What is a Pitch Deck? Examples, Tips, and Templates
Businesses need adequate financing at every point in time for all their processes to run smoothly. However, most of the funding that a business needs to maximize its growth does not often come from business profits, personal coffers, or financial assistance from families and friends.
That is why you need to convey your ideas to potential sponsors. These sponsors or investors invest their money into your business with the expectation of a positive yield. The funding helps materialize whatever future business plans you have.
You will not get investors to put their money into your business if you do not have a solid business plan. Instead of just conveying your ideas in a drab manner; you have to convince financiers that your plans and projections are worth investing inside. Make them feel excited about the partnership.
There are several steps you need to take to get financiers to fund your business. All the steps and tips you need to know about creating a winning pitch deck will be discussed in this article. The pitch deck is the tool you use to capture the interest of potential investors.
In this article, you will learn everything about pitch deck from its definition to insightful pitch deck examples you can learn from. You will also learn about what is included in a pitch deck presentation, the do’s and don'ts of pitch decks, and how to create a pitch deck in three simple ways.
Let’s get started.
What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a concise presentation (in the form of slides) that business owners create to boost the growth of their establishments. It refers to a collection of slides to express an overview of business plans. The display gives clients a wrap-up of business plans, products and services, and operations.
Pitch deck, also known as investor pitch deck, helps prospective sponsors to learn more about your business. The presentation in slides makes it more fun, and the clients won't go through the stress of reading generic texts.
Many business owners or sales executives make the mistake of thinking that the primary goal of the pitch deck is to acquire finance. The primary goal is not to acquire finance but to intrigue them and make them fix a time for an official partnership meeting. Acquiring finance is the end goal.
Getting financing is not a one-step procedure. It involves a series of steps in which the pitch deck presentation is the first. Of course, you have to give valid reasons why the investors should entrust their money to your business.
The pitch deck presentation is an effective business communication tool for meetings with potential clients, sponsors, and investors. This way, you can have an audio-visual appointment, resulting in a better understanding of the motive with fewer talks.
You can either host your pitch deck presentations in a physical or virtual space. If you choose the virtual space, there are tons of conference call services and web and video conferencing platforms you can choose from. They include RingCentral, Zoom, Zoho Meeting, ClickMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Webex, and other RingCentral alternatives.
Slides are what help you convey the compelling story of your business to your clients or investors. You need to use slides to help you achieve the desired results. Software packages like PowerPoint, Visme, Keynote, Prezi can help you craft a convincing presentation.
To gain the attention of your target audience, you can design two different pitch decks. The first will contain more text. The second will concentrate on visuals. People are always attracted to visual information; this will enable them to focus more on what you have to offer.
What’s Included in a Pitch Deck Presentation?
The pitch deck is a conversion tool to get your business funded. However, the sad reality is that some companies can create a pitch deck presentation and still not get sponsors. Why?
For your pitch deck to have a high conversion rate, it must have the following qualities.
- Easy to implement
A good pitch deck must not have more than 19 slides. Apart from being a general rule of thumb for pitch deck presentations, having more than 19 slides can make your presentation boring and uneasy for investors to follow through.
However, there are good pitch deck presentations that have more than 19 slides. Ideally, you should work towards finding that sweet point slide length where you have enough space to drive interest in your idea and do not bore your audience.
The information in every slide must be compelling and contain no fluffs and fillers. Ensure the information is easy to act on when studied.
There are so many opinions on the internet and in the business world about what the ideal pitch deck must contain. Simply from looking at examples of successful startup pitch decks, it is easy to see patterns on what a successful pitch deck must absolutely contain.
Here are the 10 compulsory key slides that every business and organization should have in their pitch deck presentation, irrespective of their industry, target audience, or offer.
Let’s take a look at these 10 key slides in detail.
Slide 1: Introduction
The first slide of your pitch deck is the most crucial of all your slides. For a presentation to have a high conversion rate, there must be a brief intro at the beginning to hint at what the whole thing centers on.
This slide is a crucial one; it is what determines the state of mind of the client. Are they getting excited? Are they already fed up? Do they want to know more?
The introduction is your chance to give a great first impression. If you fail to do it right here, you can lose the investor. Prioritize making the first slide as powerful as possible. Many investors or financiers are impatient and use the first few slides to judge your business.
Ensure you keep the first slide or introduction slide short and sweet. It is the slide where you can tell people about who you are and the reason why you are here.
You can also use the introduction slide to communicate the value proposition of your business. Ideally, your value proposition should be a single phrase or sentence long.
Examples of the perfect business value proposition include:
“We Make Happy Meals for Infants.”
“The Smartest Way to Get Around” – Uber
“The Experience IS the Product” – Apple iPhone
“Be More Productive at Work with Less Effort” – Slack
When you use a good value proposition, your audience will be eager to listen to the rest of your presentation.
How to Make Your Introduction Catchy
- Make Your Introduction Simple, Short, and Engaging: The introduction slide is where you introduce yourself, your business, and the reason why you are talking to the audience. Don't say unnecessary things here because you will probably bore the reader and set a bad template for the rest of the presentation. Make sure your expressions are as simple as possible and avoid complex grammar. Of course, you won't have them look up the dictionary every minute to get your point. Make your tone conversational too.
