This is my answer to How do I make a good pitch deck for investors? on Quora.
First you need to differentiate between the pitch deck you leave behind for its information value – which has more words – and the pitch deck you use when you are there talk, which should be much more pictures than words, ideally just a title and a compelling photograph.
Don’t confuse the two: A pitch to be read must be very different from a pitch that supports a live presentation with you talking. Different media, different styles.
In either case, what you want to show is something like this (but be flexible, case by case, depending on the exact investment situation; this is just a sample):
- Problem: Show a problem to solve, ideally one that investors will understand immediately, and relate to.
- Solution: How is your startup going to solve that problem. What do you do? Ideally, the solution is something investors will also understand and relate to.
- Market potential: How many people/buyers have the problem and how much is the solution worth? If the story works, the numbers are supplemental, but good to show. If the story doesn’t work, nobody cares about the numbers.
- Secret sauce: It’s all case by case. Maybe it’s technology, trade secrets, existing market position, a new idea.
- The team: Investors need to see a credible startup team, with previous startup experience, experience specifically related to the problem and the opportunity.
- Traction: Show milestones achieved, momentum, traffic, anything you can to make your story – and the opportunity – presentable.
- All the rest: Flesh it out as needed, depending on your specifics, with highlights investors will look for. Exit strategies, competition, market strategy. Be sure to have projected P&L as a bar chart and have solid projected P&L, Balance, and Cash Flow to back it up.
Now go find David S. Rose‘s TED talk on pitching for investors, and find some Nancy Duarte writing and video on presentations, and look up Guy Kawasaki content for the art of the pitch, and – what the heck – look at my business pitch category on this blog. I’ve done a lot on this topic.
And, since we’re here on bplans.com at the moment, use the search bar on the upper right to search for “Pitch Deck” and “Investor Pitch” on this site. We have some good advice here too, aside from this blog in particular.