The Dos and Don’ts Of Pitch Decking
Struggling to create the perfect pitch deck for your business? Feel like you’ve given it your best shot, but haven’t moved past the first 4 slides? We’ve all been there. Stuck on version #43 with no end in sight, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
A lot that goes into making the most captivating pitch deck possible. There are also a lot of rules about what you should and shouldn’t do, to make sure you don’t discourage your investors. Read on as we break down the Essential Dos and the Absolute Don’ts.
If you need a helping hand with building and designing the most engaging and memorable pitch deck, we’ve got you covered. At Blonde and Giant, we offer a pitch deck strategy and design service, and we’d be thrilled to help you put your best foot forward.
1. Tell Your Story
This is your time to share your story. It’s the time to tell them who you are and how you started your business. Most importantly, this is when you need to share what inspired you. This is the only moment you’ll be able to create an emotional connection with your investors, so don’t shy away from sharing what makes your business unique in its origins. Investors see a lot of pitch decks all the time, so you need to find a way to be memorable.
2. Convince Your Audience of the Market Opportunity
It goes without saying, but your pitch deck needs to be convincing. You need to convince your audience that this is the best time to invest in your business. They will also want to know how and why they will be gaining from making an investment in your business too. You’re not the only one looking to gain here. You need to show your investors it’s going to serve them to invest in the long run, if you want to get them on board.
3. Include Interesting and Eye-Catching Visuals and Graphs
Graphics and visuals are a great way to grab your audience’s attention. The human attention span is short, so a lot of chunky blocks of text will become boring very quickly. Give the text a rest and make sure your audience has some colourful but informative graphs to enjoy. It will also explain any data and metrics way better than a wall of text ever will.
4. Show That You’ve Got More Than an Idea
Investors don’t have time to sit around and listen to your dreams. They want to see what you’ve already accomplished, and to see that you’ve got the ball rolling. They won’t be financing you to get your company started, but to give you the extra lift you need in order to seriously take flight. Show them what you’ve already done and what you plan to do with their money in the future.
5. Have Consistent Colours, Fonts and Headers
It’s not just about sounding professional, but it’s also about looking professional too. Your pitch deck needs to be clear and cohesive, and the whole deck needs to be consistent with itself. If not, you’ll be written off before you’ve had the chance to introduce your products. Think about it, if you can’t make sure your pitch deck is consistent and well put together, then what does that say about your work ethic?
6. Limit Each Slide to One Idea
You don’t want your audience to feel overwhelmed by a single slide. The brain can only handle so much information at once, so make sure each slide is limited to explaining just one idea. This will make it easier for your thoughts to be explained to the audience, and it will be easier for them to follow what you’re getting at. Having one slide for each idea means it’s easier for the audience to compartmentalise what’s happening, and where one point ends and another begins.
1. Don’t Make it Too Long
As we’ve said before, human attention spans are short. Your pitch deck shouldn’t be longer than 15-20 slides at most. If you drag out your presentation, you will have lost your audience’s attention long before you even reach the end. If there’s anything extra they need to know, they’ll ask you at the end. Or, you can include an appendix if you absolutely must.
2. Don’t Include Long Wordy Slides
Slides that contain dense paragraphs of text are not going to win anyone over. Think about it, no one is going to take the time to read lots of text. They’d much rather listen to what you have to say yourself, so keep your text brief and to the point. It’s there as a guide, and not as the whole explanation.
3. Don’t Underestimate Your Competition
It’s really not a good idea to use your pitch deck to bash your competition. You also don’t know what your competition has lined up. What you should be doing is highlighting why you’re a stronger candidate than they are, and why you’re bringing something new to the table. Talk about what makes your business unique, and why you’re going to change the field. An investor has probably seen a pitch deck for a similar business before, so you need to show you will be better.
4. Don’t Have a Poor Quality Layout
Your graphics need to be as high quality as your ideas. You’re trying to convince a group of investors that you’re going to be a good investment for them to take on; meaning you need to act professional from the get-go. The pitch deck also shouldn’t feel out of date, or out of touch. Your audience needs to see that your business is the way of the future, so don’t set yourself in the past.
5. Don’t Use a Lot of Jargon
You don’t want to alienate your audience, so make sure the information is accessible to them. Don’t include a lot of unexplained technical jargon in your pitch deck, because it will leave gaps in their understanding. Don’t use a lot of acronyms either, unless you intend to explain what they mean. They need to get the full picture, and so best to explain your what your business means in lay person’s terms.
6. Don’t Provide Excessive Financial Details
This is the type of information that comes later. Don’t provide your audience with more information than is necessary. The pitch deck is there to sell your idea and your story, so don’t bore them. Otherwise, you will lose their attention and with that, their interest. If they’re looking to make the financial investment, there will be a follow-up session where you can provide any financial information that’s needed.
At the end of the day, you need to build a pitch deck that is inviting, compelling, and that truly showcases what you are offering. If you think your pitch deck needs an extra boost, here at Blonde and Giant we are ready and waiting to take your pitch deck to its highest potential. Contact us today to give your business that competitive edge.