The Art of Pitch Decks: 5 Tips for Success

Aaron Vick - Art of the Pitch Deck

Aaron Vick - Art of the Pitch Deck

Creating and presenting pitch decks is an art that takes some specific skills. Here are 5 tips that will help you make a great impression on investors.

In 2015, venture capitalists invested over 128 billion dollars in companies. While dollars invested by firms vary from year to year, this figure proves that there’s no shortage of people out there willing to fund a great idea.

If you’re starting a new business and you’ve managed to get yourself an “in” with an investment firm, kudos to you. Now the real work begins.

When trying to secure an investment, small companies use pitch decks to sell investors on their ideas. Pitch decks are a series of slides that communicate the value of one’s company in the hopes of bringing investors on board.

But how do you go about making a pitch deck?

While pitch deck can vary based on their purpose, here are some core qualities successful decks have in common.

Top 5 Tips All Pitch Decks Should Incorporate

1) The Goods

When I say the goods, I mean key facts and figures that communicate your business’s value.

When crafting your pitch deck, look to answer these key questions:

What’s Your Company’s Mission and Why Did You Embark on It?

Defining your company’s mission is important. It communicates your core goal to investors and puts other facts and figures presented in your deck into context. Answering this question also gives you an opportunity to share you and other key team member’s stories.

Remember, when people are investing in your business, they’re really investing in you. Communicate the inception story of your company in a way that makes you shine as a passionate, intelligent person that people want to be in business with.

What’s the Problem Your Company Solves and How Does It Solve It?

You’ll probably touch on this in your mission statement. Still, devoting a small section of your deck to outlining the problem your products and services fix and how is important to letting investors better understand your value.

Any relevant statistics and figures you can share that can help investors understand how you’re going to make money will help you secure your investment.

Why Does Your Business Matter Now?

Showcasing a problem and how you can solve it is one thing. Letting people know that there’s no better time than the present to solve those problems really instills in them an urgency that can get you an investment.

Investors are pitched by thousands of companies each year and only have the resources to invest in a small amount of them. Why is it that they should choose your company over another promising one?

Letting investors know in your pitch deck that the window of opportunity may close if they don’t help you get to market quickly may help them prioritize your ideas.

Who Is Your Customer?

If the problem you’re solving effects a large portion of the population that has lots of disposable income, your investors need to know that. Communicating your business’s customers and their purchasing habits will help investors buy into the financial trajectory you envision for your company.

2) Keep Your Deck Tight and Front Load the Good Stuff

Most investors spend under 4 minutes looking at a pitch deck. Knowing that your aim should be to communicate the most eye-catching facts and figures early to help encourage delving deeper into your pitch material.

To accomplish this, first, know that your deck should not exceed 20 minutes of presentation time. You can determine this by reading through your deck out loud at a normal pace and timing yourself.

After ensuring your deck as a whole isn’t too long, you should then have a colleague or friend spend 4 minutes reading your deck. After 4 minutes stop them and ask for feedback.

Were they intrigued? Are they able to answer core questions about your company?

If you feel that they aren’t enthusiastic or are lacking important information, restructure your deck.

3) Get Visual

A picture is worth 1000 words which is why the internet has exploded with the sharing of visual media.

If you can communicate facts and figures by using visual elements in your pitch deck, do it. Visuals can increase retention rates and expand the amount of time an investor will spend looking through your deck.

A word of caution, some people go overboard with visuals. Be sure that the bells and whistles you incorporate into your pitch deck serve to support your message as oppose to distracting from it.

Creativity is good but clarity is king.

4) Know Your Competition and Why You’re Better

A good pitch deck shouldn’t glaze over competitors in your space. You should be confident enough in your products/services to call your competitors out and let investors know why you’re poised to beat them.

This is a great area to pack an emotional punch by putting investors in the shoes of your customers.

Where are your customers going now to solve their problem? How is that solution inadequate? How are you going to better solve your customer’s problem and improve the quality of their life?

If you can get your investors to feel the value you’ll give customers over your competition, you’ll get their attention.

5) Tell a Story

At the end of the day, a pitch deck is a story. Like any story, there are a lot of different angles you can tell it from.

Picking the best angle comes down to knowing your audience and what’s important to them. If the people you’re pitching are all about the numbers, lean on that in your deck. If they’re more people-oriented, talk about you, your customers, and the connection you have.

At the end of the day, your deck should incorporate different elements that build on each other to create compelling reading material.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking to raise money from investors, you’re going to need a pitch deck. A pitch deck will communicate your business’ value and why investors should get on board.

While the contents of pitch decks vary, communicating key business information, talking about your customer and making sure everything fits together into a concise story will help you attract an investment.

If you’re looking for personalized advice on how to craft the perfect pitch and grow your small business, the tools I offer through can help.

Contact me now to take advantage of my business consulting services today. For more general information on business, read more on my blog.