What is a pitch deck and how do I present one?

The top slides you need to include to sell your business
Business Development

In this blog post, we discuss what a pitch deck is and the best slide ideas for a pitch presentation to potential investors.

Table of contents
  1. What is a pitch deck?
  2. Ideas for the best pitch presentation structure
  3. What other slides could be included in a pitch deck?
  4. How to write a pitch deck?
  5. How long should a pitch deck be?
  6. Top tips for presenting a pitch deck
  7. What additional documents will you need to produce after a pitch deck?

What is a pitch deck?

At some point, you may need additional financing for your business. This can be achieved through a pitch deck. But what exactly is a pitch deck? A pitch deck is a presentation to investors highlighting what your company does and why you would benefit from financing. A pitch deck should be manageable and include at most 10 slides. Usually, two versions will need to be made: a visual presentation, which will be presented to investors in person, and a document with text and information, usually shared via email. 

Why would a pitch deck be a better option vs a business plan? A pitch deck is pitched to potential investors, while a business plan usually outlines the background of your company and its current objectives without trying to sell it. Investors typically do not have time to read a business plan and are far more interested in a pitch deck.

The main goal of a pitch deck is not to raise money straight away but rather to ensure you get another meeting with investors who will request more information. So it would help if you showed investors what your company is about and why they should be interested in it. Remember, this is one of the first things they will see to learn more about your business, so it's crucial to make a good impression.

Ideas for the best pitch presentation structure

So what do you need to include in a pitch deck? You do not want it to be too short, but it should not be overly long and complicated, either. A pitch deck is usually a minimum of 10 slides, although a few more slides can be considered if you think additional information is beneficial. Below are slide ideas we would consider essential in allowing you to pitch your business successfully:

  1. Vision and value proposition: the pitch should start with a brief introduction to your business and the value you provide to customers. It needs to be kept as short as possible and should usually only be 1-2 sentences.
  2. Problem: you need to discuss any potential situation your business aims to solve and who is currently dealing with this issue. It's best to tell a relatable story where you define the problem at hand, allowing investors to see your company's aims.
  3. Target market: explain the ideal and current customer demographics of your business, as well as your total market size. You can divide your market into different segments, which may be marketed in slightly different ways, and are offered different types of products. Be as specific as possible.
  4. Solution: pitch the product or service your business is offering, how customers take advantage of it and how it addresses the problem described in slide two. Try and use as many pictures as possible and tell a story when describing your solution.
  5. Revenue or business model: you then discuss how your product or service can make money. You will need to mention who pays for the bills, as some businesses have advertisers pay them instead of users. It's also good to discuss how the prices of your business compare to those of other companies in the larger market.  
  6. Traction and validation/roadmap: mention if your business already has sales or early adopters using your product. This will be of great help to investors, as they will want to see that others are already interested in your company and any risk reduced from your business model. 
  7. Marketing and sales strategy: outline your marketing and sales plan, and how you intend to get your product across to potential customers. It's essential to clearly understand how your business can reach its target market and how your marketing and sales approach may differ from that of your competitors.
  8. Team: highlight yourself and your other team members, their skills and experience and what they bring to your business. Identify any positions you have yet to fill in your company and why they are crucial to your growth.
  9. Financials: have several charts ready to showcase the current financial situation of your business and future projections. Make sure to have simple, in-depth spreadsheets with a manageable amount of information. Keep it as brief and precise as possible. You want to show the current sales of your business, total customers, expenses and profits made. But try to be as realistic as possible.
  10. Competition: discuss your competitors and how your company fits into the current landscape. What advantages do you have over other businesses? Highlighting what makes your business unique will help you gain investment.

What other slides could be included in a pitch deck?

The slides we listed above are usually the main ones often included in a 10-page pitch deck, but the options below can also be an option:

  • Exit strategy: outline potential acquirers if your business continues to grow and be successful.
  • Partnerships: showcase other bodies who work with you to help you bring your products or services to a broader audience.
  • Demo and screenshots: you may want to include a placeholder slide with screenshots or photos of your product or services to pitch to investors.
  • Investment and use of funds: highlight the amount of money you are looking for and how you plan on using it. If you already have other investors on board, you should discuss them and why they chose to invest

How to write a pitch deck

There is no right or wrong way when it comes to writing a pitch deck, as long as it tells a story, evaluates your audience and uses an appropriate tone of voice. It should be concise and informative, but you can still be creative by writing an opening slide that grabs people's attention. Your pitch deck should also include your unique selling points, outlining what makes your business or product stand out from others and any financial projections. 

A pitch deck can be created on computer software that allows the creation of presentations. Examples include Microsoft PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, Google Slides, Visme and Prezi. In addition, written versions of a pitch deck accompanying the visual display can be written in word-processing programmes such as Microsoft Word, Apple Pages or Google Documents and be saved as PDFs. 

If you are still trying to figure out how to structure your pitch deck, you can find plenty of templates online that will help you better understand how to write a business pitch and present it appropriately. We have also written our own blog post with examples of some of the best pitch decks.

How long should a pitch deck be?

According to research by DocSend, the average time spent on a pitch is three minutes and 44 seconds. Investors have also spent the most time reviewing the financial, competition and team slides. Ideally, you want your own pitch to last between two and eight minutes. 

Top tips for presenting a pitch deck

Presenting your pitch deck can be nerve-wracking. So keep these tips in mind so you can successfully sell your company to investors and interest them in investing in it:

  • Tell a story: you need to captivate your audience and make them excited about your business. Try and use as many infographics as possible in your pitch.
  • Be straightforward: less information is better than too much. It would help if you were clear, but you don't need to be too detailed. Having a few bullet points or even just one sentence on each slide should be enough.
  • Keep your presentation short: investors do not have all day to listen to a pitch, and you will also need to make time to answer questions after you have presented.
  • Don't overstate the market opportunity: prioritise bottom-up forecasts, allowing you to analyse future revenue and earnings.
  • Keep your deck current and updated: you may have to pitch your company many times before you get an investment, so it's essential to update the pitch and make sure it contains the latest information and progress your business is making.
  • Make it standalone: investors may want to refer to a pitch after the presentation, so remember to have a copy in PDF format. It should also ideally be able to tell your story without you being physically there.
  • Ask for the money: at the end of the day, you're looking to pitch for an investment, and it's important to discuss how the funds will be used if you get it.

What additional documents will you need to produce after a pitch deck?

Often, investors will want to see extra documentation of information to help support your pitch. It would help if you had these prepared and on hand to send after the presentation in case they are requested.

  • Technical documentation: this may be required if you are starting a tech or medical business. You will need to include details on your technology, diagrams, charts, etc.
  • Detailed financial models: outline a detailed sales forecast for your business, profit and loss forecast, and cash flow forecast. Some investors may want to see these to get an understanding of the assumptions that are driving your financial projections. 
  • Detailed market research: you may sometimes be asked to provide more details on the target market for your business and the market research you have done
Business Development
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