You’ve built a great app, your metrics are on point and you’re poised to do something truly special. Now, it’s time to pitch the world on why they should fund your dream.
We all know that a perfect and creative pitch deck can mean the difference between getting funded or not, but that doesn’t make giving one any less of a pain in the ass. Here are some tips for making sure you don’t end up losing your chance of getting funded.
Keep it short(er).
Keep your deck short(ish). We all love statistics as much as the next person, but nobody is going to read through an hour-long business proposal before they decide whether or not they’re interested. Pick your top points and explain them in-depth, but make sure you leave plenty of time for questions at the end.
Before you even get onto the slides themselves, make sure you set yourself up as a credible authority. You should have been referenced by other well-known people in your space already, so use their quotes to back up why they chose to work with or mentor you.
If it’s not possible to get actual quotes from these people, then just describe what each person does and how close your relationship is.
Now that you’ve established that you know what you’re doing, you need to start digging into what you actually do. This is probably the most boring part of any presentation, but it’s an absolute must to put your best foot forward.
Metrics are awesome; they’re what makes startup investing so much fun!
Without them, you’re stuck measuring how many people clapped at your last public speech or how many times your mom called you ‘special’. Since every single metric ever created under the sun has already been used by startups before, make sure yours are something special.
Pose questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no.
When someone asks if you’re currently using X technology, don’t just say yes or no. Describe how it works and what kind of impact it’s having on your business. If it can’t be answered with a simple yes/no, then you’re doing it right.
Don’t rely on your visuals too much.
Slides are an awesome way to enhance your presentation. However, as we all know, they can sometimes be taken the wrong way. Make sure you run through your deck beforehand and delete any visual that might cause confusion or embarrassment if taken out of context.
It’s totally fine to use visuals as long as you keep them simple. Also, remember to avoid adding too many points in one slide.
Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself.
Being an awesome presenter is about more than just knowing your material; it’s also about how you come across. Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself or show that you’re human — people love that stuff. If something goes wrong during your pitch, don’t apologize. Just make a joke and keep going.
If you need to, take a second and compose yourself before moving back to your pitch deck template.
Don’t overuse the first person.
Your startup is you, but nobody likes a megalomaniac. With that in mind, don’t lead your entire presentation with ‘I’ and ‘my’. There’s a time and a place to talk about your team, but you should be doing that as you meet future investors.
Take your time.
Practice makes perfect!
If you rush through your presentation, it’s going to look like that’s all you want investors for. No one is interested in somebody who’s only trying to get someone else’s money.
Remember to take your time and go through several pitch deck examples if possible. That way, you’ll be able to figure out how to create a pitch deck that works.
The best decks are those that ooze with passion and excitement, particularly from people who make them. If you like what you’re presenting, then chances are there will be plenty of other people out there happy to give you their hard-earned cash.
When all else fails, remember why you’re sending your business pitch in the first place. This whole process should be fun. If it’s not, then chances are there’s something wrong with your deck or your idea. Take a step back and build something awesome – you’ll thank yourself later on.
That’s it! Go out there, present your startup in the best light possible, and trust that people will listen. If for some reason they don’t then don’t sweat it, at least you tried.
To get started with your pitch deck, head over to Venngage. You’ll find tons of pitch deck inspirations there!