Fundraising · Startups

What should be in a pitch deck?

Amit Verma na at na

September 27th, 2016

I find there is too much noise out there on this subject and nothing really clear in terms of the format and the size of them. Thanks for the feedback.

Damion Hänkejh Chief Strategy Officer, Director at BOHH Labs

September 28th, 2016

As little as possible in no more than 10-13 slides, including cover/title and contact/disclaimer. I won't read larger decks and often ask entrepreneurs to try harder when they hand me a 20+ page deck.

- Cover
- Convention / Disruption (20 or fewer words on each)
- Expand on prior slide, use schematics/workflow diagrams
- User experience illustrated
- Team (if you have prior exits, otherwise push this slide to the end of deck
- Market size, growth rate - use a chart
- Addressable market opportunity - another chart
- Pilots, big customers or sales pipeline
- Competitor matrix - grid of four squares with Leader/Follower (or other metric) across the middle and another metric from top to bottom - where do you and your competitors fall into this space?
- Roadmap - some past milestones, the present (We are here), and future milestones (dev, sales, funding)
- Funding - prior, seeking, form (20% convertible, etc.), Contact (one person)

Most decks are designed for presentations only -- this leaves them dead or barely useful when the presenter isn't in the room. Build your deck to live on its own. Every slide should have a title and two very* short sentences about the slide content. Taken together, these sentences should stand on their own without slide content and form a narrative across the slides. Pull them out into a bullet list -- if you can't read them on their own as a clean, understandable narrative, you have more work to do.

When presenting, speak about the slide -- do not read the slide to your audience. Slides should have as few words as possible. If you can't articulate your message in short sentences, you don't understand the topic well enough. It takes time to widdle a message down to its essential parts. Use more graphics than words. View your deck daily and tighten up the prose -- pull a word out on every reading. Don't hesitate to pull entire slides out or combine one or more into a single slide using schematics/charts.

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." ~ Blaise Pascal

Tom Cunniff Founder at Cunniff Consulting, B2B Brand Consultancy

September 28th, 2016

Investor deck, or sales deck? Some big differences...

Ken Berkun Entrepreneur

September 28th, 2016

Guy Kawasaki is the god of pitch decks of course.  But FWIW I have a slide show on pitching available on slideshare:

David Austin Relentless problem solver and innovator.

September 28th, 2016

Web search for airbnb pitch deck...  a great example in terms of size and format.  Keep it under 10 slides, 8 is best imho. Honestly you can get creative with the presentation, but not with the slides.  VCs expect a certain format, their brains are ready to consume it in that format.  Stray from that and you'll loose them.

Daniel Weisman Head of Office at The Weisman Family Foundation

September 28th, 2016

Hey... this deck I made has gotten great feedback as one of the better/ best decks people have seen.

Its format was inspired by this analysis of an Elon Musk presentation.

There's no hard and fast rules, but I do recommend telling a very compelling story about:
  1. Why the product/ service is awesome.
  2. Why you're the team for the job.
  3. How an investor will profit.

Joy Montgomery Continuous Improvement for Cleantech Companies, Connector

September 28th, 2016

Guy Kawasaki has some excellent recommendations on this. I'll add to use as few words as you can on your slides and have relevant graphics for each topic. Be consistent with the formatting of every page. Have additional slides available for questions you expect to get.

Alejandro Cremades Author of The Art of Startup Fundraising & Serial Entrepreneur

September 28th, 2016

A killer pitch deck should include the following slides:

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Market Size
  • Product
  • Traction
  • Team
  • Competition
  • Financials
  • Amount being raised
If you want a robust pitch deck template you can use for free the one I created below.