Successfully Pitching Your Startup: Pt 3 Pitch Deck
You’ve turned your idea into a product, your business plan is in the saddle, and now it’s time for the big pitch. Raising money from investors for your startup is challenging at any stage and requires a great pitch! But, many don’t know how to create a captivating pitch deck.
A lot of them are just… boring and un-relatable.
A pitch deck is a brief presentation, used to provide your audience with a quick overview of your business plan. It’s normally used during face-to-face or online meetings, hence the importance of having something tangible. We can’t imagine pitching a project before the product is even done.
You can’t pitch a deck until you have some sort of plan. It is wise to have an idea on how you are going to hit the market. The good news is that there is a formula and plenty of templates for pitching your startup that has proved to be helpful for many startups.
A few things that investors look for in your pitch deck is more story and less information. Meaning data and bullets on a deck don’t sway investors. What takes your pitch from good to great is the story you tell and how it engages the imagination of an investor. All great pitches have a basic “meta story” that is budding from the overall pitch.
Your pitch deck should be more of an experience that communicates this overall story about you and your startup visually and with words simply by scrolling through the series of slides. It wouldn’t hurt to include actual present tense ‘user stories’ or cases about your customer experience.
Another tidbit that may come as an obvious tip, but should not be overlooked is to actually ask for the money. Many entrepreneurs in the fundraising process, drone on about their company and pitch all the features, traction, and strategy. But when it comes time to define the investment opportunity and ask for an investor to write a check, suddenly they get timid. Be prepared to ask. Also, be prepared to succinctly describe the use of funds for the money you are raising, and where it will get you.
Lastly, you should always be updating your deck. If you’re using your deck correctly, you’ll find that it reflects the rapid learnings and growth you’re experiencing as you pitch investors, get feedback, and refine your story and approach.