Are you making your own pitch deck? Read this blog for our top tips on how to make an engaging deck.
A pitch deck is your chance to grab an investors attention and convince them to find out more about your business. With on average only 3 minutes and 30 seconds to make an impression, how do you hook an investor in? What do you need to cover to leave an investor wanting to know more, without overwhelming them with every single detail about your business? A difficult balancing act to get right, here are our top tips to help you make an engaging and effective pitch deck.
With a lot to cover in a short space, the three key questions your deck should answer are: what is your business, how does it work, and why does it work. To answer these three questions, the areas you need to cover are: the problem, the solution, you and your team, the competition, and possibilities for growth.
- A good way to start your pitch deck is with a key phrase or snappy one sentence summary. This will set the scene for all the information to follow and create a sense of curiosity and intrigue. For example, opening the deck with, “a profitable green tech company making biofuels for airplanes” sets up the rest of the pitch. It leaves the reader wanting to know where they can find out about the profits, the tech behind the biofuels, and the current flight companies using the fuel.
- Before demonstrating what your solution is and why it is necessary, it is crucial to outline what the problem you are solving is and the scale of the issue. This doesn’t have to be a long, complicated explanation, but can be summed up in a few sentences and in one slide. Using accurate figures helps to give context and demonstrate that you know the market.
- Once you have set out the problem, you can explain how you are solving it. As well as wanting to know how your product or service works, investors want to see proof of concept. You may think the idea is great, but does anyone else? Have you secured any customers or users? Have you won any awards or grants? If the explanation is complicated, then using real-life client examples is a useful way to simplify it and bring your product to life. To return to the biofuel, you could give a case-study of the biofuel being used by an airplane manufacturer and the knock on efforts on their profits, emissions and public profile.
- Closely related to the solution, is the competition and possibilities for growth. Whilst having competition is inevitable, investors want to know that your competitors won’t soon make you obsolete - what is that makes you different? They also want to see how you plan on scaling your business as ultimately that will affect their profits.
- It is not only the idea that investors are interested in, but they want to know who you and your team are. It is crucial to make clear why you and your team are the right people to build this business - what is your experience and expertise in the sector? Does your team possess the relevant skills: for example, if you are creating an app, who is building the software and what are their credentials; if you are in the medical sector, who has this knowledge and contact database.
- After you have demonstrated all of this, don’t forget to state what you want. Investors want to know what you are asking for and what they will get in return.
Finally, at SeedTribe, the startups we support marry profit with purpose. Both of these areas are, for us, of equal value. We want to know that your business is addressing one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals but also that there is a sound business model in place. So our final tip would be to make sure you address both these factors, and don’t get bogged down in explaining your mission at the expense of explaining your profitability.
Hopefully these tips will help you as you create your deck. However, it is worth remembering that there is no silver bullet or one-size-fits all blueprint: decks will vary depending on the stage of business and the type of business.
Once you have created a pitch deck, apply to be listed on SeedTribe.