As an entrepreneur, you’ll likely need to create a pitch deck at one point in your career. Pitch decks are brief, visual presentations that help others, namely investors, learn more about your business.
Creating a pitch deck is a great exercise in learning to summarize the key points of your business concisely, but it is also one of many steps in securing funding from the right investors or finding the perfect business partner. You should always have an adaptable pitch deck ready to go, especially during the funding phases.
How Long Should Your Pitch Deck Be?
Your pitch may be 10-20 slides, depending on the size and complexity of your business. Any more and you’ll lose your audience’s interest. Stick to the meat and potatoes of your business rather than try to fit every detail in.
What Tools Can You Use?
There are many free tools out there that can be used to make visually appealing pitch decks. PowerPoint, Keynote, and Prezi are great options. We are fans of Canva, which is intuitive to use and has great design templates ready to go. For a professionally-made, stress-free pitch deck, you could commission a marketing or writing firm to create one for you.
To really impress your audience, make sure your pitch is eye-catching, easy to read, and branded with your logo, colours, and fonts.
What Information Should You Include?
There is no single way to structure a pitch deck, but including some of these key topics can help you get started:
- What consumer problem have you identified? What gap in the market are you addressing? Use credible market research to back up your claims. You want to educate and assure your audience that this problem exists and relates to many people.
- How does your business address the problem you outlined? Is it timely? Is it achievable? How is your solution unique?
- Product or Service
- Explain your product or service. How does it work? What value does it provide its consumers?
- Business Model
- Describe how your business makes money. What are your key activities? Where and how do you source your materials? Where and how do you draw in your customers? How are sales made? Is this model profitable? How so?
- Market Size and Opportunity
- What is the size of your target market? Is it expected to grow? To back up your claims, use credible research and a bottom-up market size approach.
- Competition (SWOT Analysis)
- Acknowledge your competitors and compare them against your business. Use a SWOT analysis to clearly organize your ideas.
- Competitive Advantage
- What makes your business better than the rest? What unique value do you provide?
- Company History and Milestones
- Highlight your key achievements and steps taken. How many paying customers do you have? How much is your monthly or annual revenue? How much funding have you raised? Use numbers and statistics to bolster your track record.
- Financials or Investing
- This is the most important slide for many investors. Aim for 2-3 years of projections. You may want to mention how much capital you intend to raise and how that investment would impact your business. Keep this slide sweet and short and save a more detailed financial breakdown for later.
- Leadership Team
- Who are the key members of your team? What major relevant accomplishments have they achieved? What education, experience, and credentials do they have?
- Contact Information
- Include your contact details and your business’ social media links, especially if you have a robust online presence.
What Else Should You Do?
Ensure your pitch is clean and organized by keeping the following tips in mind:
- Limit your ideas to one per slide. Don’t cram too much information into one slide.
- Don’t neglect visuals. Sometimes pictures communicate more than words, and they are often more engaging too.
- Be consistent. Ensure your fonts, colour scheme, text size, and bullet points are the same throughout.
- Include statistics, facts, and numbers that show you’ve done your homework and know your business. Balance these numbers out with storytelling techniques so that your presentation is both informative and interesting.
- Be concise. You don’t want to bore your audience. Ensure you stick to the time limit and finish strong while you still have their attention.