Are you chasing venture capital funding? Then you’ve probably heard the term “pitch deck” a lot, and you’ve probably wondered what they are and how to make one. Pitch decks give potential investors all the information they need so they can decide if they want to invest in your company. A good pitch deck will be critical to helping you secure venture capital funding. 

According to Improve Presentation, a pitch deck is a “brief presentation, often created using PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi, used to provide your audience with a quick overview of your business plan. You will usually use your pitch deck during face-to-face or online meetings with potential investors, customers, partners, and co-founders.”

What Should Be in Your Pitch 

A pitch deck should embody several qualities. It should be clear, compelling, and present an action plan. Luckily for you, the pitch deck format has been standardized over the years, so you should be able to follow along with another startup’s pitch deck when you are building yours. According to Slidebean — a company that designs and builds custom pitch decks —  a pitch deck should have the following components:

  1. Cover 
  2. Problem – Present the current problem that your product aims to tackle.
  3. Solution – Show how your product would solve the problem.
  4. Product Demonstration – Show the product in action and keep the demonstration under 30 seconds. Then, show them why it will make money. 
  5. Market Size – Show them how big the company can grow.  
  6. Business Model – Show them HOW your company plans to make money. 
  7. Competition – Show how your company and product compare to your competitors. 
  8. Underlying Magic/Competitive Advantage – Show the patents and unique technologies you’ve used to create your products. 
  9. Go-To-Market Plan – Show how you plan to acquire your customers. 
  10. Team – Introduce your founders and say why they are the right people to lead the company. 
  11. Traction/Milestones (most important slide in your deck) – Talk about sales, revenue, and profit. According to Slidebean, if you don’t have sales yet, you should reconsider pitching. 
  12. Fundraising Information – Tell the investors how much money you’re asking for. Pro tip: Make sure this slide is SEC-compliant

What to Avoid

Remember, your pitch deck should be a powerful persuasive tool to show investors and donors. Avoid vague and unverified claims terms. Keep your language as simple as possible, avoiding jargon. Additionally, you will need to adjust your pitch deck to suit your audience. The Securities and Exchange Commission prohibits the release of a company’s financial information beyond specifically approved audiences. 

Side Benefits

Pitch decks provide enormous value to startup founders as well as investors.  A good pitch deck should force founders to evaluate all facets of their business critically and clarify their own thought processes before presenting to outsiders. 

Still Need Help?

Many of the most successful companies’ pitch decks — like Uber and Airbnb — are available online. Study them carefully while making your own. If you’re still not confident, companies like Slidebean are dedicated to helping founders perfect their pitch deck. Slidebean helps founders craft the story of their company and designs custom slides to help them stand out from the crowd.