13 Tips to Design a Successful Pitch Deck

Every entrepreneur, needs 3 basic things– an amazing business idea, loads of good coffee and an excellent pitch deck.  In my previous blog, I have spoken about ‘Mastering the art of presentation’. Here we will talk about the design element which is fundamental in creating the best pitch deck presentation that makes your idea absolutely saleable. Pitch deck ppt is the first document the investor receives, to create and impression about your start-up and hence, it is extremely important to tick all the right boxes in creating one.

The primary elements of a pitch presentation are:

  • Identify the problem that your business idea will solve
  • Elaborate the solution to the problem you have identified
  • Present numbers – market needs, your success ratio
  • Highlight team members and credentials

The information on the investor pitch presentation ppt should be crisp and attractive. Your idea is your dream, so how you tell the story and how you present it, is the key to realising that dream. And design helps play an important role in that along with content. Here is a list of tips to design the perfect start up pitch presentation:

  1. Keeping a consistent design element/motif

Building your own identity is definitely the most important thing when developing a start-up investor presentation. Showcasing the originality of the business idea and putting it together in a creative presentation is made possible by a design element. The design element can be in the form of shapes, objects or icons and can be used throughout the business pitch. Selecting a unique element or theme or motif brings a thematic consistency to the pitch.

  1. Use templates for the layout of your pitch deck

Choosing a template helps you to keep uniformity within the presentation. There is a thin line between consistency and monotony, so while consistency is important it shouldn’t make the slides too predictable. So to keep the presentation interesting, you can choose a few similar layouts and then string them together through the design.

  1. Variations within a consistent pitch

Although we talk about consistency and standardisation, too much of the same format, layout and features can make the overall pitch look monotonous, and at worst, it may seem a tad lethargic. If the audience sees too much of the same thing, they surely lose interest after a certain point. Without making outlandish variations, you can make interesting shifts in the style to keep a hold on the audience. It is important to keep the viewers engaged in order to convince them to fund your business, and for this, the slides cannot be predictable.

  1. Each slide of your pitch deck should cover a specific topic

From an audience’s point of view, every slide of the pitch should be specific to the topic discussed and crisp in the commentary. A slide filled with a lot of text or a table with lots of numbers and statistics can distract an audience and fail to hold their attention for too long. Tedious slides can eventually be one of the reasons for a failed pitch. Therefore you should pick a topic and close it in the same slide itself. For example, one slide about the business opportunity, another about current players and the next one about your USP is fine, but you shouldn’t go on endlessly just explaining the potential.

  1. Catch them early

It helps if you are able to draw the complete attention of the audience in the first couple of slides. It’s much like the opening of a movie or a book where people develop an interest early on and are more likely to go through it fully. So, when you are talking about a problem and the solution that you are offering in the first two pages, the intrigue is built in the mind of the audience to know more about the entire scenario. To make it happen, you must be careful with the words, specific in the commentary and use visual tools like icons, charts, graphs and photos to appeal to the audience and help them visualise the subject.

In fact, rather than elaborating the business over a series of slides, it is best if you can keep it short and try to convey the message in just one slide or wrap it up in 2-3 slides.

  1. Smart use of Icons

Icons and shapes act as graphic cues that can guide the audience’s eyes towards a particular point that you want to highlight on the slide. A coloured down arrow to depict a falling trend or graph can instantly explain the audience the core message of a table or a text box. However, these icons should be consistent across the slide, lest, they distract the audience.

  1. Showcasing team through the picture

Great entrepreneurs are convinced that a good team is the foundation of any promising business venture. By highlighting the strength of your crew, you can convince the investor that you are serious about your business plan and have accumulated the talent required to achieve success. Photos of your core team also put a positive impression in the minds of the investor as they visualise and understand the value system better. After all, a single image speaks louder than a thousand words.

However, a picture can take a lot of space so you should be smart in inserting one into your slide. It can be used as a slide header or as a background so that it can accommodate texts within the same space. Simple editing hacks like changing opacity, contrast and brightness can get this sorted.

  1. Visual appeal through charts, pictograms and infographics

A lot of text is never good. However, to convey the message that is expressed over several paragraphs of texts, you can switch to visually informative tools like charts, pictograms, icons and infographics. Data presented using charts, graphs and pictograms can show the audience a larger picture by highlighting key takeaways, patterns and trends. These representations should, however, be simple as charts which are complex can turn out to be very difficult to comprehend. Besides, you should know which tool to use for which purpose. For example, charts are good for representing key metrics while infographics are helpful in depicting a process flow or a concept. You can select the best charts by clicking here.

  1. Columnar layout for the pitch deck slides

You may include texts, pictures, charts, infographics and so on in your slide, but the presentation should have symmetry and not look like a haphazard bundle of information. You can think of your slides as a grid which is divided into couple of columns. Now, you should try to fit in all the information within those gridlines.

  1. Bold design choices that convey confidence in your pitch

Your slide design can tell a lot about your confidence and enthusiasm towards the business. The investors need to see that confidence to invest in your business. You should be selecting designs that ooze that excitement. By using impressive fonts, colours, background design, smart construction of sentences you can make an impact on your audience.

  1. The business’s personality should come to fore

The pitch should be able to uphold the identity of the business. Depending on whether you plan to identify your business as a traditional, innovative, dynamic, aggressive and admired or something else, your pitch design should be able to depict the same. If you are planning to start an adventure-gear company, your pitch should showcase the spirit of adventure and an adrenaline-charged lifestyle. It is important to think what your target audience would find most appealing. Your prospective investor is also likely to be impressed by the same approach.

  1. Highlighting the core processes 

A creative pitch presentation is not the best place to explain the details of the business and its operating nitty-gritty. However, you should touch upon the key processes that form the foundation of your business and try to summarise them in the deck. This will convince the investors that you know the business and have things figured out for the future.

  1. Professional look and feel

It is almost imperative that a business pitch presentation should look sophisticated and professional. You may need to be playful with the design if your business demands it, for example starting something related to children or animation will need bright hues and imaginative depiction. Even in such cases, the investor pitch presentation should be consistent and aligned with the business.

To reiterate what venture capitalist Scott Sage said, a well-designed deck is critical even for the investor as it is the first impression that he or she gets while getting in touch with an aspiring entrepreneur. A well-designed deck confirms that the entrepreneur is serious, confident and proud of his business idea. It also communicates the exact idea in a succinct manner and increases the chances of roping in investors. Therefore, you should never hesitate to spend some extra time to bring out the best possible quality from the presentation.

 

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