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How to Turn a Business Plan into a Great Pitch Deck for Investors

It’s not always easy to raise capital for a new idea. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game for quite some time, you need significant preparation in order to make a favorable impression on potential investors.

You need time to research the validity of your idea, and to work out its details and technicalities. When you already have a comprehensive and viable business plan, the next step is to create a pitch deck that will make investors sit up and listen.

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Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of including too much information in their investor pitch deck. They take their business plan, slap it into PowerPoint, and end up with a ridiculous amount of slides. Guy Kawasaki shared his experience of having to sit through pitches as a venture capitalist. He wrote,

…sixty slides about a “patent pending,” “first mover advantage,” “all we have to do is get 1% of the people in China to buy our product” startup. These pitches are so lousy that I’m losing my hearing, there’s a constant ringing in my ear, and every once in while the world starts spinning.

If you were in his place and you had to sit through a presentation that’s not only uninteresting but seems never-ending, wouldn’t you feel the same way?

We can’t allow investors to keep falling over due to vertigo, so here’s what you need to know about creating a powerful investor pitch deck:

What should a pitch deck contain?

pitch deck-target

A pitch isn’t about closing in on an investment just yet. Instead, think of it as an introduction. Just as you would with someone you just met, your pitch should serve as a conversation that will allow investors to learn more about your plans.

Your pitch deck doesn’t need to contain all the data from your research. According to Kawasaki’s own 10-20-30 rule of PowerPoint presentations and Chance Barnett‘s model for investor pitch decks, it shouldn’t have lengthy paragraphs or complicated graphs. All it needs are the things investors initially want to know:

  • Problem – Discuss the problem that you’re aiming to solve. Identify who is most affected by it.
  • Current solutions – Give a short rundown of how this problem is being solved currently. Point out what’s missing from these solutions.
  • Your solution – How do you plan to solve the problem? This is your chance to introduce your product/service and its story.
  • Underlying magic/technology – Go into your main selling point. What makes your product/service different? What’s the “secret sauce”? Include a demo if you can.
  • Business model – Discuss your key revenue streams. This is where you identify your target market and show off your numbers—pricing, revenues, conversion rates, etc.
  • Marketing and sales – Go into your marketing strategy. How do you plan to expand your customer base? What’s your targeted growth rate and how will you get there?
  • Competition – Where do you stand in the overall market space? Identify your competitors and explain how you’re different.
  • Team – Introduce the other people on the project with you and the key roles that they play. Show off their credentials and relevant experience.
  • Projections and milestones – Explain your financial projections, as well as your current milestones. Highlight some press mentions, partnerships, and other accolades.
  • Status and timeline – What is the timeline of your project and where are you at the moment?
  • Summary and call to action

These are the information that investors need to know to be able to tell if your plans are a perfect match for them.

Tips to keep in mind when working on your pitch deck:

pitch deck-work

  1. Cover only the most basic parts of your business plan and be as concise as possible. There will be time to go into specifics in the future. To keep it short, discuss only one concept per slide, and limit yourself to only 10.
  2. Let the investors dive into the minute details on their own. Give them separate documents like executive summary, patent details, financial and marketing reports, and other technical explanations. They can go through these documents after your pitch.
  3. The design of your pitch deck is important. Enhance your presentation with color schemes, images, and fonts that are consistent with the story you’re telling. We’ve written a lot about PowerPoint design in the past. Read up on some of our blog posts if you’re looking to work on the aesthetics yourself. You can also drop us a line if you want a more professional touch.

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Conclusion

An effective pitch deck doesn’t need to have every single detail of a business plan. Investors don’t have the time to sit through presentations that are too long and vague.

The point isn’t to immediately seal a deal, but to introduce your idea as something that has great potential for success. Your pitch deck should be clear and concise, showcasing only the key points of your vision. Be brief but memorable.

 

References

The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. 2005. Accessed July 11, 2014.
Barnett, Chance. “The Ultimate Pitch Deck to Raise Money for Startups.” Forbes. May 9, 2014. Accessed July 11, 2014.

 

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How to Create an Investment PowerPoint that Seals the Deal

Pitches are essential to raising capital for your company. A PowerPoint presentation showcasing your core message helps you create a favorable impression. Forgo bombarding potential investors with endless bullet points and tables of data. Your investment PowerPoint should be quick, unique, and engaging. Most importantly, it should reflect the story you’re trying to sell.
Consider these 4 tips when making an investment PowerPoint:

1. Make a positive impression with the first slide

The title slide of your investment PowerPoint should convey the key message of your brand and presentation

When potential investors see your PowerPoint flashed on the screen, the first slide should encourage them to say, “This looks interesting.”

The usual first slide contains only the following: company name, logo, and the presenter’s information. This isn’t enough to make a positive first impression. Aside from the given, the first slide should have visuals that reflect the main characteristics of  your brand. It should also include something that represents the main concept of your presentation.

2. Short and steady wins the race

The rest of your investment PowerPoint should be brief and concise. Business guru Guy Kawasaki suggests that you limit your entire presentation to only 10 slides. While you shouldn’t take this as a hard-and-fast rule, it’s a great guide to keep in mind.

By limiting yourself to roughly 10 slides, you’ll be mindful to only include the most essential parts of your business plan. According to Kawasaki, these are the ten topics you should cover in your investment PowerPoint:

  • Problem
  • Your solution
  • Business model
  • Underlying magic/technology
  • Marketing and sales
  • Competition
  • Team
  • Projections and milestones
  • Status and timeline
  • Summary and call to action

3. Show, don’t tell

Investment PowerPoint slides
Check out our portfolio to see these slides in action.

Utilize the technology available to you and incorporate multimedia elements to your investment PowerPoint.

Use pictures, videos, or animations to demonstrate the idea you’re pitching. Your audience will find it engaging. They’ll be able to grasp your concepts better, becoming more likely to put their money behind it.

4. Be passionate and driven about your story

Potential investors won’t believe in what you’re presenting if you’re half-hearted about it yourself. There should be a powerful story at the heart of your investment PowerPoint pitch deck.

And this story is something that you should truly care about. As best-selling author Carmine Gallo said, passion is among the top factors that ultimately influences investment decisions.

Conclusion

Following these steps, your investment PowerPoint pitch deck will definitely give you leverage. But if you still feel unsure, you can consider consulting with us.

Our team of professional PowerPoint experts will ensure that your slides are helping you put the best foot forward with a great PowerPoint design.

References

Gallo, Carmine. “5 Must-Have Presentation Tips For Pitching To Angel Investors.” Forbes. Accessed June 19, 2014.
The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint.” Guy Kawasaki. December 30, 2005. Accessed June 19, 2014.