How to create an amazing pitch deck

A pitch deck is a presentation that you can use to present your business idea to investors. With just minutes to get them on your side (or less), having something super snappy is essential - no waffly 60-page powerpoints here. But what are the key things you need to remember when you pitch?

Matt Doyle is the co-founder of Launchcloud, creating innovative software that allows you to capture richer data online and offline for your business. They've pitched their businesses to investors, big brands and more - so they know a thing or too about crafting the perfect proposition. Here are Matt's tips for putting together a brilliant pitch deck.

As someone who’s experienced all the highs and lows of being a startup business owner, I know how tough it can be to get investors on board. You have to remember that these are people who aren’t going to invest in a business that doesn’t have something promising to offer in return. The trick is to get them to see what you see; what your business can do that is different to others in the market.

I’ve found that creating a pitch deck which draws investors in, and keeps them engaged, is one of the most effective ways of doing this. One of the first things I’m going to say about this is that no-one wants to see an exaggerated version of War and Peace. What you need to create is a snappy presentation that sticks to the facts, says what it needs to without being over detailed about the product and is ideally no more than around ten slides long.

Think about your elevator pitch

I’m pretty sure that I’d be preaching to the converted if I was to say how valuable an elevator pitch can be; and this is an excellent place to start when you’re putting an investor deck together. Think about the points you need to get across and what you want to say. One of the first things I always try and focus on is making what we’re offering relatable. You need to give the investor a mental image they can get a hold on; something like, “We are the Starbucks of Frozen Yogurt”. Then you need to show how you’re unique in that space.

Detail your traction

Something we’ve got into the habit of doing at Launchcloud is making sure we have our story up to date. We can show investors all of the key pointers that tell them about our growth and success, such as:

  • Timeline and milestones
  • Growth metrics
  • Accolades and awards
  • Customer testimonials
  • What makes you a better choice than every other potential investment opportunity that comes knocking?

Show the market opportunity

Any investor wants to see that they stand a chance of getting a good return on their investment. This is why you need to know your market and be able to show them how you can thrive within it. You need to be able to show any potential investor what your market is, how big it is, where you fit within it and what your customer base is. You also need to be up to date with all the latest trends and information; if you can’t show knowledge of your market then chances are you’re not going to be the success story people want to invest in.

Show your revenue model

Showing how and where you intend to make money is obviously important if you’re trying to get the investors interested. They’re not going to throw cash at you out of the goodness of their heart. You need to able to tell them all the key data:

  • Primary customer base
  • Pricing model
  • Revenue and customer retention to date
  • Conversion rates
  • Average lifetime customer value
  • Investors don’t want to see empty language like “We offer the best…” or “you can rely on the quality of…”; they want to see the figures

Strategy for growth

If you’re a new start-up it’s easy to get carried away with the here and now but you can’t forget about the future; potential investors certainly won’t. If you’re putting an investment deck together showing how you intend to promote growth is a vital aspect you should never leave out. You need to be able to show what your targets are, how you’ve arrived at them and how you’re going to attain them. You also need to show who your potential customer are, how you’ll reach and engage them and how what you’re going to do is different from others in the same space.

I didn’t say putting an investment deck together was easy; it’s not. It’s well worth taking time to get it right though. You often only get one chance to grab the interest of an investor and you need to make the most of it. Don’t forget to include all the vital details but nothing vague or unnecessary and keep it short and to the point. End the deck with a brief summary of your product and vision; make it snappy and memorable, and you’ll be more likely to get that call.