Your digital pitch deck
Some investors may prefer to have a look at your email version of a pitch deck before committing to a meeting, so it needs to solidly position you without supportive commentary. Try to provide necessary information as succinctly—but thoroughly—as you can in around 20 slides or fewer.
The first slide needs to capture attention and should make sure to cover these bases.
- What the business idea is and what you do
- Reason you are the best option among your competitors
- How big an opportunity it is to invest in you
The rest of the deck should fulfill and support the claims of the first slide.
What to cover in the rest of your deck
Your pitch deck should use as few slides as possible while still making your point. Remember, your goal is to set up your investors with foundational knowledge that you can build on during an in-person presentation.
Pose yourself as a solution
Show a problem or gap in your industry that your company intends to solve or fulfill. Give a brief layout of the industry landscape and where your company will be positioned within it and what will set your company apart from the competition.This may include the innovative nature of your product, the sustainable ways in which you can run your business, or your all-in-one marketing campaign that has the ability to reach niche customers.
How you will market yourself
Marketing methods change as a business grows. By showing your marketing platforms and how they are purposefully built for a business that’s growing, you’ll show that you’re thinking ahead. Lay out your marketing plans and explain how you intend to market your product via email and other digital channels, noting that you are prepared to start marketing your business from day one, If possible, bring in supporting evidence using studies, reviews, or statistics. Explain your actionable marketing techniques and include your customer relationship management (CRM) plan.
Your product in action
If you have them, show pictures of your product in action with product descriptions. This would be a good place to include any positive reviews you have too, but don’t worry if you’re not quite there yet. Consider showcasing your team and leadership—investors may want to know who is executing the mission and vision of your business.
Include your financial figures, your current investments and use of funds, especially if there is month-over-month growth or projections for the next 3 to 5 years. If your company has yet to start up and you don’t have that information, don’t worry about it. Either way, make sure to include your fundraising goals, shown in a range. (By creating a range, you might open up opportunities for more investors.)
How to get in touch
Make sure not to leave your investor hanging and make clear what the next steps in a conversation would be. Include your contact information—your phone number, email, website, and digital or social media presence, as well as any professional references you may want to offer.
Your in-person pitch deck
Remember, your in-person presentation can be a modified or extended version of your emailed deck, just with less text and detail and more visually engaging. Though the emailed pitch got your foot in the door, the in-person pitch you will make is a true first-impression. Like the emailed deck, it should be well edited and organized.
Make it clear and simple
Think strategically about the information you present—provide enough details so your potential investors will want to know more. So your in-person presentation should be thorough without veering into fine details. This can be tricky.
Use a clean, visually engaging, and professional design. Make your slides simple and—where text is needed—easy to read. Keep in mind that if there’s too much text on your slides, your audience may be distracted from your pitch by having to read while listening.
Since much of the structure of your presentation will be the same, our following tips will focus on what will differentiate this in-person deck from your emailed deck. Be sure to leave time for your potential investors to ask questions at the end of your presentation.
It’s important to make a unique and impassioned pitch to encourage investors and to bring energy to your presentation. Show off the authenticity and originality of your work by incorporating elements of design and videos and pictures of your business at work.
Make the investor’s role easy
Make it easy for your potential investors to consider your ideas. Keep simplicity in mind. Make your slides easy to read—no blocks of text or tiny numbers—and keep your industry jargon to a minimum. For example, if you have an idea for creating an app, detailing the programming or technical aspects may not speak to your audience of investors. However, explaining how customers will use your app to relieve a pain point will.
Offer a detailed business plan
Your business plan should describe the major elements of your business operations, financial models, and goals. While discussing market size, opportunity, and your marketing plan is vital, the importance of your business plan is undeniable. It will show how you are going to achieve success through a viable strategy and exactly how your ideas, products, or services are going to generate income—which is what investors want to know.
Have credible projections
In the email deck you had more room to provide specific numbers. Here, focus on giving a solid—but brief—financial summary and history of the funding you’ve received so far, if any, as well as the investment range you are looking for. Discuss in detail how you plan to use the money and grow your business. The financial plan should summarize and explain the return on investment that the investors can anticipate. Display this information in a graph or easy-to-read imagery, so your investors don’t need to squint at small numbers on a spreadsheet.