| LAUTINDO | PitchDeck | International | If you’re raising money for your business, having an impressive pitch deck is a key component in your fundraising toolkit. A great pitch deck gets potential investors excited about your idea and engages them in a conversation about your business, hopefully leading to an investment. “The 11 Slides You Need to Have in Your Pitch Deck”.
In this article, I’m going to give you the formula for what you should include in your own pitch deck. I’m leveraging the knowledge I’ve gained from listening to hundreds—if not thousands—of elevator speeches and pitch presentations. I’ve seen all different kinds of pitch decks and presentation styles and found that there’s a simple formula that just works.
I’ve also built my own pitch decks and presented to major Silicon Valley VC firms over the years and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.
While every business is different, I’ve found that the following format works for most businesses and is most likely to generate interest from potential investors.
You can skip ahead and just download our free pitch deck template, but I recommend sticking around and learning why each slide is important.
Goals for your pitch deck
This may sound counterintuitive, but the goal of your pitch deck is not to raise money. What? I know that doesn’t sound right, but the real goal of your pitch deck is to get to the next meeting.
Remember, your pitch deck and pitch presentation are probably some of the first things that an investor is seeing to learn more about your company. And, because investments rarely are made after just one meeting, your goal is to spark interest in your company. You want investors to ask for more after they hear your pitch and not just show you to the door.
So, while a solid pitch deck is critical to raising money, the key goal of the deck is to get to the next step—another meeting and a request for more information.
The 11 slides to include in your pitch deck
Slide 1: Vision and value proposition
This is a quick one sentence overview of your business and the value that you provide to your customers. Keep it short and simple. A great way to think about this slide is to imagine it as a tweet: describe your business in 140 characters in a way your parents would understand.
It’s common for tech companies to make their value proposition a comparison to another well-known company. For example, you see many pitches that start with things like:
“We’re the Uber for Pets”
“We’re the Netflix for Video Games”
This can work, but be careful to make sure your comparison makes sense and you’re not just using a high profile company like Uber to signify growth potential. Your business model has to truly be similar to the company you are referencing.
Slide 2: The problem
If you aren’t solving some problem in the world, you are going to have a long uphill climb with your business.
Use this slide to talk about the problem you are solving and who has the problem. You can talk about the current solutions in the market, but don’t spend too much time on the competitive landscape on this slide—you’ll have a chance to do that on a later slide.
Ideally, try and tell a relatable story when you are defining the problem. The more you can make the problem as real as possible, the more your investors will understand your business and your goals.
Slide 3: Target market and opportunity
Use this slide to expand on who your ideal customer is and how many of them there are. What is the total market size and how do you position your company within the market? If you can find the data, investors will want to know how much people or businesses currently spend in the market to get a sense of the total market size. This is where you tell the story about the scope and scale of the problem you are solving.
If it makes sense for your business, you’ll want to divide your market into segments that you will address with different types of marketing and perhaps different types of product offerings.
Be careful with this slide, though. It’s tempting to try and define your market to be as large as possible. Instead, investors will want to see that you have a very specific and reachable market. The more specific you are, the more realistic your pitch will be.
Slide 4: The solution
Finally, you get to dive into describing your product or service. Describe how customers use your product and how it addresses the problems that you outlined on slide two.
You’ll be tempted to move this slide closer to the beginning of your pitch deck, but try and resist the temptation. This is classic storytelling where you build up the problem and describe how bad it is for lots of people. Now your product or service is coming to the rescue to help solve that problem.
Most entrepreneurs are very focused on their product when instead they need to be focused on their customers and the problems those customers face. Try and keep your pitch deck focused with this format and you’ll tell a better story.
If possible, use pictures and stories when you describe your solution. Showing is nearly always better than telling.
Slide 5: Revenue model or business model
Now that you’ve described your product or service, you need to talk about how it makes money. What do you charge and who pays the bills? For some businesses (content sites, for example), advertisers pay the bills instead of users, so it’s important to flesh out the details here.
You can also reference the competitive landscape here and discuss how your pricing fits into the larger market. Are you a premium, high-price offering or a budget offering that undercuts existing solutions on the market?
Slide 6: Traction and validation/roadmap
If you already have sales or early adopters using your product, talk about that here. Investors want to see that you have proven some aspect of your business model as that reduces risk, so any proof you have that validates that your solution works to solve the problem you have identified is extremely powerful.
You can also use this slide to talk about your milestones. What major goals have you achieved so far and what are the major next steps you plan on taking? A product or company roadmap that outlines key milestones is helpful here.
Slide 7: Marketing and sales strategy
How are you planning on getting customers’ attention and what will your sales process look like? Use this slide to outline your marketing and sales plan. You’ll want to detail the key tactics that you intend to use to get your product in front of prospective customers.
Finding and winning customers can sometimes be the biggest challenge for a startup, so it’s important to show that you have a solid grasp of how you will reach your target market and what sales channels you plan on using.
If your marketing and sales process is different than your competitors, it’s important to highlight that here.
Slide 8: Team
Why are you and your team the right people to build and grow this company? What experience do you have that others don’t? Highlight the key team members, their successes at other companies, and the key expertise that they bring to the table.
Even if you don’t have a complete team yet, identify the key positions that you still need to fill and why those positions are critical to company growth.
Slide 9: Financials
Investors will expect to see your sales forecast, profit and loss statement, and cash flow forecast for at least three years.
But, for your pitch deck, you shouldn’t have in-depth spreadsheets that will be difficult to read and consume in a presentation format. Limit yourself to charts that show sales, total customers, total expenses, and profits.
You should be prepared to discuss the underlying assumptions that you’ve made to arrive at your sales goals and what your key expense drivers are.
Remember to try and be realistic. Investors see “hockey stick” projections all the time and will mentally be cutting your projections in half. If you can explain your growth based on traction you already have or compared to similar company in a related industry, that is extremely useful.
Slide 10: Competition
Every business has competition in one form or another. Even if you are opening up an entirely new market, your potential customers are using alternative solutions to solve their problems today.
Describe how you fit into the competitive landscape and how you’re different than the competitors and alternatives that are on the market today. What key advantages do you have over the competition or is there some “secret sauce” that you have and others don’t?
The key here is explaining how you are different than the other players on the market and why customers will choose you instead of one of the other players on the market.
Slide 11: Investment and use of funds
Finally, it’s time to actually ask for the money. That’s why you’re doing this pitch deck, right? I know—I said that this pitch deck isn’t about actually getting funded. That’s still true, but your potential investors do need to know how much money you are looking for.
More importantly, you need to be able to explain why you need the amount of money you are asking for and how you plan on using the money. Investors will want to know how their money is being used and how it is going to help you achieve the goals you are setting out for your business. (Noah Parsons | https://articles.bplans.com)