Understanding what is a pitch deck, let alone creating one, can be intimidating. There’s no way around that simple fact. If you’re like me and have never formally studied finance or accounting, understanding all those pie charts and graphs can be confusing as hell. That said, they shouldn’t be immediately cast aside! Pitch decks are great learning tools if we open our minds to them, especially those who may not know how to put one together (e.g., millennials).
This article breaks down 10 ways to make your pitch deck more effective. Check out the tips below:
1. Use A1-Pager for Your Deck.
It’s simple: the more pages you add, the fewer people will actually read it. Keep it to one page, and make sure that page is packed with content! No room for fluff.
2. Be Specific and Precise.
When it comes to presentation, don’t beat around the bush. Market research can be helpful here in determining what all those vague terms mean to potential investors. For example, if you’re pitching a product, provide data on how market penetration has grown during each stage of development (alpha, beta). Show how many customers are using your product for free but still paying for premium features, or show how many would be willing to use your service if a price was attached.
3. Break Down Your Business Plan.
Regardless of how you pitch it, a full and successful plan will always be lengthy. The best pitch decks are broken down into digestible chunks. Like an executive summary (usually 1-3 sentences) to catch the reader’s attention, then use subheads that stand alone to summarize each subtopic.
4. Personalize Your Deck.
Between your name, title, image, and whatnot – stay away from stock images! Anything personalizes your content. If you’re shy about attaching actual work samples, just adjust the size, so they appear smaller but are still legible. There are plenty of pitch deck examples online to be inspired with if you need inspiration.
5. Include Clickable Links.
Especially with investor pitch decks, references and supporting information are crucial. Therefore, ensure that you include relevant links. Instead of including URLs or hyperlinks in footnotes or margins, include them in the text using anchor tags within <a></a>.
6. Add an Appendix.
This is usually where you’ll put detailed information like financials, market analysis, and management bios. But I’d avoid putting that into the main deck. Investors want to see how you plan on moving the company forward, not look at your detailed business plan for the next 10 years. So instead, keep it focused on what matters most: why they should invest.
7. Implement Images Effectively.
Illustrations are excellent because they break up text and draw attention to important information (i.e., Pie charts work well here). Don’t overdo it, though; illustrations can be distracting if too many of them are misused.
8. Know How Long It Will Take for Investors to Read Your Deck.
Be sure to estimate the time and determine how much your real investors will spend reviewing it. For example, if you’re looking for a $25k investment, ensure that their review clock is not set on 4 hours per slide. Take this into consideration before making your pitch deck design, as well as where they’ll be viewing it (i.e., desktop or mobile).
9. Use Wording As Tools.
“If we reach our goal of $X, we can purchase Y,” “We can make Z happen if we raise X amount.” The more specific the language, the better: keep every sentence straight to the point and avoid flowery metaphors and justifications. It’s easier than you think!
10. Don’t Underestimate Visuals.
People respond better to images than they do to text. Therefore, if you want your deck to be visually appealing, it must look good. Keeping the same color palette with a simple layout is key for information not to get lost in translation.
Bonus Tip: Use Venngage.
Venngage is great for just about everything! It’s easy to use. Plus, it has tons of pitch deck templates that can fit your business or idea without much effort. You can generate ideas, save them as drafts and then come back the next day to polish. It’s like having a personal assistant without breaking your budget.
Remember, your pitch deck is not a full-fledged business plan, and it doesn’t need to be! If you’re looking to raise money, keep it concise and engaging – while staying true to who you are as a company. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism; if you’re pitching to potential investors, that, more than likely, has done it before (and better).
Just don’t let these tips overcomplicate things! A great pitch deck doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy. Its sole purpose is to impact investors and keep them interested until the end. I learned how to put together a great deck by studying other companies’ decks, learning from their strengths and weaknesses. Start putting together your best pitch and try Venngage today!