- Briefly Talk about Your Business: Communicate what your business is about in simple sentences. Business owners feel they get sponsors interested by saying more than they should. The truth is that, at this stage, they want to get a glimpse of what you do. For instance, if you cook meals and deliver to the aged people, you can tell them, ‘We make meals and deliver fast to the aged in their homes.’ With that simple sentence, you have communicated that you can deliver meals as fast as possible to the aged (the ones that can't cook themselves) in homes.
- Propose the Value of Your Business. You can present your business with a high value by making a valid comparison with a popular company. For example, if you sell email marketing services for small businesses, you can make comparisons with established email marketing software services such as HubSpot, MailChimp, GetResponse, Convertkit, AWeber, and MailChimp alternatives.
- Provide Ways the Investors Can Reach Out. This vital point shows that you are anticipating a positive response after they go through the slides. Update your contact information, like your phone number and your email, so that investors can reach out and fix a meeting. If possible, give your phone number to build strong personal relationships.
At the end of your introduction, the audience should know:
- You and Your Business
- Your Mission
- Ways to Reach Out to You
Everything about your intro should be top-notch and quality. The texts should be well organized and clear, avoiding the use of complex grammars. If you have to introduce visuals at any point, it should be a high-resolution image. The logo of the company must be legible and presentable too.
Slide 2: The Problem
The purpose of meeting with your investors is to solve a problem that finance can solve. Why must a pitch deck have a problem slide?
Investors fund businesses because they see a problem and feel they can find a solution to it. Entrepreneurship, at large, is all about solving problems. It would help if you had your laid-out plans on dealing with the problem, and that is what you will display in your slides when meeting the sponsors.
If your super business idea does not solve any actual problem, your pitch deck presentation is going to be a huge disaster.
In the problem slide, you highlight the market's problems and the relevance of your solution to their welfare. You should do your market research to find out this problem or gap that your target audience faces and the market is not addressing.
A good problem slide will reflect two or three problems your audience faces that your product or service solves. It does this without being long and boring.
If your business idea does not solve the problem, then you should not source for funds yet. Financing can only work out when acted on good and yieldable plans. You should find a problem affecting your target audience, draft a strategy that can solve the problem, and make plans known to the financier.
A good problem slide will highlight numerous problems that your product can solve. Avoid being too verbose while explaining your offer. Ensure you keep your texts centered on the issues affecting your target audience. This way, the clients don't get confused while trying to understand your point.
The problem slide is to explain what, why, and how you and your team will achieve the results. The problem must be a pressing need that the market currently lacks the solution to draw their attention or an improvement on the existing solution.
For example, some older people can't run around the busy cities to get food to eat. Some are too old to get into the kitchen and prepare something to eat; others are even bedridden without any human help. As a catering establishment, that is a problem that you can identify and bring up ideas to solve.
One thing you should be very careful about is the length of the texts on each slide. Learn to convey your ideas with fewer words.
While introducing the problem slide, it is advisable to make your audience emotionally attached to your story. That emotional connection increases the flow from you, the speaker, to the audience. It makes the rest of the presentation relatable.
Ensure you do not let out the solution to the problem entirely in this slide. I will discuss that in the next slide.
Slide 3: The Solution
After going through the problem slide, there must be an agreement between you and your audience that there is a problem to solve. This slide is where you make known your solutions to the problem. Providing immediate solutions to the issue shows how prepared you are for the presentation.
While stating the solutions, explain the strategies you and your team will utilize in making the plan work. Convince them that their contribution will hasten the whole process and generate desired results with little time.
Try as much as possible to make your solutions realistic and achievable. If your solution is a concrete product, introduce it during the presentation, let them hold and feel it. Nothing drives home your point than a visible test or trial.
Make your solution slide as brief and straightforward as possible. Long texts bore readers, especially the ones you are trying to convince into buying your idea.
For instance, a solution to the scenario I painted in the previous slide is something like this: You are to convince the investors that delivering the food to them at their doorstep is one of the best ways to help. Tell them how you plan to partner with Uber and other logistic companies to provide the food as fast as possible when they make orders. Tell them how this can encourage longevity (by reducing the stress of running around to get food).
In this case, you highlighted a problem and provided an immediate solution. You are also able to show the importance of your offer to the target audience.
You can summarize your intentions in a sentence boldly written and identifiable. Then, you can go on with a detailed explanation (brief one).
A good way of convincing your clients to buy your idea is to provide numerous solutions to the problems. Pick the best option and state why you chose that option. It shows the client that you have done thorough market research, and you have the best solution to that problem.
Instead of hammering on the uniqueness of your solutions, describe the proficiency of what you have and why you believe it is the best thing to do. The truth is that almost all possible solutions to the problem have been heard before. What makes the difference is how you implement yours.
Avoid monopolizing the solutions you have. In essence, avoid the phrase ‘we are the only ones capable of doing this.’ The investors you are talking to have probably related with countless businesses before yours, which also offered similar solutions to the common problem.
Your goal is to show the unique steps in providing your solution and why yours is beyond normalcy.
Slide 4: The Market Size and Opportunity
The slide that comes after the solution slide is the market size slide. The market size of your establishment determines if you win the heart of your financiers. If the size of your market is small and there are no huge opportunities there, you will struggle to attract quality investors.
Many investors don't want to partner with small-scale businesses because they feel that their gain would be small and the risk too high for such a small return. The primary aim of getting funding from investors is to use their money to earn more. These potential investors want a business that can multiply their contributions 10x within a space of 6-7 years.
