Pitch decks are exactly what they sound like – prepared presentations that showcase your idea or startup in a positive light.
You should have at least 2 kinds of decks on standby – these can ultimately be edited and modified for almost any purpose and presentation that comes your way.
- A "Demo Deck” for demo days. Demo decks are all about your product and how it works; why should the audience use it and how exactly does it work?
- An "Investor Deck”. Your investor deck has to tell a compelling story and pitch your company in the best light. These typically encompass a lot of the demo deck but are a lot more oriented toward getting funding through the story telling and potential.
Decks are an essential part of your fundraising and traction process. Having a deck doesn’t mean as much in the long run once you’ve gained enough traction and cashflow to continue growing, but in the beginning, your Pitch Decks can make or break the success of your company.
Having well-done and thoroughly practiced decks is useful in both in gaining users and pitching to potential investors – key points if you want to succeed in business.
Fortunately, there are numerous templates to structure your deck around. The Guy Kawasaki template is a pretty good starting point and one of our favorite go-to templates. You can also find them in the Tools for Executives section of this site.
The one thing we’ve found most difficult in deck building has been keeping the deck visually appealing and concise. It’s really hard to distill your months/years long project into 10 simple slides that both convey your value and captivate your audience. If your deck is too full of text, the people who are reading it will probably be distracted or bored by the deck and it will actually take away from your presentation.
Don’t spend too much time though making your deck perfect. If you’re making progress and growing as a business your deck will always be changing.
As far as technology goes, have your decks online, on your computer, and on a flash drive. It’s also really helpful to have backups of your files in PDF format – this ensures you have something to work off of when technology doesn’t side with you for the day. Personally we’ve found using Keynote easier and more intuitive than PowerPoint – but go with what you’re most comfortable with. When you send out your deck send it in PDF format. Using PDF’s ensures no issues with compatibility.
Good luck on your Decks!