How to prepare a Pitch Deck in 13 easy steps

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When you consider that sometimes the only thing that you can reach to a potential investor is by your pitch deck. When you can’t even tell the people about what you do face to face, the quality of your pitch deck matters more. A few months ago we shared an article titled “7 startup pitch decks from time when they were not huge” which shows earlier pitch decks from startups such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Airbnb and more.

Absolutely no ambitions to write about the ‘Best’ or the most impressive pitch decks. Just want to be more practical, and focus on the skeleton of the pitch deck. So many pitches and presentations available on youtube; a lot of mentorship and training done; and why there are still so many fails?

Story

Your pitch is a chance to tell your story, how you see it and want people to know about it. Your pitch is not just a powerpoint presentation, but a page of your ‘story’. Make it as much more unforgettable; even when it comes to investment pitch. What is special about you for the users? Your growth until now; and after this moment is the thrilling part of your pitch. Why they should choose you? So, to write your story I would suggest starting with a script first.

Before you start, check the best practices in your sector. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Check how the same startups like you are managed to create the difference.

Slide 1. Cover.

Just use your imagination and use visuals and colors wisely. 🙂

Slide 2. Mission Statement

Just 1 sentence to describe your product. And please check out your competitors before you start; what is their mission statement; what keywords do they use; how do the position themselves. You will, definitely, have more clear ideas about own statement. There are some guidelines about designing a mission statement; so, please don’t ignore standard formulas like;

(Name of the Company) is developing (defined offering) to help (defined audience) (solve a problem) with (secret sauce).

Slide 3. Challenge/Problem

Usually, we call it a problem; however, some mentors suggest to avoid negative words in your presentations. So, suggestion- ‘Challenge’:) Sounds more challenging, isn’t it? What problem is out there in the world? How many people need this problem to be solved?

Slide 4. Solution

What do you propose? How does it work? What opportunities do you provide for people to be faster, happier, safer, more cost-effective or efficient? Don’t forget about your value proposition; which is definitely the main driven power.

Slide 5. Features

This is the slide where you can give more details about your solution; give screenshots or dashboard to explain your product in details; supporting the previous slide about effectiveness, etc. No more than 3 features; though you have more than this. Focus on the most life-changing solutions that none of your competitors have.

Slide. 6. Market

3 main numbers about the market you operate in. How does it look like a big picture? What is the size and potential you intend to fit? And for the investor, it is extremely important to show how much you know about YOUR market.

Slide 7. Competitors

Who else is in the market and what is your difference? The best way is to give a chart focusing on 4 major advantages. And please don’t waste too much time on competitors; you have them- yes; you know them- yes; show the slide and emphasize on your own product and advantages, not theirs; though they can be cheaper, do better, or have more users, etc.

Slide 8. Business Model

The slide that should be precisely clear. How do you get paid? What is the price? Is it B2B or B2C? Do you have Standard/Premium packages? What’s the price?

What is the opportunity for growth and how can you scale beyond your current scope; industries, technology, etc?

Slide 9. Product Milestones

Now it’s time to visualize your story. When did you start? Apple Store/Play Store release? First 100K users? Dates and major numbers/or logos. Don’t overload it! Don’t forget, this is the success story slide. As an addition, you can support this slide with client testimonials or cases.

Slide 10. Metrics/Traction

We love hard data! Show your metrics to share your success so far. Again and again; no more than 3–4 numbers for the audience to remember; like # users you have, churn, clients, pipeline, conversion rates, etc. Major Brands? Why not.

Slide 11. Team

It is all about the team, don’t forget! Make it more personal. Though I would recommend showing just photos/names/areas to make as clean as possible; you should definitely tell about your backgrounds, brands you’ve worked before. And, of course, how you, as a team, are going to change the world. As an alternative why not to use a happy team photo instead.

Slide 12. Investment

This slide is to tell about your expectations. By the way, investment is not just a money. Mention, if you need a network, sales channels, or anything else. Time to share how much money have you raised so far? How much are you looking for now? What big next steps will you use your investment for?

Slide 13. Thank you 🙂

Please give your contacts for people to remember you, and can easily contact you if it is not one-pager. If you have iOS or Android app mention again.

About Sabina Babayeva

Sabina Babayeva is the Program Director for Hackquarters.
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