But wait! There's more. Examples may speak better than instructions and guidelines. So here are a couple of those to use freely. Also on the house!
Text-heavy pitch deck: A nice bedtime reading. Characterized by its informativeness, plenty of data and convincing well-defined arguments.
Image-heavy pitch deck: Where the design shines. Full of gifs, pictures, videos. These slides will definitely help you create a memorable experience among the audience!
Teamdeck pitch deck: We’re literally showing you a pitch that we’ll be using to secure financing for further Teamdeck development. If we didn’t believe in our little creation, why would you?
Coming back to the topic - really - you're not the only one, as multiple founders have problem with securing financing. We see this is an issue. It was a natural feeling we should create a guide that will help you & other founders present the product idea properly in front of a demanding crowd.
Especially since some of those ideas are really, really big.
Fortunately for you, for us it's fairly simple: a little bit of theory and 11 years of practice allowed us to show you how to do the trick and get your product financed.
With that being written, here it comes.
Honestly speaking, there was so much of material to process and probably you’d get bored after reading the first 5 minutes of it... So just like a good pitch deck, we’ve decided to cut to the chase and pinpoint the most relevant parts and how to deliver them.
Even more honestly, there are trillions of guides online how to deliver that killer pitch, win MMM of $ and win the market. And again, just like in a good pitch deck, you’ll also find here guidelines on how to distinguish that secret sauce that makes your product extra memorable and convincing.
Ready? Ok, you’ve got it. Let’s get ready to rumble.
I can foresee you have quite a few tabs with similar guides opened. Just like we’ve told you - there are trillions of these and we’re aware of that. But we really didn’t like them. Too generic, quite misleading and AirBnB example being constantly mentioned.
So first of all, we’re going to spoil you what’s below:
It’d be a really bad guide if we created generics, but not specifics. So of course, we’ll dive into the following detail as well:
Sounds ok? Great, so here’s….
A presentation of your idea which should get you enough financing to have it up and running.
Too obvious? Ok, sorry! How would you find this controversial statement though:
The aim of the pitch deck is not to sell your idea but to plant a seed. Selling thinking brings too much data to a pitch which primarily should simply spark an idea in the investor’s head. In most cases, you won’t hear straight after you finish talking ‘Ok, $1M transfer is now on the way’. What’s more likely is that you’ll hear:
“Do you have any calculations or data that proves your point?” which basically translates to: “Ok, I like your idea and I’m willing to support you if you show me something more.” That’s one step ahead and also the step where the spreadsheets you’ve prepared can shine.
And - sorry - it takes some time to build it.
Iceberg analogy: This time not about motivation but the amount of work needed to prepare a killer deck. The final deck you’ll deliver might have no more (and actually shouldn’t) than 10-20 meaty slides. Preparing one slide might take a day - but remember, you MUST be extremely precise, as that’s what the investors want.
A simple formula, but how beautifully powerful it is. And how much work was done to pinpoint it.
Fact no. 1: You want to convince others to your idea as much as possible.
Fact no. 2: You’ll create beautiful and informative slides.
Fact no. 3: During the pitch you’ll showcase your presentation skills.
Fact no. 4: You haven’t noticed the facts are not numbered correctly.
Fact no. 5: You’ve checked to see if they aren’t really.
Fact no. 7: You’ve doubted this and with this fact noticed that indeed they aren’t.
Fact no. 6: We’ve began this guide with a story (which is not fake btw!)
It is straightforward, engaging and has a twist. You can also build your pitch this way (or don’t).
But here’s another real fact:
Fact no. 8: Storytelling is considered to be the most efficient way of selling.
Think about your favourite movie, novel, game and analyse the plot to see exactly what got you engaged. Then translate that thinking into your idea. Or take a shortcut and read more about the Story Arc, this could also work.
A good story is divided into scenes or chapters. You can see the logical connection between them (or not, if you’re a fan of Pulp Fiction). Unlike Pulp Fiction, your pitch deck must be structurized: divided into chapters, or threads, how we’ll call them. Doing that will showcase that you have properly analysed the topic and know the connections between different aspects of your idea. It shows that you’re organized and able to create a working-plan.
And within those 3 threads you need to discuss the following topics:
We’d say the best idea is to create them all nevertheless. Then it’ll be your assessment whether you’ll have to include them all or not - you can follow this rule of thumb:
Does it bring something new to the story/idea? If yes - keep it.
Although some slides are considered to be necessary. We’ve bolded those items on the list for you.
We’ve also prepared it for you: this list creates a story, although feel free to swap slides within chapter. But have a good explanation ready why you’re doing so.