If the market size of your business is highly appreciable, it would interest investors to fund you. Do your research on the potential of market growth in your field and back it up with correct numbers where necessary.
A good market size slide will map out the market growth of the business over the years of operation. You can also hint at your business plans for the future and how you intend to achieve them.
Make your potential sponsors see the proficiency of your product. Like every human, investors are moved when there are testimonies to back up their plans and proposals. Show them how you have been able to grow your project over the years and how it has affected your market's growth.
A good market size slide will tell the investors that you are the person for the job. With a productive market size slide, you will show investors opportunities associated with the plans, the options you have made use of, and the ones you are utilizing at the moment.
If your business is a new one and you barely have data to create a market slide, it might be challenging to produce a reasonable market size slide; but there is a solution.
What you need to do is to study other businesses in your niche. Create analogies from their market and introduce your ideas alongside them.
An excellent example of a company that used this strategy is Uber. While creating a pitch deck, they illustrated the market size of their competitor, the taxi market. However, they introduced the service they wanted to render to the masses, which is slightly different from the ones in existence.
The strategy worked and Uber got investors which helped it with funds it used to become a worldwide brand. Today, Uber is dominating every other private establishment in the transportation sector.
Slide 5: The Product or Service
The product or service slide is where you show off the product you sell or the service you offer. This slide is similar to the solution slide.
In this slide, you take the extra step of talking about what will provide the solution to the foreseen problem. Some pitch decks combine the two (the solution and the product or service slide) in one or even talk about one and leave out the other to avoid repetition.
If it is a physical product, include beautiful and high-resolution images of your product in the slide. If it is a multi-functional product, you can upload different angles of the photos of your product, showing the functions.
For complex products that you can fully explain their function in a 3D display, you can highlight a cutaway view and explain the essential parts. If your product is an application or an online website with tools, you can add screenshots of the app's usage or the website. The screenshots can highlight the unique and outstanding features of the app.
For example, if your product is a website builder for small businesses like Wix and Squarespace, you can take screenshots of how it builds high-quality business websites.
If it is a domain registrar such as Bluehost, GoDaddy, SiteGround, and other Bluehost alternatives, you can repeat the same process as above. Take screenshots of how it provides quality web hosting services for users and include them in the product or service slide. These are brilliant examples of you showing what you have to offer.
Your presentation in this slide should show that your product is competitive enough to challenge the big leagues of your market. In essence, your slide should tell how your product works, how it looks, and the satisfaction attached to its use.
If it's a physical product, you can bring it to the presentation for the audience to feel it. For businesses that offer services, you can upload photos of your workers while at work. For instance, if you head a logistics company, you can upload photos of your riders making deliveries to your client's homes.
As an add-on, you can do a video of the Display the video on your slide. Don't make long videos; a maximum of 60 seconds length is okay. Remember that you are still trying to convince them to fund your business model.
Slide 6: Traction
Everything that has to do with financial investments needs assurance. Investors want to relax their minds that they are not losing their money to some random Ponzi scheme. One of the slides that help reinforce their confidence in your business model is the traction slide.
The traction slide is where you show the investors everything about the growth of your business over the years. It is also where you show evidence that your business will be more successful.
You would be dealing primarily with numbers in the traction slide. Let them know the number of sales you have made and how massive your profits have been on an annual basis.
Tell them about the minor and major goals you have achieved and the ones you plan to accomplish in the coming years. This information will convince the investors that they are on the right track. It will also help them decide to release their funds to be a part of the bigger picture.
Most business owners represent their numerical values on a chart. The chart enables them to display a lot with a small space. What they could have created a long table of numerous rows and columns for, can be done easily with a simple bar chart or histogram chart.
Clients can get a quicker grasp of the business or startup’s current achievements with charts as opposed to tables. Show the essential figures when creating the slide.
The traction slide is an important one to include in your pitch deck presentation. To the financiers, it reduces the doubts they have about your business. They want to see proof that your business is worth investing in. They want to see evidence that your business model canvas is highly profitable.
Be mindful of the texts on this slide, the use of numbers can be a trap to stuff your slide. Conciseness is vital irrespective of whatever you are presenting.
Investors and financiers want to see the assurance that they are getting a high return on investment.
Slide 7: The Team
The team slide is to introduce your team to the investors. A famous saying goes, ‘show me your friend, and I will tell you who you are'.
These financiers want to see the people you are working with. They want to know the drive of these people, their commitment, passion, and why they are essential to your business. The team slide builds confidence in your team members.
This slide will be a bit comprehensive because you will have to introduce each key member according to their roles. Under each member's identity, state the member's achievements, educational background, the quota he/she has contributed, the work experience, and the titles.
You can also explain why they are vital to your mission and business plans. Also, talk about their virtues and the positive effect on your business is essential.
Ensure the information about your team members is in short sentences. Don't elaborate unnecessarily. You are to attract your audience's attention, not tell them the life stories of people.
Keep the display cohesive, list according to the rankings from top to bottom. It makes the slide easy to comprehend. Highlight the specific thing (maybe the title) about a member in a conspicuous color.
Photos will make your slide enjoyable. Add the pictures of your members along with their descriptions. You can also categorize the illustrations based on department. It narrows down the search for a member on the slide.
If a client has to refer back to a member's description, he/she can go straight to the section the member is in, if they have been appropriately categorized. It will be better than running your eyes around a large screen looking for a name.
