How to make your pitch deck effective?

Shivangi

Shivangi

There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.”

Powerful words by American author and marketing monarch Seth Godin sum up what keeps the world on its toes.

A brilliant plan to get your business to life might hit you while strolling around your favorite park, driving home from work, or when enjoying a cup of coffee with your friends, but every time you think of formulating the strategy – let’s keep it for tomorrow.

Excuses?

Writing’s not that easy! What if my investors do not like the idea?

“The secret to selling great work is to sell the idea of the work before you sell the work.”

Peter Coughter

Building an effective pitch deck can be nerve-wracking but good stories have no alternatives. A quick overview of what makes you stand out can hold the audiences’ attention long enough to explain what you plan to do and why it might be a worthy investment.

Before getting into what would make your work great, let’s see what a pitch deck means

WHAT IS A PITCH DECK?

Put simply, a pitch deck is nothing but a presentation of who and what your business is. If you are a startup, the deck summarizes your startup – ideas, product, market size, potential customers, competition, what gives you the edge, your strengths, shortcomings, and what you plan to bring to the table.

So, what makes your idea the prima donna? The 4 As of advertisement, action, authenticity, and accomplishment.

WeWork company overview
A sample of WeWork’s pitch deck

HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL PITCH DECK?

THE 4 As

Advertisement:

Have a story that can get the crowd engaged? Now is the time to market your ideas and get your investors curious. What your company does or which industry is your area of focus is also a place for you to showcase what makes you different – not for the sake of the word, but in real terms. Including a tagline about your work can do wonders to spark interest.

picture showing Airbnb tagline
Airbnb pitch deck tagline: Book rooms with locals rather than hotels

Action:

This is where the actual story begins – the market contributions of your business, the people behind the scenes (your team), how you plan to generate revenue, ways to customer acquisition, who are your potential competitors, and how your magic works past them all.

crema's pitch deck example
Crema pitch deck showing how the brand works and the founding faces

Authenticity:

The most important A of anything that you are into. If your words and action are not backed by remaining true to your principles, that’s the end of your dreams. Authenticity can not just win over potential funders but also customers whose faith and goodwill would make you a long-runner. Make sure to be open to questions because that is an important step towards gaining investor confidence.

image showing Buzzfeed's company mission

BuzzFeed pitch deck with authentic information on the company’s mission and vision

Accomplishment:

You aren’t here to just talk the talk and here’s where you put all doubts at rest. This is not just your contribution to the industry in the form of sales or profits but a place to show what lies beyond – how you are as an employer (yes, employee feedback one-liners), profits that aren’t infused back into your business but for a cause (donations) and promise towards the planet you call home (how sustainable your produce is).

image showing tiktok's daily users and time spent on the app
TikTok pitch deck on its user base and time spent on the app

The next question on your mind might be how to structure the pitch. Don’t worry, we got you covered!

HOW SHOULD A PITCH DECK BE STRUCTURED?

Want to know a secret?

Structuring a pitch is the easiest if you are following the 4 As.

Makes you think how doesn’t it?

That is exactly your best pitch deck. Begin with advertising on who you are and what you do, describe your actions, assert your authenticity and accomplishments, and there you have it- a clear, crisp, and concise concept for your investors to consider.

However, we present you with some useful hacks that make your idea push through the crowd.

FOCUS ON THE DESIGN

Think of it like this – you visit a book fair oblivious to the authors whose works are on display. What is the first thing that attracts you? The cover, exactly! No matter how promising or hard-working you are or whatever your revenue is, if your presentation does not have the right design. Studies have pointed out how changes in color, style, and font dramatically affect audiences’ opinions and understanding of a subject. Creativity knows no limits and making effective use of that should be the plan.

Tip: Don’t go overboard with designing. Keep it crisp yet attractive.

image showing facebook paid ads design
Facebook paid ads pitch deck with minimalist yet effective designing

WHAT’S YOUR COLOR PALETTE?

Confused about what colors to stick to for your presentation? Adobe Color Wheel can put your doubts to rest. Upload your company logo and a few relevant photographs to get a color code that’s consistent with your brand.

image showing aspire food groups target market and opportunities
Aspire Food Group pitch deck with colors that represent its recycling targets

CONTACT PAGE: THE CRUCIAL PLAYER

This is an important essential of your pitch deck. The most common mistake startups engage in is leaving out on the contact page while being too preoccupied with putting forward their ideas. Your pitch is not complete unless you leave an option for potential investors to reach out in case of doubts or queries.

image showing abc investment's contact page
ABC investments pitch deck contact page

PRACTISE, PRACTISE AND PRACTISE

Before the D-day, try using different presentation styles and see what suits your brand the most. Polish your skills and get your friends as the critic. Keep those nerves away and make your idea shine!

