Shoot your shot. Pitch your Purpose
One thing that the pandemic taught the whole world was - to be ready to adapt.
If you didn't know your purpose, it was challenging to stay afloat. Those who knew it already had to get creative to stay relevant, and part of that was the art of "shooting your shot."
A pitch deck presentation—also known as a startup pitch deck or slide deck—is a visual document that provides investors with essential information about your business plan, product or services, fundraising needs, and key metrics like valuation, target market, and financial goals. The best pitch decks are brief but informative and feature simple, visually appealing slides, typically created using a software program.
Direct & Concise: Entrepreneurs may want to overload investors with information on their first pitch deck, but less is often better. Straightforward, clearly-explained ideas detailed in bullet points and infographic content are more appealing than lots of text and can lead to questions and even subsequent meetings.
Strengthen your Story: The point of a pitch meeting is to engage potential investors. A list of facts and metrics will have less impact than a narrative approach. Entrepreneurs should provide stories about their companies that investors will find relatable, such as how customers use their products or services to improve their lives.
Present yourself as a Winner: A potential investor may want to refer to the pitch deck after the presentation. Ensure the deck contains the most critical information they need in print or PDF format. You can create one on Google Slides or download a presentation template from Slidesgo at no cost.
Be Current: Businesses typically pitch many potential investors before they secure funding. Ensure that pitch decks are up-to-date with the latest information, including critical metrics and recent milestones, before every pitch to maintain professionalism and avoid presenting out-of-date information.
What the Pitch Deck should have:
1. Introduction. The first slide should introduce the pitch deck and explain the business in simple and clearly understood terms. Businesses typically include a unique value proposition as part of their first slide, which compares their products and services to another established company.
Problem. The pitch deck needs to explain a problem the business's target market faces. This information will demonstrate the necessity of your product or service in the marketplace.
Target market. A target market is a group of people that share common characteristics. Every service or product is aimed at a specific group, and yours should be featured in your pitch deck. Include information on the competitive landscape in which your business exists and the market opportunity to succeed in that landscape. What is the market size for products or services like those offered by the business?
Solution. The solution slide should state the way(s) in which the business solves the problems that your target market is facing. The best way to relay this information is through a narrative approach—provide relatable stories of customers using these products to improve their lives. Support those statements with descriptions and visuals of the products or services themselves, including photographs, screenshots, or even video of a physical demo.
Traction. This slide validates the company's business model by showing any month-over-month growth through early sales and support. The goal is to reduce any fear of risk in potential investors. This slide can include a simple bullet point list of milestones such as the number of users, annual revenue return rate, and profit margins.
Marketing and sales strategy. It's important to detail how the product will be advertised and sold to its market. Investors will use this information to leverage a company's understanding of the market size and how its marketing approach differs from its competition.
Competition. Include information on the qualities that set your product or service apart from other entities or alternatives in its market—you can pull this information from your competitive analysis.
Team. The team slide will underscore a company's management team's expertise and capabilities to market and sell a product. Listing the key team members (and co-founders if applicable) and detail how their expertise and previous experience can help establish the company's competitive advantage.
Financials. Investors will typically want to see a company's financial health for a period of three to five years, including income statements, projected growth, and information on the business model itself. Infographics, such as pie charts or bar graphs, will more effectively present the information than listing numbers. The information on the traction slide may help to corroborate projected figures.
Investments and funding. Sometimes, entrepreneurs will craft a pitch deck that forgets a key piece of information: the amount of money needed to fund the project. It's important to include that detail and note how the funding will be spent to help the company reach its goals. This explanation will build much-needed trust with investors.
Using this model will set you up confidently and professionally. Looking for financial support or grant/seed money for your startup? Follow this format for a well-organized presentation. Now go... shoot your shot!