It’s possible to showcase your product in a creative way, the doors are open. Possibly you could surprise your audience with a remarkably quaint speech or a performance. It’s great that you’re trying to get creative… but you should leave the pitch deck order as it is. It’s constructed like this for a reason - investors expect a specific standard.
And honestly - that works in your favour. Because someone before you has taught investors how to understand new products.
So while it’s time consuming, we wouldn’t call it boring. Actually, you might learn a lot about your product while building your deck!
Probably one of the most important slides. The total must-have in the presentation.
It proves investors that you have indeed found something that may bring value to the market.
After this one, your audience will start figuring out the rest of the presentation (they all know the drill), question your solution, imagine the market and the opportunities… And the other slides will actually follow that trail. Let them question it and tell what they want to hear.
This slides, plants the seed in the audience's head.
Start with the statement. A true situation that is hard to argue about. Make it big and serious.
Nobody cares about petty problem. There is no market for petty problems.
Make it a relatable story, but don't put it in the slide. Ideally - trigger storytelling in the audience, as this would make the audience feel like it’s a universal problem.
If you can personalize it - do it. Even a simple question like: “Have you ever had this problem” could validate your idea. If most of your audience murmurs in agreement - then you’ve reached an important milestone.
Supposing your product solves a couple of problems: still, focus on only one (tops two). You can still make a couple of statements about this specific issue.
Although the market issue might be extremely specific, not related to audience in any chance. If that’s the case for you, don’t ask the audience if they encountered the problem, as it may kill your pitch. Focus on the hard, cold, data instead.
#makeitbig #personalize #storytelling #relevant
Now you ought to respond to a previously defined problem. And this slide will do the trick.
The problem and solution should work together perfectly. Can be said in one breath. I want cake so I’ll buy flour.
Make it simple and easy to understand.
Solution brings value to your idea.
Describe the solution in one sentence, while indicating the obvious benefits. But don’t showcase your product yet! Now you’re showcasing your thorough analysis of the problem and came up with a solution. Don’t explain how it works. That’s what you’ll do later.
At this stage you might be also wondering what’s the difference between solution and product? It feels similar, so how to put a clear line between those two?
Search for analogies. Even simple ones! Imagine, that our problem is a loose screw. If I were you, I’d use a screwdriver to fix the issue. However, the screwdriver is not a solution, but a product. The solution is tightening the screw and using your product it’s possible.
On this slide you’ll showcase how to tighten the screw. The screwdriver will be next.
Another bit you could list here are the effects of your solution, and this slight is the right place for that. Keep it simple, yet meaningful. No more than 3.
#simple #value #effects
Let the screwdriver shine now.
Show how it looks like. Visualize the way it’s used. Good design and visuals are the key to make this slide real and believable:
All in all, keep in mind the following principle:
Rather show than tell.
Important thing to note: don’t show HOW your product works. Because...
#gif #prototype #how #mockup
… you’ll explain the details on this slide.
If you have a patent or smart new way of doing something - show it.
Just like you can show how exactly, and using what mechanisms, your product is solving the problem.
Although we will admit here: it’s not always easy to dive deep into the magic behind your solution. But the rule of thumb will be to keep it as simple as possible. Worst case scenario, you’ll be asked questions about it afterwards: this is a green light to dive very deep into detail.
#how #detail #patent #magic
Unfortunately it’s not always possible to implement this slide, as your solution may be untested by the users or be showcased in the media. But what you could do instead is to take a step back and push hard to deliver the solution to at least some users to have their testimonials. Not for the sake of having this slide in your pitched, but to validate your solution/product.
Because this slide is about product validation. It’s a hard fact that your product works in real life, and not just on paper.
Hint: If the above is not possible for any reason, this could be partially substituted with quotes from other people. It could be even online comments. Anything that has been said by someone other than you and your relatives but clearly shows that your product is needed.
#testimonials #facts #SocialProof
How large this company can become. To do so it’s crucial to understand how big the market is, and what portion of it you can carve for you business.
You can use two strategies.
Search for a large market you’d like to conquer. Investors really like people who aim big and high, and targeting a large market will prove that your idea has big potential.
Think about electric scooters, on the rise since 2017. What’s the market they’re disrupting?
Duh, it’s obvious - scooters.
WRONG. There was almost no market for such back in 2017! The product was relatively new and yet to conquer the market. The good answer is: Transportation. Which covers bikes, cars, rollerblades… Quite a big market.
Show how large your company can become. For this, you can use two strategies:
PROTIP: if you lack the data about your domestic market, try to use data from other relevant market and extrapolate it to your market.
Bottom up strategy creates sobering and realistic and expectations towards the revenue stream.
#thinkbig #market #data #estimation
This slide is a massive WHY NOW AND NOT TOMORROW for the investors.