The descriptions on the slide should be limited to the core members only. Externals and advisors should be left out. The team slide can introduce a few things about the founders of the business and the common goals they share. Some financiers care to know how the whole thing started.
Slide 8: Competition
There is hardly a business without competitors or rivals. Whatever idea you have to solve a problem, other people also have that same idea to solve that same problem. Competition occurs when both businesses try to convince the same target audience to buy into their concept.
The competition slide is to show the clients who your current rivals in the game are. List all your competitors for the audience to know you have done good research on your part. Describe how good they are and what they don't handle well.
Tell them how the competitors have been performing over the years and why you are different from them. Inform them about what made your business grow so big to compete with your top rivals.
From your speculations, tell them your position in the market among your competitors. It can wow the clients and increase their interest in your business model.
You can top up the information on the slide with the things you offer that your competitors don't. It gives you an edge on winning the heart of potential investors. Even the features you commonly offer with your rivals; show them how uniquely you do yours and how it has influenced your business growth.
Avoid painting your rivals badly in any way. Do not use the opportunity to tell lies about your competitors. If your investors find out you are telling lies in your presentation, you have ruined any chance of acquiring the needed financial support.
Bringing your competitors down doesn't take you up, instead, it shows you as too ambitious to possible investors. You have to watch the tone you use in this slide. Avoid sounding condescending; it is imperative.
You can introduce unique graphs to compare the products of you and your competitors in your presentation.
Slide 9: Financials
The financial slide is one of the few slides clients spend most of their time on. You have to make the most of it to give them another reason to fund your business plans. The financial slide will include your financial projections, cash flow statements, balance sheet and income statement, and other important information.
Just like the traction slide shows everything you have acquired over the years, this slide shows your business' future growth plan. Use this slide to show them what your company should achieve in the next three years (unless asked otherwise) using your business plans.
Tell them about your financial projections, business models, operations, and others in detail. The past achievements are proof that they can partner with you. Use it to prepare their minds on what they are to expect from your business in the future
You should also make use of bar and pie charts, histograms, etc. here. It makes your expressions compact and defined. Don't just create charts with plain-colored arcs and bars. Make the charts colorful, it gives more meaning and beauty to the slide.
Colors make charts and pictorial representations easily understandable and conspicuous. Colorful charts make your presentation attractive, unlike a long spreadsheet full of figures and numerical signs.
The information you provide in this slide is changeable as you move on. It is almost impossible to accurately determine where the business will be in the next five years. But financiers expect you to map out a business plan and have what it takes to achieve what you have outlined. That is what the idea of pitch deck presentation is all about.
You can also share your plans on how you want to channel the distribution of money provided and how you intend to reach your target income goals.
The financial slide can hint the investors on the strength of your company and how long your relevance in the market will be. If you just started your company, you can skip this slide and include just the traction slide.
Be realistic with your information, don't cook up unrealistic things to impress the audience. You might not be able to hit the point you want to during the given time if you do not manage your time well. Being realistic will make you not far away from what you envisioned.
Slide 10: Investment and Use of Funds
The previous slides have been about you introducing your business as an entrepreneur. This slide is where you tell the financiers what you need from them.
You must make sure this slide answers the questions:
- How much do you need?
- How do you want to use the funds?
- What do you want to achieve with the funds?.
There are a lot of ways to go about this, however, not all are effective. A lot of entrepreneurs get it wrong on this slide. Don't just ask for a certain amount of money, state what you want to use the money. Highlight your financial plan for them to know what their money is funding.
When you back up your requests with valid reasons, it builds their trust and confidence in you. Also, they would take your plans more seriously.
Ensure you are specific with your requests; let your clients know exactly what you want. Don't waste time by going through corners, be direct. It gives the investors an impression that you have done your calculations and analysis very well. Also, it tells them that you didn't just come to call any amount of money because you feel you have convinced them.
Make your requests real. Don't ruin all you have planned by aiming higher than you need. Remember, they have heard your plans and projections. They can tell if you are trying to be over-demanding.
Most entrepreneurs with successful pitch decks used a pie chart or bar chart to state the distribution of money. This way, investors have an insight into the execution of funds.
Let the investors know your expectations when you are funded. Tell them the heights you will reach. They have to see if they are capable of adding more money in the future.
These are the essential slides you need in your pitch deck presentation. Some specific businesses might require extra slides to introduce new things. Ensure there is cohesion among your slides, that is, one slide should lead to the next.
The next section will expose you to the things you should do and the ones you should avoid when creating your slides or presenting the contents on the pitch deck.
Do’s and Don’ts of Pitch Decks
While trying to create a perfect pitch deck presentation, there are some things you have to embrace and other things you have to avoid.
Do’s When Presenting
1. Engage your Audience
While passing your information, engage your clients with narratives to express the problem, your solution to it, and how you want to go about it. Tell them how your plans will affect them.
Don't just read out everything like you are reading an English comprehension passage in front of a class. Ensure you carry the audience along as you explain the information on each slide.
Engaging the audience will get them to focus on you and follow the presentation from the start to the end. Also, engagement builds interests. They get more interested when they understand every bit of what you say.
Imagine you have to read this article without having examples to buttress my point? It can be daunting and tiresome. Tell short related stories in between your presentation to keep the conversation alive.
