All aspiring entrepreneurs, regardless of niche or market, know the power and importance of an effective pitch deck. Securing a face-to-face with angel investors and venture capital firms often comes down to how compelling your pitch deck is, making it a crucial piece of your overall fundraising strategy.
Everyday, tons of ideas go unnoticed, only gaining traction years after they were first presented to potential investors. Sometimes, it’s just bad timing, but often, the idea just wasn’t pitched right.
Opinions vary regarding creating and presenting effective pitch decks, but there are some common tenets one must adhere to in order to have any chance of success.
Use Your Deck, Do Not Read It
The biggest mistake you can make at a pitch is using your deck as a script. You are not a news reader, nor is your deck a newspaper. It is there to strengthen your pitch and help you gain the audience attention.
Know Your Audience
Not all investors are the same. Make sure you research them and design your pitch accordingly. Put life into your deck, so it does not look like a locked document that comes dull and rigid.
According to research by NextView Ventures, a tech startup may have to contact at least 37 VCs before securing their Series A funding, so you should be ready to modify your pitch according to each audience if you want to be successful.
The First 5 Minutes are Make-or-Break
This is the critical window in your pitch. If you don’t captivate and intrigue investors within five minutes, you likely won’t make it to a sixth. Keep it simple, direct, and conceptual at the start. Leave the data and research for latter sections. Focus on winning hearts and minds, or it could be a disappointingly brief meeting.
Your Deck is Not a Commercial
Remember you are marketing your idea to a potential investor, not marketing to your customer. Your investors do not want you to be all soft and fluffy, even if you are selling baby care products.
Remember the keenest investors will invest in you and your management even if your idea is not the best they have come across. They need you to be a straightforward, hard-hitting entrepreneur who can deliver results.
All’s Well That Ends Well
Always end on a strong note. A weak conclusion can send all your hard work down the drain. Using a call-to-action with a bold sign-off summarizes your company and your message, erasing any uncertainty about who you are and what you want from your audience.