Everyone who operates a business that takes bigger than average understands the importance of raising funds. When it comes to startups this is basically the first thing to be concerned about after, of course, having the idea.
What is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck is a presentation in which you’ll provide an overview of your business plan. It’s the first thing you should prepare when raising funds for your company. Putting together a pitch that’s as close to perfection as possible is more than simply having an ace up your sleeve. Your pitch is a decisive tool that may determine whether the idea will be successful and, depending on the situation, whether the idea will survive.
“Pitching is all about sharing a story with the audience in a way they want to consume your message.”
Charming you audience and at the same time being able to deliver an enlightening, informative, and appealing presentation may sound like a tough balance. But those who accomplished that balance were able to boost their business through their pitch.
Those who could get their message across have been successful in standing out by making use of three main elements:
- Empathy - Empathizing with the audience is crucial for any successful pitch. If you’re out of tune or unable to identify with them it’s very unlikely that they will give much attention to your pitch. Start with identifying who your target audience is, what are they looking for, and what you want to tell them.
- Personality - Heivly says, “Be the largest version of yourself.” That’s the simplest way to avoid boring your audience. But still be yourself. The largest version of yourself is still yourself, right? Let your authenticity shine through to the audience. You don’t have to do everything other people do on stage. Understanding what is necessary for your personality to shine is a major step in order to deliver a pitch that no one will ever forget.
- Craft - Do not procrastinate. An unforgettable pitch isn’t built in a day. It usually takes weeks or even months in order to reach anywhere close to perfection. Like any artwork, there is always something to be perfected along the way and you are never quite sure when it’s ready. People at The Startup Factory are told to work on a pitch for at least 3 weeks. That’s the minimum. You need time to structure your story, build your pitch deck, and to make sure you don’t commit some common pitching mistakes.
Just like everything else in life, the more you practice the better you get. So do practice runs with your partners and people you trust. You have to deeply understand your pitch and get intimate with it so that you can really start perfecting it.
You can start with the building blocks, and then you can improve the language. Get rid of what is unnecessary and decide what style you want to use.
Achieving perfection is a hard goal and it can be stressful and tiresome, but being aware of these three elements will get you on the road to an appealing pitch that you get you the results you are looking for.
Some pitch decks are incredibly memorable and here are some that made history. Hopefully they will get you inspired and motivated towards building your own.
The first outside investor in Facebook was billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, in 2004, back at the same time Mark Zuckerberg decided he would take his dorm room project seriously. Back then, they didn’t have an actual pitch deck, but a media kit that was very well built, containing what their proposition was for the company value, key metrics, and marketing services. Facebook’s media kit was based on solid numbers showing their user engagement, traffic, users, and growth.
LinkedIn’s pitch deck reveals what their values are in-depth and its unique features in relation to other similar social media networks. It makes substantial analogies in order to show investors what they are all about. In the pitch, they call themselves “Networking for businesses 2.0”.
One of the largest startup successes in history, the AirBnB pitch deck is a beloved reference for entrepreneurs across the globe. Their intro is an amazing example of how to get people hooked by being able to describe their company using just a few words.
Love it or hate it, everyone has, at some point, come across Buzzfeed. The company, based in New York, calls itself a “social news and entertainment company.” Focusing on viral content, it was founded in 2006 and had a revenue of $167 million in 2015. In their pitch deck they made sure to emphasize their numbers, which were already impressive, and quotes from leading news companies like CNN.
One of the great things about MapMe’s pitch deck was that they were able to provide social proof of engagement. By the time they presented it to investors, they had over 20,000 unique visitors, 18,000 monthly alerts, and 12 minute average sessions on the site.
This deck helped them get $1 million in seed funding.
The takeaways from these startup investor decks are sure to help you in your project to raise money for your own company. As you can see:
- Not all of them were formal and some aren’t necessarily beautiful.
- They all have an eye-catching slogan or intro.
- They aren’t long at all.
- Some use analogies that are very useful to show uniqueness and create relation.
In addition, your deck should:
- Show what the problems are and what your solutions are to these problems.
- What market opportunities you have found.
- Clearly and concisely demonstrate what your product or service is.
- Emphasize financials.
- Throw in social proof.
- Highlight your uniqueness
- Present an experienced team
Did you ever build a pitch deck? What are your thoughts on this article? Share them with us in the comments below or through our Facebook page.