Presentations have dominated our corporate lives. We are closing deals with presentations and we are persuading audiences that our ideas work. Have you ever considered what could be the cost of failing in a presentation?If you are running a startup company, you will probably need to raise funds to help you grow your business further. Pitching your business effectively, requires developing a presentation that will get your investors excited about your idea. This type of presentation is widely known as a “pitch deck” and it is an important tool for the successful outcome of this endeavor. This blog post focuses on some key elements of a pitch deck namely audience, problem description, market description, team presentation and slide design as depicted in the following figure:
1. Know your audience
First and foremost, you need to understand your audience deeply. In that case, your audience is the investors. Conduct detailed research about all the possible investors. Learn as much as you can about them and their track record. For example, take into consideration which sectors (i.e., tech, logistics, robotics, transportation, HR etc.) they prefer to fund and at which round. If you do not know your audience, you will not be able to understand them and overcome the resistances they may have while pitching your idea.
2. Describe the problem
Describing the problem is critical to the success of a pitch-deck. Investors need to know exactly how a specific problem emerged, the way it affects a particular group of people and to what extent. The description should be based on three pillars: 1) What, 2) Why and 3) How
The first pillar should describe a problem that needs to be solved. Starting the presentation this way is crucial because probably all stakeholders already know this and will agree with you.
At this point, investors need to see evidence and data that support your hypothesis. If you do not have all the numbers, you may develop some scenarios, but they must be accompanied by supportive tools such as risk analysis, sensitivity analysis, etc.
Use the appropriate charts to visualize your information. Do not try to hide or distort any data because the audience will find this out easily and it will lead to misunderstandings. This information is necessary to eliminate any doubts your audience may have.
How?It’s in this part of the pitch deck where you will explain how the target or problem will be addressed going forward. You may also provide examples of how the lives of your customers will be affected if they buy your product/service. What differentiates you from the other competitors? Describe the basic features and functions. What does it make it unique? Include, prototypes, some photos and maybe videos.
3. Describe the marketMoreover, describing in detail the characteristics of the market you are targeting will make your pith deck more convincing. Start with the geographical region. Is the product aimed only at your country or are there any opportunities abroad? How many people or businesses face the same problem in those areas? The investors will appreciate if the market is big and if it can be profitable too.
4. Present your team
Investors want to know deeply the profiles of the people who will work to make the business idea a reality. After all, it is this specific team that will work in bringing the idea into life. It is strongly recommended to include information of the people that will work on your start-up company and to emphasize the points that make them uniquely suitable for this project.
5. Design star slides
Regarding the look and feel of the Presentation deck, the slides on the one hand should be impressive but on the other they should not contain noisy decorative elements that distract the audience from the core message. Design a themed presentation template that visually reflects your idea. Use techniques that prioritize the most important information and add flow to the presentation. Avoid the trap of using long bulleted lists and look for ways to display your messages with as much higher visual impact possible. Get in touch with an experienced presentation designer to avoid pitfalls and errors in structure, content and appearance. Finally, choose high quality photos and graphics to make the slides more professional and exciting.
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