2. Strike a Balance Between Elaboration and Conciseness
As important as your content is, so is the way you present it to your audience. The style of presentation had made some entrepreneurs lose out on significant investments, even when they had the best plans and business models in possession.
How do your slides appear when creating your presentation? Do you over-deliver or under-deliver? Do you give out more or less than you should?
You need to strike a balance between saying too much and explaining yourself better. Don't cite instances unnecessarily.
If you have expressed yourself well on a slide, move on to the next slide without wasting much time. However, if you feel a narrative will do better in communicating your points, make it short, cohesive and relevant.
Don'ts When Presenting
1. Don't Base Your Presentation on Pure Statistics
A presentation full of statistics will look like an account officer reading the company's financial report to the managing director. Can you imagine how boring that is? Yes, it is tiring.
Back up every stat you provide with a coherent narrative. Don't just focus on the statistics hoping that you are amusing the investors with 6-7 figures on the chart. Of course, you are, but narratives and life examples make it better.
Many people believe that you only need to engage your audience on slide one during the introduction. The truth is that you need to engage throughout the presentation, from the intro to the conclusion.
Statistics are vital but are not the only significant feature of a pitch deck presentation.
2. Don't Stare At the Slides While Presenting
Staring at the slides while presenting is a bad posture and shows a lack of confidence. Ensure your presentation is a conversational one, don't just stay glued to the slides while presenting. It is an inappropriate posture or body language for someone trying to win the heart of a group of people.
While presenting, move your eyes from the slides to the audience and vice versa at regular intervals. Doing this ensures that you engage them as your pitch deck presentation runs. Turning every minute to read from the slides can reduce the tempo and also bore the listeners.
When you address them without staring at the slides, it builds your confidence and reassures the audience that you know what you are saying. Also, it can clear doubts of improper preparation beforehand.
These financiers can also read what is on the slides. The essence of the presentation is for you to engage them.
Do’s When Designing Your Slides
1. Reduce the Texts On Each Slide
When creating a pitch deck presentation, it is not advisable to choke your slides with texts. Make sure you can pass across the necessary information with little texts. Use lots of visuals like pictures, charts, screenshots, and short clips, to explain your plans in detail. Remember, long texts bore readers.
Likewise, while designing, strike a balance between elaboration and conciseness. It will help you a lot in engaging your audience throughout the presentation.
Also, use large font sizes and visible colors on the palette. It reduces the texts on each slide and makes your work legible.
2. Use Bullets to Introduce Critical Points
An excellent way to avoid stuffing your audience with texts is by bulletin. Use bullets on your slides, it organizes your work.
Don't just pack paragraphs together on the slides to present. In slides where you have to list things for your audience, don't separate them with commas. Instead, separate them with bullets to reduce the texts and give your workspace.
Stuffy slides are complex for the audience to comprehend. Your presentation has a short time frame, you wouldn't want to spend the whole time reading out long and boring paragraphs to the audience.
Cut them short with bullet points and make your presentation more enjoyable for you and your audience.
3. Add Your Contact Info
Imagine you meet a long-lost friend, exchange pleasantries, and fix a date to meet again, but you do not exchange contact details. There is a high possibility that you might not see each other for a long time and that the meeting will not hold. It is the same scenario when you don't include your contact details in your presentation.
Ensure you add your contact information at the end of the presentation slides so that your clients can always reach out after that meeting. Some clients probably have to bother with questions after the presentation; they need your contact info to reach out.
Furthermore, you can add a photo of yourself before the contact information. It gives your business a ‘face' that financiers can look up to when they need certain information.
One last thing, whatever contact details you use in your pitch deck presentation must be available all the time. Investors can quickly lose interest when they can not get a response on time, considering that you have competitors.
Don’ts When Designing Your Slides
1. Avoid Adding Too Many Team Associates
In the team slide, where you have to introduce your team, introduce only the core members. Adding too many members can fill up the whole screen and leave the audience perplexed.
As you introduce your business plans and various backup data supporting your business idea, investors also want to know the main person captaining the ship.
Too many team members can make the mistake one for the other, especially when you have to add photos of each member alongside its description. For precision, the core members should not be more than seven. Anything above that is excessive.
How to Create a Pitch Deck in 3 Simple Steps
Knowing what a pitch deck presentation should entail is not enough, you need to know how to put them together.
Creating a pitch deck is easy if you have the necessary tools and templates. You can use free or paid pitch deck presentation templates to get one done quickly.
Some websites offer to create pitch decks for users such as Visme. Your pitch deck will be ready in a few minutes. Save yourself the stress of creating slides from scratch, you can pick from the templates available on the application. These templates are ready-made to suit different interests.
If you don't want to use a pitch deck website tool, you can create your slides from scratch. It can take your time, but you are sure to have what you want.
Another option is to hire the services of a freelance graphic designer in the event you do not have the graphic design skills needed to design killer pitch deck presentation slides. You can find these freelance graphic designers on freelance job websites such as Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, and Freelancer.
Here are the three steps you need to create the best pitch deck that appeals to investors and financiers.
Step 1: Choose a Pitch Deck Template
Templates are ready-made copies that you can use instead of creating from your pitch deck from scratch. There are lots of Pitch deck tools such as Google Slides, Visme, Canva, and Slidebean that help users create and design pitch decks. These tools provide tons of useful templates for users.
The first thing you need to do is to pick a template from the hundreds at your disposal. Avoid picking a template because you like it, you have to look for the one that suits your business model and contents. That is why there are different templates for different types of businesses.
