A pitch deck presentation is probably one of the most important tools during a startup’s fundraising stage. And it’s very commonly nerve-racking to prepare a successful one. We decided to give you insight on the Perfect Pitch - How to Leave a Lasting Impression on Investors, which is what you should aim to achieve when you get up in front of VCs. The following pieces of advice seek to help you prepare for those meetings. We’re hoping these will get you as close as possible to the funding your company needs to keep going.
First, master your audience.
Not everyone is nor thinks alike. Different things work for different people, and this is especially true regarding a pitch deck. Your goal with a pitch deck is primarily to leave a great impression about your business. And, though a few essentials apply to most pitch deck presentations, you fundamentally need to know whom you’re pitching.
So, study well what line of business your VCs prefer. Check their backgrounds, the companies they’ve backed, their main interests, and even hobbies. Tailor your presentation to that. Honestly, think of the type of audience you’ll have in front of you.
Do your research and lookup details. Use relatable examples. Know what they’re looking for and serve it to them, showing them you cared, did your research, and knew how to turn it all to your best advantage. It’s not a matter of publicizing how well you did; it’s a question of turning that work smoothly in your favor. This advice also has to do with the way you look, unfortunately, as you’ll be assimilated based on that, and how that ties in with your brand, business project, and style of thought.
Get to your point quickly.
Part of The Perfect Pitch - How to Leave a Lasting Impression on Investors is making the best with whatever time frame you get to make a compelling case for your business. Use whatever time allowance you get very wisely. Never delivered an elevator pitch? We got you.
Get to your main point as soon as possible. Highlight what makes you stand out from competitors and similar ideas in your line of business. Express very clearly what you have to offer and how you’re going to beat the competition for a sizable market. Don’t waste much time on aspects or details that deviate from that.
As a bit of a tip, if you’re ever doubtful as to whether or not you should include something in a pitch, you probably don’t need it. Make sure you know your pitch deck basics for that well, though, right? If you ever wonder if you should include traction, for example, it should be a red alert that you should probably read more on the topic before heading out to the playing field.
Make your stellar team shine.
If you don’t have one, it might also be best to get an excellent combination of professionals to work with you before you knock VC doors.
You need to have the most fantastic combination of leading people in your crucial startup areas. If you know you’ve got them, simply say what makes them ideal for your company. Bluntly talk about why they’re vital in this line of business and what makes them the perfect pick for your startup.
Please don’t just read out their CVs. Anyone can do that. Instead, talk about the highlights of their careers, the strength they bring to your company, and why you’re all the best choice of people to handle whatever comes up for you along the way. VCs need to know they’re giving funding to people who can make the best of opportunities and challenges. Make a case of that.
Get to business.
You’re pitching your business, which means there are main points you need to address during your pitch deck presentation.
It all started with an idea. Now concentrate on why anyone should fund it. Put yourself in the investors’ shoes and focus on the main VC interest areas.
Explain your idea, say why it’s profitable, define your target market, the problem you’re solving along with your solution, and why it’s better than other solutions currently out there.
Expand on your business model, the state of your business finances, and your competitive advantages. Include how you plan on using the funds you’re hoping to get and how much you think it needs to be. The final slide to your deck should be clear about how much money you’re asking and why you came up with that figure.
Care for your pitch deck design.
Put effort into a compelling design that draws your audience. And then show it off proudly. How you speak of your brand and business matters. And your choices in how you style your deck speaks of that. Your presentation shouldn’t ever look like something you put together at the last minute.
Be thoughtful about aspects such as font, size, color choices, the use of imagery, bullet points, and charts. Not everything goes everywhere, be selective about what fits best where.
Don’t make it too long, either. In How to Write the Perfect Pitch Deck, we describe the ideal length of your pitch deck. Take a look at that. As we say there, “As a point of reference, your pitch deck should range between 10 to 20 slides.” The variation in that final number depends on whom you follow and what you need. Study that.
Count part of your time as a space to answer questions and listen to feedback. Don’t just take all the time you have for yourself. Doing so will leave you knowing what you gave, not getting what you came seeking. You need to be ready for valuable insight and a discussion.
Also, come in with the most positive disposition about whatever VCs throw your way. Remember, this conversation is what you were hoping for when you asked for a chance to pitch. Then, follow up on what they ask.
If possible, get back to them the same day or when they’ll still have your presentation fresh in their memories. Make the best of your momentum. To do that, take notes on what they tell you, show that you’re interested, and follow up appropriately.
Prep your hardest
Another tip on The Perfect Pitch - How to Leave a Lasting Impression on Investors acknowledges that you need to practice your pitch countless times. And we mean that; practice it so often you lose count of how many repetitions you’ve done. And start over for every new meeting you schedule as if that were the first.
Every time you deliver it, you’ll find you’re going deeper into how well you handle your stats, the presentation itself, and when and how you pass up on slides. Those are just examples of what happens. It will also help your choice of words to explain precise concepts, how you handle your body language, how well you learn to read people’s reactions, what works and what doesn’t, as well as so much more!
On the contrary, you’re accruing priceless experience in the process. You’ll slowly feel more at ease about your deck, so just keep at it. Working strenuously at this is what you can do to get a hold of your surroundings and your company’s future. Focus on that. And don’t let people’s responses bring you down. A pitch that’s gone through every level of preparation with everything a business needs to succeed is eventually bound to land.
Then, just let go. Be present!
Another great result of seriously preparing your pitch deck and practicing is that, at some point, you know you’ve done all you can to be ready for this. You’ll then just need to let go in front of VCs to be present and give your work a chance.
On this, we can recap with a few lines that made it to the movie Black Swan on an old truth about the scenic arts. In it, Thomas Leroy says: “Perfection is not just about control. It’s also about letting go. Surprise yourself so you can surprise the audience.” And while he spoke of transcendence here, it applies to any time you need to face an audience.
See us before you give up.
If you find your efforts are still not paying off like you think they should at a certain point, please hit us up with a message. We’ve serviced thousands of startups with pitch deck design and consulting and have a proven record of experience and industry expertise to back how we know what we’re doing. Before calling quits on your business or letting setbacks get you down, get in touch with us and let us give you a hand. You might find, as many of our users have, that it’s well worth your investment.
Freelance and Remote Web Content Writer is the current hat under which Ang keeps on the global move. Writing blogs, website content and (especially) Facebook ads for diverse small businesses, entrepreneurs and international parties is part of the common work under Ang's belt. Otherwise, you'll see Ang riding a motorcycle on their vegan way out of theater rehearsal.