Oh, wait! What can make your pitch deck stand out? Stick to the golden rule!

HOW LONG SHOULD YOUR PITCH DECK BE?

Marketing specialist and author Guy Takeo Kawasaki points out the importance to follow the 10/20/30 rule while writing a fabulous pitch deck – keep it 10 slides lasting not more than 20 minutes with no font smaller than 30 points.

A human being’s attention span is no better than a minute long per new idea and comprehending more than 10 concepts, is highly impossible at one go.

The reason to keep 30 points is to keep the audience in sync with the presenter. If they can read before you do while presenting, they lose interest in listening to what you have to say.

WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PITCH DECK

Here comes the note-worthy point. Till now, it was only about how to convince your investors of ideas that excite you but how much of it should you give off while presenting your plan? Exactly the right amount. Avoid claims and aspirations that are improbable for you to achieve. Keep it practical. Always!

7 common mistakes to avoid while writing a pitch

  • Ignoring the standard pitch deck format

An ideal pitch should begin with describing the company overview, what you do as a business, your vision, people who are a part of your team, product, customers, market contributions, competitors, strengths, and weaknesses, market model, your prospects, and what you’re looking for. Messing up the order makes the investor lose interest and think you aren’t meticulous enough.

  • Not highlighting all the strengths and weaknesses of the company

The key point to success is to draw attention to everything you have achieved as a brand – sales, customer base, partners, collaborations, press covers, etc alongside the slips you’ve had. Holding out your weaknesses and how you resolved challenges faced alongside strengths will help investor confidence.

  • Projecting you don’t face competition

The most likely mistake a startup pitch makes! Stating that you don’t face any competition would appear unrealistic and make the potential funder lose interest in your ideas. There must be some form of competition and showcasing your ability to realize that and ways to surpass them would make you cut that edge.

  • Making a random layout

Another familiar error most beginners tend to commit is not sticking to the brand color palette. Over-the-top designs or bare minimal designs, use of too many/too little colors, and improper use of images are some of the biggest turn-off factors while writing a pitch.

  • Not elaborating enough on market prospects

Where do you see your brand in 5 years? What are your plans for publicizing? How you plan to get ahead of the market, forms the core of your pitch. If there aren’t enough details on these, your ideas have a high probability of being looked over.

  • Surpassing the 10/20/30 rule

If your pitch is too long or too short, it is unlikely to get ahead of the pool. Long paragraphs or points that are too short and vague would be overlooked and might make you end up in the list of omissions rather. An ideal pitch should have 10 slides, be presented for no longer than 20 mins with a maximum of 30 points.

  • Inadequate explanation of how funds are to be utilized

Investors must be convinced of efficient utilization of their resources and therefore, this is should be an important point in your deck. Insufficient accountability of how the money is put to something with great market prospects might make potential interests skeptical and back out.

WHAT CAN MAKE YOUR PITCH DECK BETTER?

5 helpful tips to improve your pitch

  • Read up existing successful pitches

You’ve written a pitch deck before that did not make the cut. Where did you go wrong and how can you improve? The one-stop solution? Reading what’s on the internet.

Analysis of the ones by some of the most prominent market names such as Airbnb, Facebook, and Buzzfeed can help you understand the intricate details on how to effectively present your work.

YouTube Pitch Deck (sample)

Tutorials by channels like Piktochart, Venngage can sharpen your understanding.

  • Know your audience

Like your investors might be interested in who you are, a little information about what kind of pitches they’ve approved, companies they have invested in, the background of those companies, and what are their general interests might be useful in your pitch presentation.

  • Impressive visuals

A minimalist yet attractive design will attract investors’ attention more than too colorful or monochromatic presentations. The layout is an important aspect of a powerful presentation and getting the right one will get you the cake!

  • Focus on what makes you stand out

Invest in ideas that give your brand a competitive advantage over the block. For example, if you make sustainability your key area, a promise to reduce production-related carbon emission must be on your prospects. This will give your audience an idea of how promising your work is.

  • Be open to questions

Every good presentation has scope for addressing queries of the audience and this shows the pitcher’s confidence in their ideas. Include this option under the contact us page in your deck and make sure to be responsive within 24 hours.

Want to build the best pitch deck?

Connect with our experts at https://designeverything.xyz/. WhatsApp/drop us an email and get started with insider tidbits on the type of pitch that can make your brand shine.

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