Raising money for your business can be a tough job. However, presenting a compelling business case with an impressive pitch deck can make your job easier. A great pitch deck has the ability to engage as well as excite your potential investors about your business idea. This further initiates a conversation between you and the investors about the various aspects of your business and finally culminates into an investment.
Maintaining the right flow, using the right colour scheme and crafting an attractive design are factors that need to be considered while making an investor presentation in order to grab the attention of investors and keep them engaged. Being simple and clear with your presentation can help investors with a better understanding of your business idea. Also, performing high-value research to present significant statistics and reports that showcase your competitive advantage is essential in establishing your brand and winning the trust & confidence of investors.
Here are 10 actionable insights for you to master the art and science of creating a compelling pitch deck for your investors.
- Seamless Narrative: Maintain a Natural, Logical Flow
Establishing a suitable pitch deck order that works best for you is one of the most important factors that can maximize your chances of getting investments. An ideal pitch deck is the one in which statements and arguments flow seamlessly through different stages. The right sequence of investor pitch deck ensures that each slide leads organically into the next and builds a persuasive case for investment.
The order of your pitch deck should be as follows –
Make a great first impression with a compelling logo, brand name and an effective tagline in your title slide
- Problem Statement
Articulate the problem you plan to solve in a simple, straightforward manner. This effectively builds context to the product/service you intend to provide.
Paint an objective picture of how your strong solutions can solve the problem and ensure 100% customer satisfaction.
- Business Model
Clearly define who your customers are and what value they find in your offerings. Explain how you maintain business relations with your clientele and how you ensure the profits of both.
- Unique differentiator – Proprietary material
Showcase your key differentiators and explain how your services/solutions are superior to all the other ones.
- Marketing Plan (Customer acquisition plan)
Layout your long-term customer acquisition strategies and exhibit the LTV of a customer to generate revenue estimates.
- Competitor landscape
Give details about who your competitors are, how you fit into the competitive landscape and how you are better than the alternatives present in the market.
Explain the knowledge and expertise your team brings to the table and how it is the best team to effectively deal with the problem at hand.
- Current Status – Current Traction
This slide should include sales, growth, SEO rankings and other performance parameters that put you in a good light to make investors confident about your business.
Provide detailed analysis about your past expenses and revenues. Making projections or forecasts based on your current traction can be useful in winning trust.
- Funding Needs
Your presentation should clearly voice your funding needs in terms how much money you will need and what it will be used for. Also, make sure to clarify other parameters such as ownership percentage, rounds of financing, and the expected outcome.
- Exit Strategy
This slide should outline who your potential acquirers might be and how you plan on providing investors with their desired returns.
Hence, your presentation should begin by mentioning the problem and your proposed solution. This should be followed by mentioning the USP of your product and outline the market niche to make investors aware of where your product will compete.
After explaining the benefits of your product, the next thing is to exhibit your accomplishments to ensure investors’ trust and confidence. Finally, you can showcase the traction your business is getting in terms of sales & growth, and display your growth projections for the next few years. With this order, you can ensure that the transitions between slides are logical & organic, which helps in building a persuasive case for investment.
- Minimalist Design: Achieve More With Less
Crafting a compelling and attractive presentation with strong, powerful words and eye-catching graphics can be crucial in effectively providing necessary context and sending across your message clearly. Adopting a minimalist design approach can help you to express your ideas in a clear, concise manner. This further helps in finding the perfect balance between content and graphics by simplifying design and thereby, focusing only on the most essential features of your presentation. Thus, by incorporating a simplistic and minimalist design approach for your investor pitch deck, you can easily win the confidence of investors and raise substantial funds.
- Colour Psychology: Invoke the Right Emotions
Even after finalising on the structure, content and graphics, there is still an important element that needs to be considered – the colour scheme of your pitch deck. Different colours have the ability to invoke different emotions. The colour scheme of your presentation can have a major influence on how the investors perceive your funding proposal and on whether you get a follow-up meeting or not.
Using brand colours for your pitch deck can be a great idea to create a unique image of your brand. Making small modifications like using green colour for all the stats & numbers can easily instill positivity as green signifies growth & prosperity. Red is often associated with mistakes and poor performance. Hence, avoiding the use of red colour is necessary as it can raise literal red flags about the potential of your business. Thus, by using different colours and implementing different colour schemes, you can make your investor deck more vivid and lively and thus, streamline the process of raising series A or series B fundings.
- Scalability: Decipher Your Competitive Advantage
What investors really look for in a pitch deck is your business’ ability to scale and maintain a competitive advantage. Investors are interested in knowing how you plan on expanding your customer base and growing your business across different geographies, verticals, etc. They want to understand your edge over your competitors and the barriers to entry.
Performing competitor analysis using a matrix, where you compare yourself with major players across different criteria can be a good way of showcasing your scalability factors in various aspects of the business. It also exhibits how you fit into the competitive landscape and provides investors with the recipe to the ‘secret sauce’ that only you possess. This, in turn, will explain how the end-users will prefer you over other players and thus, make the investors more confident about your product.
