We live in a time of the three “S”: speed, success and “showmanship”. Each new product or service should contain a mixture of these elements. The competition is not sleeping, so a new venture that wants to conquer the market must arrive as soon as possible. For this to be possible, however, its creator must prove the usefulness of his or her work, showing an unbelievable prowess. If he is looking for financing, the investor will be the first audience to know the new solution. And here is where the pitch deck comes into play.
Why do you need a pitch deck?
The most common reason why startups fail is money (or rather lack of it). A decent injection of cash can protect your project from a total disaster at the start. So you need someone who will take the risk and help you to have a good start – someone who will buy your idea before it even comes into effect.
What should your pitch deck be like? The easiest way to put it would be to put it in three words: convincing, legible, and easy to present to potential investors. It is worth remembering that an entrepreneur usually takes about four minutes to review the presentation sent to him. You have exactly enough time to make an impression on him. So, coming back to the three key words, each slide should be understandable and catch the investor’s attention before he leaps to the next one. And one more thing: try not to go beyond ten slides.
Slide 1 – Your vision
Curtain up! The first slide is like the headline of a new, hit series – it should be impressive and promise a good plot development. It is good if it will fit into a concise presentation of the product and the values it is supposed to carry. The name and logo of the company and the product itself must not be missing. Do you remember the headline of “The Game of Thrones” and the impression it made on the international audience? This should be your first slide!
If you manage to accurately describe the product on it with less than two hundred characters, you won.
Slide 2 – The problem you are responding to
If the first slide was the lead of the series, then the second slide should introduce the series to its world. Here, as in a good thriller, there appears a villain, a problem to which only the positive hero of the story can answer – your product. Remember that the more likely the situation is, the easier investors will be able to relate to it.
So what should be the problem? Certainly global, acute and difficult to avoid. Your product, like Captain America in Marvel films, is supposed to be a cure for all evil.
Slide 3 – You define the target group
Here you determine the size of your group of customers and the market on which your product will operate and the position of your company in the industry. Try not to exaggerate – provide the most precise data. If at this stage you manage to convince the investor, the rest of the slides can only be a formality.
Slide 4 – You solve the problem
At this stage you present a solution to the problem signaled on the second slide, thus revealing the specificity of the product to the audience. Briefly recall what the problem was about and then illustrate how you want to answer it. Take advantage of storytelling. Present the problem and its negative impact on the market, and then introduce a superhero – your product – to the stage. Make your potential investors participate in this story – let them feel that the problem you have signaled concerns them too, so they need your solution.
Slide 5 – You present the business model
It won’t do any good to present your product if you don’t explain how it will earn money. Your future investor should find out exactly what the user is paying for and whether it is a premium offer or an economic option – better than the current ones.
Slide 6 – You use Vox Populi
Most investors will not put a penny in the solution that is only a story. That is why it is worth to present an early version of the product to a selected group of users and collect their opinions. Use the power of MVP (Minimal Viable Product) and prove that you are not only creating a beautiful fantasy.
On the slide show the strongest points of the product and its further development.
Slide 7 – Presentation of the marketing strategy
The seventh slide is a place to present marketing tactics that you are going to use to make your product anchored in mass consciousness. Present the promotion and sales channels you intend to use. Try to surprise a potential investor with a strategy he has never heard of before. It’s worthwhile to have a good head start, consult with your marketing sharks’ friends, reach out to international sources and launch your creativity!
Slide 8 – You Introduce your team
We’re going back to the money. The ninth and penultimate point is profit estimation and sales forecasts. Here are the charts and statistics. Do not be afraid to talk about losses and always be realistic. Remember that the investor is not a rookie.
Slide 9 – You forecast profits (and talk about losses)
We go back to money. The ninth and penultimate point is the profit estimation and sales forecasts. This is where charts and statistics come in. Don’t be afraid to talk about your losses and always be realistic. Remember that the investor is not a rookie.
Slide 10 – Gather everything in one place
The last slide is a great, brilliant summary. It’s absolutely the last chance to seal your chance to co-finance the project. Create a concise synthesis of the presentation and convince (even an already convinced) businessman that the solution presented by you is an absolute bull’s eye.
Show the investor how you will use his funds and how they will support the work on the final version of the product.
Pitch Deck – strength is in the team
As we mentioned, the pitch deck is teamwork in which both the originator and the person dealing with organizational issues and graphics take part. It is worth to spend even a few weeks on preparing the presentation, many times making sure that the effect of the project is at least satisfactory. Motivate the team to look for holes and inaccuracies, think about the questions and doubts that may arise from the potential investor. When creating a pitch deck, do not forget about balanced figures (no exaggeration in either direction). Try to surprise the “audience” – both in content and form. Remember that this is your concert.