If this is not a unique moment and anyone could have realized this idea much earlier, you may want to ask yourself why it did not happen? Investors will definitely ask themselves this question.
It may not have happened because of trends and recent changes that blocked it from happening. Those include...
It’s always good idea to connect any of these with the problem!
#whynow #uniquemoment #trends #change
Build this slide to make a point. You need a strong and relevant conclusion to make this slide.
Because it’s risky.
If the only thing you can say about your competition is that “they are” - there is no point to make this slide.
Two best case conclusions to make here are:
So check your competition first:
#distinction #metrics #factors
Extremely important slide! This is where the actual product meets the market. The goal is to showcase that ever bit of your product fits the market needs and characteristics.
Describe how you’ll enter the market. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but you don’t have to showcase growth hacking tips and tricks. Sometimes it’s enough to show a:
Often a bizarre product on a bizarre market will require - you got that right - bizarre marketing practices. So don’t be generic in this slide! It is your product idea and with this slide you must prove that you know the target group like the palm of your hand. In particular, communication channels and messaging is clearly defined.
#strategy #targetgroup #channels
While a lot has changed since the good old pitching days, one thing is still the same: showing how you’ll earn money. So in the first slide of the section dedicated to dirty work you'll need to show:
#revenue #price #predictions
Now your audience should know almost everything about your idea how to get the product up and running.
What remains is to convince them that you have a solid plan on how to conquer the world from this state.
This slide is to show that you have everything under control, goals are clearly achievable and what’s the timeframe for that. Think roadmaps.
#plan #goals #milestones
Finally - now it’s turn to showcase your beautiful face!
This slide is about team introduction, where the most important aspect is to show this unique blend of various skills, knowledge, experiences and there’s no other team like yours to get the product up and running.
But please remember to show the most relevant experience, which could fit within a few lines. The most sought after combination of skills are: Business & Sales, Technology, Marketing & Design.
Team slide will finish the product section and will nicely wrap who’s responsible for the previous slides - it can work like a credits section, where everyone gets their praise for creating such a masterpiece, because at this stage you should’ve got everyone inside really excited.
#people #skills #unique
With this slide things might get a bit less comfortable, as you’ll be showing how much money you need.
What’s important: this slide is for your use only. You'll discuss it during the pitch, but don’t show it to the audience, unless asked. You'd rather treat this as a part for further negotiations. Focus on answering the key 3 questions:
With this slide finished, we’re pretty confident about one thing: your content is good to go!
#money #equity #investment
There’s now one thing left…
No matter how informative and clear your content is, it won’t be memorable if it’s written in Arial 11.
Design in the pitch deck serves multiple purposes:
Whereas the above won’t be a winning-lottery ticker, you can be pretty sure that lack of it will definitely kill the pitch. So bluntly speaking - eye-pleasing design is a must.
First of all, maintain your mental strength. You will stress a lot. You might get sweaty-nervous. You might think to yourself, that you won’t get any investment. Or your idea is basically worthless. The tense will rise the closer you are to the meeting.
And that’s not true. Your idea is as strong as your belief in it - so let’s work on confidence:
Establish what needs to be explained further on each slide. Don’t read the slides, dive into those sweet details. Remember the audience is craving for your words!
Remember you’re telling a story. Watch a fantastic movie the night before, or read some short stories. Those will help you get into mental state allowing to talk about the concept smoothly and with purpose. Good idea is to finish one slide with a question, answered by the next slide.
Showcase the pitch deck to your friends and family. Of course, the vibe will be much different than on the actual meeting. Of course, they’ll be very kind and will motivate you to do well. And this is good. But the primary goal is to practice speaking about the idea. Challenge you should accept: family, who usually has no clue what you’re talking about, will understand every bit of the product.
Accept this damn feedback. Seriously, if your friend tells you that you should work on specific bit because it’s unclear, doesn’t make sense or any other reason… look into it.
Don’t be afraid to change the deck. The moment you’ll think it’s done - it’s done for the day. Overnight you might get a good idea how to improve a bit of it or hear some valuable feedback. On the other hand, 24hrs before the pitch don’t even think about touching it. Relax.
And probably the most important point:
BE GODDAMN PROUD ABOUT IT. You’ve created an astonishing piece of work and are one step closer to achieving your goal.
We feel extremely proud about this deck guide. 50 different people have seen it, including Founders, Angels and VCs. A lot of feedback was implemented, to the point where we weren’t sure our baby will see the daylight.
But it has. And it’s The Nicest Pitch Deck Guide currently available on the internet. It probably won’t be in like a month or so, but then we’ll update it. And again it’ll be the best. Repeat.