In some cases, you might not find a perfect template for your business. The next best thing you can do is pick the closest you can get and modify it.
If you are not using a pitch deck tool, you can create your pitch deck presentation slides from scratch. You can use any graphic design software or the simple Microsoft PowerPoint to create your pitch deck from scratch.
Step 2: Customize your Pitch Deck Story
When you choose the template that fits into your business model, you can edit and customize it for better results. The template you pick is probably not the exact thing you want; that's why the edit option is available.
Most pitch deck software has editing tools to help you reshape your template to your actual desire. These tools are so diverse that you probably won't use them all before creating something attractive.
You can change anything you want to fit your style. Some apps even have the drag-and-drop function to ease your editing. With these tools, someone without foreknowledge of editing or presentation can even create something beautiful.
You can change font sizes and styles, texts and background colors, images and themes, and motion style of slides. You can add bitmap images from external sources to make the boring texts lively to read.
Furthermore, you can add animations, links, short video clips, and many more to beautify each slide. You can add, remove, replace, or rearrange slides the way you want.
This whole process won't take up a lot of your time if you use the right tools. It is immensely beneficial for you to do everything necessary to put out a perfect body of work. The pitch deck layout contributes to your chances of securing the funds.
Step 3: Download and Share with Investors
After customizing your pitch deck to a perfect taste, you can download it to your device. You can even share it online across different media using a link.
Pitch deck applications offer you a wealth of format options for download. You can download your pitch deck as an image to display the slides, side by side. Also, you can download it as a PDF format, or better still, as a PowerPoint file.
Another thing you can do with the finished pitch deck is that you can create a private link to share the pitch deck with specific people via mail.
There is the option of uploading it on the web to be available for people on search results on Google and other search engines. You can also put the presentation on the company's official website for the core members to access.
Insightful Pitch Deck Examples You Can Learn From
The process of creating a good pitch deck can be tiring. You need the inspiration to help you escape that dreadful fear stage and hit the right entrepreneurial mindset. Will my pitch deck presentation be a success or a failure?
There is no better way to escape the imposter syndrome that every entrepreneur faces than to get inspiration from companies who had successful pitch deck presentations. What is better than reverse-engineering the pitch deck presentation that successful companies like Facebook, CoinBase, Square, Uber, and Airbnb used to attract investors?
Here are some insightful pitch deck examples you can learn from.
Amount Raised: $500,000
Buffer is one of those awesome pitch decks that although does not hold much visual appeal but still won the hearts of investors. How did they achieve this? They had the captivating numbers to capture the mind of financiers.
Amount Raised: Seed – $3,000,000
Cubeit is an app that helps users to get unique content from anywhere. The company developed a simple, short, and compelling story for a pitch deck presentation. The presentation got them about $3 million from clients, and that was how they got to where they are today.
Amount Raised: $9,000,000 | 2014
Contently is an American technology company that is based in New York City. They create software that helps companies and brands connect to freelance writers, videographers, editors, graphic designers, social media marketers, etc.
This widely-known company created a pitch deck to show investors what plans they have for the future. They got an amount of $9 million from financiers.
Amount Raised: $10,000,000 | 2016
Frontapp is a company that handles the communication channels of its users. They manage their social media accounts, live chats, SMS, email address, etc. They created a pitch deck and focused on the critical numbers that are crucial to the business at that point. The pitch deck generated a sum of $10 million, and the rest is history.
Amount Raised: $600,000 | 2009
Airbnb is a digital marketplace for people to discover places for different purposes. They can book these places through their mobile phones, tablets, computers, etc. It could be a suite for relaxation, a penthouse for vacation, or a room to spend the night.
The platform connects people across over 180 countries. Airbnb, as we know it today, was once a group of people with ideas and no funds. They tried a pitch deck and made over $500,000 from investors.
Amount Raised: 14 rounds – $11.5 bill
Uber is a global transportation company that conveys users from their current location to their choice of destination with the help of online orders. It has its headquarters in California, United States of America.
The online cab company has undoubtedly made transportation easy over the years of operation. Not many people could jump into traffic all day. Uber saw this and decided to make things easy. They made a pitch deck from the start and raised close to $12 billion. Today, Uber operates in over 600 cities in the world.
7. Crew (fromely Ooomf)
Amount Raised: $10,000,000 | 2015
Crew is another technology company that connects individuals and agencies with freelance designers, content creators, media accounts managers, etc. Crew has worked with big companies like Eventbrite, Tinder, Dropbox, etc.
Crew's founder used a simple but powerful pitch deck to communicate his ideas to the public. He didn't have to say too much, went straight to the point, and raised $10 million.
Amount Raised: Series D – $335,000,000
WeWork is an American company that is headquartered in New York City. The company provides workspaces for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small and large-scale businesses, enterprises, etc. It was founded in the year 2010.
They have been able to develop lots of workspaces and still want to build more. During the start, they created a pitch deck, showing the right things investors needed to see. Today, they are dominating their market.
Amount Raised: $30,000,000
Dwolla is an American e-commerce company that provides a medium for online payments and mobile payments. It was founded in 2008. Dwolla helps users to send and receive funds from each other. It is located in Iowa.
Despite the massive and tight competition in the online payment system world, Dwolla still holds its stance. They are not the most successful, but they could attract financiers to the online payments industry with captivating ideas. They raised about $30 million from investors.
