an entrepreneur, a presentation helps you secure funding while aligning your strategies and sharing wins.
The best presentation decks are created patiently and with careful research. You need to make good use of data visualization and talk about the market dynamics. Also, communicate and collaborate with other stakeholders in your team. Most importantly, talk about how you intend to make money. Practice your pitch multiple times before presenting it to your audience.