Picture this scenario: You had a great idea for a product, and launched a startup to build that product. Now you need to solicit funding from venture capitalists and other sources if you want to keep going. What does your ideal pitch deck look like?
Templates for “successful” pitch decks are a dime a dozen, with most containing some combination of the following elements:
- Title or Elevator Pitch (describing core issue)
- Market Opportunity
- Marketing Plan
- Revenue Model
- Competitive Analysis
- Management Team
- Current Status
- Investment Request
Most experts would agree that the key here is brevity. Over at Inc., for example, Guy Kawasaki (most famous for his role as an Apple evangelist), recently offered up a sample deck that corresponds to roughly the above lines. “You really only need ten slides—anything more and you could be overdoing it,” he wrote. “You want to grab their attention and inspire them to ask for more information—you don’t need to give away the farm during your pitch.”
On Forbes, the advice is similar: Keep slides to a minimum, devote more time to thinking through your ideas than fancy design, and leave any complicated technical details to a separate paper or PDF. (It also suggests slides for an exit strategy and demo images, if those giving the pitch feel so inclined.)
Even a short presentation can quickly get boring, though, without some tricks for livening it up. Keeping text short and sweet, and relying on images and visualizations, can help you more effectively tell your story; timing and passion also matter a good deal. Nail the presentation, and your dream startup could get the funding it needs to keep going.