10. The Daily Hundred
Amount Raised: $1,000,000
The Daily Hundred is an app that gives businesses the chance to compensate customers by encouraging product endorsements and micro-level brand advertisements. It produced this alluring pitch deck that not many investors could ignore.
This pitch deck covered everything about the business, from the past operations to the plans. They made $1 million from the presentation that year.
Amount Raised: $65,000,000 | 2014
Mixpanel is an advanced platform available on the web and mobiles. They help businesses and enterprises grow by making them understand their users. Also, the company uses its products to track people's behavior.
They created their pitch deck by focusing the contents on incredible numbers. Mixpanel also showed investors the reasons why they are different from their competitors in the game. Note, they didn't shame their rivals; they only highlighted some differences between them in their favor.
Amount Raised: $10,000,000 | 2004
Virtually everyone operating a mobile must have heard of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a networking app where people get business connections, seek jobs, recruit remote workers, and find clients.
This app also helps businesses to expand networks across countries. It was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in California. Over the years, users have been able to acquire knowledge and skills and even get business opportunities. LinkedIn was able to raise about $10 million from investors.
Amount Raised: $1,350,000 | 2009
Foursquare is a search-and-discover mobile app that satisfies user's quest to find visiting places. They provide personalized search results for users.
What the mobile application does is to recommend close places that you can see based on your current location. Also, they scan your browsing history data and orders to give you a clear choice. Interesting, isn't it? The operation is not an easy-to-explain one. For their pitch deck, they focused on explaining how the app renders its services.
14. Ad pushup
Amount Raised: Angel Round – $635,000
Ad pushup specializes in optimizing people's websites to increase the views rate and conversion rate of Ads. They also maximize the number of clicks without disturbing the visitors' user experience.
The company focused on the traction slide in their pitch deck presentation. This traction slide was peculiar to what they were introducing to their audience. They raised about $600k from financiers. You can impress your audience with great numbers.
Amount Raised: Seed – $1,900,000
WealthSimple is a new kind of financial counselor that is brilliant, diplomatic, human, and affordable. They help users eliminate the guesswork from future investments. With this, users are on the right track financially.
The company also helps users achieve new financial goals. They are one of the premiers of digital financial advising. Also, WealthSimple has been able to explain the concept of the application to people (in a layman’s way) with the help of a pitch deck.
Amount Raised: $500,000
Manpacks is a digital service that delivers men's accessories, including grooming products, underwear, etc. These products are from popular brands like Gillette, PACT, Champion, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton, etc.
The company was able to get some traction over the years due to its friendly customer service experience. This method won the hearts of many investors, and they raised $500,000.
Amount Raised: Series C – $50,000,000
Snapchat is everywhere today. Almost everyone has the Snapchat app on their mobile. The app allows users to make videos and pictures with different filters and themes. It operates as a social media application.
When Snapchat came, despite the social media apps dominating the market like Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat could still create its space from that world with its unique features. Snapchat proved its ability to dominate a part of social life by understanding the market. They raised $50 million from a pitch deck presentation.
Amount Raised: $120,000
Podozi is a beauty tech that helps users find the right beauty products for people of different colors. It is an online e-commerce platform based in Nigeria. The platform helps customers discover authentic and reliable beauty brands from all over the world. Also, customers enjoy new shopping experiences all the time.
During the pitch deck presentation, they acquired many photos of their target audience (women of color) to show them. It made it easy for the audience to understand their intentions in no time, and they got funded from different sources.
Podozi showed their target audience the working partnership they already had with big brands in their pitch deck presentation. It helped them attract funds from investors.
Amount Raised: Venture – $79,000,000
Linio is like a business directory. It is an e-commerce company that offers various products online, ranging from gadgets and electronics to personal accessories.
The company was founded in 2012 in Mexico. Today, they work in Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, etc. Linio connects online retail services to the South-American markets.
Amount Raised: $500,000
Kompyte is an intelligence website tool designed to reply to strategies used by its users' rivals. The tool aims to study the techniques that competitors use and quickly respond to them.
Using high-resolution photos, Kompyte explained the concept of their services smoothly and shortly. In this case, visuals did the most work here.
Amount Raised: $800,000
Launchrock is a digital platform that allows users to create advertisement pages for their products and services with special tools. It helps its users compensate other people for advertising their products through different social media networks and email.
It was launched in 2011 in Philadelphia, United States of America. Launchrock used a short and straightforward pitch deck for its fundraising activities.
Amount Raised: Angel Round – $270,000
Castle helps landlords and landladies to manage their rental homes. It finds tenants, secures the rent dues, and oversees the affairs of the houses, helping reduce the burdens of property owners. The software was able to develop a solution that is quite different from what is dominating the market over the years. It enabled them to seize the attention of the audience right from the pitch deck presentation.
Amount Raised: $600,000
Intercom is an American software company that provides a messaging channel for business. It is a platform that makes it easier for businesses to communicate with their new and existing customers personally.
You can use the platform to communicate through different social media accounts and email addresses. This famous company did not start big, the owners could craft a top-notch pitch deck that assisted the fundraising.
Amount Raised: $20,000,000
Pendo is a company that provides a digital platform for businesses and organizations to upgrade the product usage experience.
With this platform, companies can track customers' reviews and impressions, get feedback and provide solutions to their problems, all within one application.
