The best pitch decks don't sound or look like they were created for the benefit of investors. They feel like a natural development of the work your startup is already doing. Sure, the pressure is high - you have to say everything but only use 10-15 slides, you have to convince but not overwhelm with information, you have to convey emotion but show numbers.
A great exercise when thinking of what to put in and what to leave out is to simply start writing down EVERYTHING. Create your company narrative and list all the reasons why someone should invest in your business, but also reasons why they wouldn’t want to invest. This will help you gain perspective and it will make the selection process easier.
Khosla Ventures, an American venture capital firm focused on early stage tech companies, recommends addressing investor fears directly in your pitch deck. This includes:
- Reasons they may not want to invest
- Contingency for delay or failure
- Technology development delays and cost increases
- Automated analysis technology risks
- Cash flow predictions
Jason M. Lemkin, Partner at SaaStr Ventures also makes a great point in this Quora thread:
“The pitch deck should, in the fewest slides necessary -- but as many as it takes, by itself, clearly make an incredibly compelling case for the investment without anyone needing to be there, explaining anything.”
While there is no perfect structure for a pitch deck, we’ve researched what most successful decks have in common and what investors and VCs appreciate in them, and came up with an easy-to-follow infographic to help ease this process for you. Take a look:
The truth is there is no perfect pitch deck. Like any piece of content, they have to be tailored to their audience and constantly refined and tweaked. Simply put, one size does not fit all when it comes to a pitch deck.
To help you get started with creating the right pitch deck for your startup, we created a free guide to designing a successful pitch deck which you can download here.