December 31, 2020 - Roshni Shamim
For an early-stage entrepreneur, your pitch deck can help you secure meetings with potential investors and could be the difference between walking out of the meeting with funding or just a mere handshake. One of the most critical tasks start-ups face is creating a stellar pitch deck that explains the business, the people behind it, and their revenue generating plan. Here are things to consider when designing a pitch deck.
1. Know your audience: Do some background research on potential investors and try to get an understanding of their interest in terms of investment. Make sure that the audience you are pitching to is right for your business.
2. Focus on your message: Most people from your audience will probably remember two to three key points of your presentation, especially if you are in a competition. You need to make sure that the audience has one clear message, a one-sentence take-away from your presentation. Your message should include the problem you are addressing and the solution your business is offering.
3. Give appropriate information to the audience: Once you know your audience, devote time in providing the right information to them. What your investors want to know might be very different from what your targeted client base might want to know.
To help your audience understand your business better, include the following:
The market: Give your audience an idea about the size and appeal of the market you are targeting. Additionally, shed some light on the Total Addressable Market and how much of it you believe you can capture.
The competition: Common mistakes founders make is thinking that they don’t have any competition, especially when they are the first-movers. You need to clearly state where you are positioned in the competitive landscape and what makes your solution unique in terms of competitive advantage.
Business model: Explain how you are planning to generate money from this and identify key revenue me streams. Make sure it seems realistic to the audience and try to show it in the simplest form. Investors try to assess whether your business idea is viable and will be scalable in the long run.
The financials: Explain how much it is all going to cost. Include major expenditure and revenue projections. If you have managed some funding already, then put it in there.
The milestones and ask from investors: Include prior evidence of growth or traction along with milestones you hope to achieve with funding from investors. Timelines are a very useful way of exhibiting tractions, spendings, and milestones.
Finally, clearly state how much money you need and how you are planning to spend them.
The team: Introduce your team and explain what they bring to the table. Try to showcase that they have relevant experience and skills for this business. Involving your team in the presentation will show people that you are not only a talented founder but also a great leader who can bring the best in people.
4. Keep it simple and get straight to the point: If your presentation is filled with too much information, your audience is likely to get overwhelmed and not pay attention to your words. Get straight to the point. Don’t make your audience wait till you are halfway in to get an idea about your business.
5. Capture attention with compelling visuals: Relevant pictures, infographics, and other visuals can retain your audience’s attention over time and help create a storyline. They will also help you establish your brand image and product positioning.
6. Don’t make your presentation too text heavy: Use charts, graphs, and figures to illustrate your point, rather than just forcing your audience to read through your slides. Always convert your pitch deck to a PDF format so that you don’t lose the text fonts or formatting. There are a lot of free templates available on the internet, so make the most out of them.