- Maintain Clarity: Devise a Simple & Crystal-Clear Pitch
A key skill necessary for you to have as an entrepreneur is to be able to effectively articulate and convey your idea to the audience, even more so when you are pitching to investors. You need to understand that between you and the investors, only you are the expert in your domain. Hence, it is necessary to be simple, clear, and avoid using specific business terms to successfully explain your business idea to investors.
You can only have the undivided attention of your audience for a limited time and you need to make the most of it. Making the presentation relate to the investors or being more interactive can result in the investors being more receptive to your pitch. By identifying the problem and explaining your solution in simple words, you can keep your pitch short and concise, and thus, be sure that the investors have heard you out attentively and are acquainted with the key areas of your business.
- Narrative by Numbers: Build Credibility with Statistics
No matter how strong and attractive your business idea is, at the end of the day, numbers are all that really matter. As you progress through the fundraising rounds, numbers become more and more significant for the investors. Adding simple reports to your pitch deck that showcase revenue, net profit, gross profit, etc can provide the necessary evidence to prove that your business idea has the potential to be profitable.
You can give a brief overview of your acquisition costs to explain your customer acquisition strategy to the investors. Further, you can also exhibit the customer lifetime value number to give the investors a good sense of how you will deploy your capital if they invest in you. This way, numbers can play a great role in showcasing your traction and thereby, help in effectively building credibility.
- Practicability: Create Enchanting yet Realistic Projections
The point of financial projections is to make predictions about opportunities, growth, and profits in the form of numbers. A numerical framework that complements and reinforces your vision can be crucial in winning the confidence of investors and securing your desired funds. While doing so, it is very important to showcase numbers that put you in a good light as well as numbers that are not in your favour.
Even though projections are basically predictions, you should never make unrealistically high profitable projections that you yourself are not sure of accomplishing. Investors immediately get skeptical about hockey-stick shaped growth charts, which can severely hamper your credibility. Hence, as you make financial forecasts and growth assumptions while pitching for your potential investors, it is necessary to ensure that the numbers you promise are well-researched and achievable.
- Show Your Sources: Ensure Authenticity and Reliability of Your Claims
Using numbers to make projections and to showcase your KPI’s can be a great way of winning the trust of investors and securing funds for your business. However, if asked, you need to prove the credibility of these numbers. Investors give more importance to numbers with credible sources rather than numbers that are picked from unreliable sources.
While making your investor pitch deck, investors sometimes might want to know about the source of a specific report or statistic. So, you need to be prepared with a repository of sources of all the numbers and statistics that you have included in your presentation. This way, investors are completely assured and confident about the authenticity of all the projections, KPI’s and statistics that you have mentioned.
- Gain Trust: Build Strong, Transparent Relationships with Investors
One of the most important things to take care of while presenting your pitch deck is to be completely honest and transparent with the investors. Being honest not only helps in providing investors with key insights to your business but also helps in building trust and reliability. Hiding vital information or misrepresenting certain numbers can reflect poorly on your business and also affect your relationship with investors and thereby, affect their funding decision.
From details about the stakeholders to details about debts if any, investors deserve to know everything about your business. The more transparent you are with the investors, the more clearly they will understand your business needs. While exhibiting your achievements will put you in a good light, being transparent about possible risks and pain points will showcase your dedication and make the investors realize that you are thinking about the business beyond the pitch.
- Show Your Research: Compile all Assumptions and Sources
Investors might, at times, want to know more or verify the authenticity of a specific report or statistic. In such a situation, if you don’t have all your reference sources together, you could end up spending more time finding the necessary referral link and lose the attention of investors.
Every successful investor presentation consists of a meticulously researched sheet that comprises referral links to provide more information and prove the credibility of all your claims. Thus, having a sheet that keeps all your assumptions and sources handy and in one place is turning out to be a great factor in making your presentation as effective as possible.
- Build Credibility: Showcase all the Relevant Accomplishments
The team slide is one of the most important slides in your pitch deck; attaching a few headshots with names and titles underneath is certainly an opportunity missed. A good team slide not only covers the ‘who’ but also addresses the ‘why’, as in ‘why is this a team that the investors should believe in’.
While doing that, it is necessary to ensure that your team slide is as crisp and precise as possible. The quicker you explain the establishments of your team, the sooner you get to the meat of the presentation. This goal can be accomplished by succinctly citing the team’s prior achievements in the relevant domain, and thereby building credibility of the founders and the entire team.
Telling compelling stories about how your product can solve customer problems instead of just presenting facts can be a great way to generate interest and make the investors excited about your business idea. Investor pitch decks must be able to go beyond just providing information and also establish relevance, convey emotion, and finally, end with a positive outcome. Thus, by keeping your presentation simple, precisely conveying your idea, explaining the other business dynamics and leaving room for questions, you can make your investor pitch as successful as possible and raise funds for your business.