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Tutorial on making Pitch Deck
WHAT IS A PITCH DECK?
In the world of business, there are numerous ways an organization can reach out to potential investors, customers and partners. Popular methods of link-building and bond-strengthening include face to face meetings, outings, video conferences and business tours.
The main aim of these interactions is to provide your contact with insight into your business and give them a valid reason as to why they should invest their time and money into your venture.This type of presentation is the initial offering – the first visual representation of your business that a potential investor will see. Due to this fact and the nature of a pitch deck, it is important that you understand exactly how to craft one, and how to maximize its potential. A successfully crafted and presented pitch deck could open the door for your business and lead to future encounters.
Planning and Research – Understanding the requirements
Before you even think about creating the actual presentation, it is of vital importance that you take the time to perform adequate planning and research.
Who is your target audience?
What is their preferred method of communication?
Who will represent the business?
Do they have an understanding of your business or industry?
Will they understand technical terminology?
Answering these questions will ensure that you tailor your pitch deck to suit your audience and maximize its desired effect. For example, if you create a pitch deck that contains extensive use of technical terminology to an investor that doesn’t have a deep understanding of your business; you risk confusion and alienating your audience.
WHAT MAKES A GREAT STARTUP PITCH?
Understanding your audience will be the first step towards convincing them.
Expect your audience to have the following characteristics:
1. Limited time for your pitch
2. Looking at several pitches every day
3. Looking for opportunities by finding clues of successful businesses (investor mindset)
4. Therefore your pitch deck should aim to offer those clues, by answering the most important questions an investor has. And it should do this in a clear and concise fashion.
WORK WITH A PURPOSE
When you go about creating your pitch deck, you should do this with a clear purpose in mind.
investing in startups is a very uncertain business. Most investments will go nowhere and the industry is heavily reliant on a limited amount of big wins. So remember that this is what the investor is looking for. Your presentation should convince your investor that your company has the potential to be that next 10x company.
Typically investors are looking for the following items in your pitch deck.
First of all, make sure you include competitors to your business offer analysis. Hiding the competition, failing to acknowledge it or emptying the graph is of no use to your presentation nor to your business. Especially if you reference a competitor earlier in your pitch, make sure to include those competitors as part of your competitive advantage slide.
One way to present your competitive advantage is through the use of a matrix. Through it, you can highlight the advantages of a product or offer has when compared to each of the identified competitors. Or, you can furthermore use a power grid; one that details benefits in a column versus the amount of competitors on a row.
MOST COMMON MISTAKES TO AVOID
Mistake #1 — Too Many Slides. Having too many slides is probably the number one mistake that entrepreneurs make. I recommend 10 slides or less.
Mistake #2 — Too Many Words. Most decks not only have too many slides, but also too many words. Decks should be as visual as possible (with charts, tables and pictures) so that each slide can convey its purpose in 5 seconds, not 30 seconds.
Mistake #3 — Failing to Tell a Story. Another common mistake is failing to tell a compelling story. Like everyone else, investors love stories; it’s in our DNA going back to the early humans sitting around a campfire. So tell an exciting story about your startup and arrange your slides to reflect that story.
Mistake #4 — Not Identifying A Big Problem. You’re not going to get investors excited unless you have identified a big problem (or opportunity) in the marketplace.
Mistake #5 — No Product Demo. A final common mistake is not demonstrating your product. If you’re presenting in person and you’re pitching a product, you must demo the product first thing.
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