Pendo created a pitch deck and raised $20 million! The pitch deck painted a future that is unavoidable for everyone and provided the necessary solution to the problems in the market.
Amount Raised: $4,230,000 till date – deck used to raise $200,000
Mandaê is a mobile app that helps Brazilians ship their goods. The company collaborates with postal services and other exclusive transporters that are not available for everybody (an add-on for Brazilians).
They created a powerful pitch deck that introduced the perfect solutions to inevitable problems, a strong team ready to solve the issues, and great numbers to back up their plans. They raised about $200,000 from prospective investors and materialized the beautiful plans they had.
26. Gaia Design
Amount Raised: $2,850,000
Gaia Design, a Mexican online store, sells beautiful furniture and home accessories at considerable prices. They make quality products that are available for every Mexican household.
The pitch deck might seem challenging to understand due to language barriers, but you can learn a lot from the pitch deck layout. Gaia Design was able to categorize the information into slides without stuffing each of them. Their target audience understood the messages, and they got funded with above $2.6 million.
Startup Pitch Decks FAQ
The length of your pitch deck presentation is one question that business owners regularly ask. There is no rule guiding the size. But with the wealth of past experiences available on the internet, it is advisable to make your pitch deck as short as possible.
The minimum number of slides you should have is 10, while the maximum number is 20. You can exceed the maximum of 20 but it has to be because it is worth it.
Depending on the type of business you operate, the number of slides you want to use for your pitch deck will vary from another. Business owners with the assistant of professionals determine what each slide contains. Ideally, the pitch deck should be as brief as possible to avoid unnecessary information.
Although you want to maintain a few slides on your pitch deck, you must be very careful not to stuff each slide with contents. If 13 slides can explain everything about your business without stuffing the slides, go ahead to use 13. You don't need to shrink the number of slides at the expense of the overall organization.
Also, irrespective of the number of slides you have, your presentation should not be more than 18-20 minutes. It would be best if you did everything needed within that time frame. If the audience wants you to stretch it, then it is okay.
What makes an effective pitch deck are a compelling story, conciseness, conversational tone, and engaging slides.
You must be brief with the contents of the slides and the presentation. Your aim for a pitch deck presentation is to introduce your business models and projections to financiers and get them interested in funding your ideas. Avoid boring them with information that is not needed at the moment.
While presenting, you must be able to tell a convincing narrative. It is what determines if the audience will yield to your requests. Your ultimate goal is to convince your audience to fund your business. You do this by showing them all the benefits associated with it. It makes the difference between you and other entrepreneurs.
Your tone while addressing the audience should be conversational. Don't read out the contents on the slide like someone reading out a novel. Remember, you are trying to convince people. You must carry them along while explaining what you have on the slides.
Keep your slides engaging, one slide must link to the next. It makes your presentation organized and understandable.
The cost of buying a pitch deck depends on the professional approach. The prices of different pitch deck templates vary depending on the quality. Hiring a designer to build a pitch deck for you will also cost you some money. The more experienced the designer, the more it will cost.
You can opt to build a pitch deck yourself using free or paid pitch deck templates from websites such as Visme, it is fast and cheap that way. However, it might not be as perfect as what a professional graphic designer will create.
Before buying a pitch deck, do your research first. Compare the range of prices from different individuals and agencies.
According to SlideGenuis, the cost of a pitch deck can be split into three categories: the low-end pitch deck, mid-range presentation design, and the upper-end presentation services.
The low-end pitch deck costs between $1,000 to $3,000 and is suitable for those who want to revamp their existing pitch deck or create from scratch at a cheap price. At this price range, you can expect to get the bare quality.
The mid-range presentation design costs between $3,000 to $10,000 and the upper end presentation services cost $10,000 to $50,000. There is a huge difference between these two categories, the upper-end presentation services give you better appeal and a more refined corporate identity.
Although you can hire freelancer designs from Upwork and Fiverr at a much lower price, you will hardly find pitch deck experts but just designers who can do a good job.
Since your pitch deck is not just any design but one that has the potential to bring lots of capital for your business, investing in quality pitch deck services is worth it.
The financials in your pitch deck should include your present performances, plans, and projections. You can employ the use of bar and pie charts, histograms, tables, and other charts in a slide.
Your pitch deck should show the predictable monthly or annual gross and net profits. Show financials where the models you are proposing worked out as planned. Also, you can include your cash flow statement and financial projections.
Ready to Communicate Your Business Idea in Your Pitch Deck?
The pitch deck presentation is one of the best ways to introduce your business plans to potential investors. Over the years, many startups have used pitch decks to get funds from financiers for their businesses.
Many of these companies have grown to become giants in their fields. They are hardly recognizable from the companies that they were when they presented the pitch deck. Some good examples are Facebook, Square, Uber, WeWork, Airbnb, and Snapchat.
After reading this article, you are just about set to communicate your business idea into a pitch deck. The only factor delaying that is your action.
Perhaps you have tried communicating your business idea in your pitch deck with little success before. With the advantage of knowing the do’s, don’ts, and best practices of a pitch deck, what is included in the pitch deck, and insightful examples you can get inspiration from, you stand a better chance of securing the funding you need.
A pitch deck is a vital tool for getting funding from investors. How you create a pitch deck, the designs you use are just as important as the message you want to convey. Use high-quality and professional pitch deck designs even if it is going to cost you more.