161004 10 Key Pitch Slides Blog

10 Key Pitch Slides

What are the key points you need to allow investors to “self-filter” and come to you already extremely interested? How do you demonstrate the depth and quality of your expertise and knowledge? And only on ten slides? Here are some hints…

Your web pitch deck will only be seen for 224 seconds (average from DocSend) and your verbal deck will get longer – perhaps as much as 600 seconds. You have to demonstrate your expertise, knowledge and ability to sell in a few minutes in order to get strangers interested enough to engage with you. So what do you cover in those 224 seconds or 10 slides?

Here’s a good starting point (with thanks to Sequoia Capital):

  • Company Purpose – A single, short sentence defining the company/business.
  • Problem – What pain does the customer suffer with the problem you’ve identified. What do they do now to solve this pain. Note: don’t confuse customer and user. A customer will pay money for the solution but a user will use the solution but pay nothing giving you support costs.
  • Solution – How does the solution solve the problem and what is the value proposition from the customers’ point of view? Demonstrate what and why they will pay. An example of a customer using your solution is a good way to illustrate the point.
  • Why Now – What trends lead to making your solution possible now rather than a year ago or a year in the future? Often reviewing the PEST analysis business management tool can help you answer this question.
  • Market Size – Calculate the TAM, SAM and SOM for your customer set. Use external sources and real data from any sales to date.
  • Product – Describe the product that customers will buy – benefits, intellectual property, form, functionality, etc. Provide a development road map for version 2, etc.
  • Team – Give background Bios for the key people in the company – founders, management, advisers, etc. Aim to demonstrate depth of expertise.
  • Business Model – How do you make money? What price will you charge? How will you reach potential customers? How much does it cost to get new customers? How will you improve the viral rate? How do you manage the pipeline?
  • Competition – List other solutions for this problem that customers could buy. What are your benefits? What are their benefits?
  • Financials (optional) – Provide Profit & Loss, Balance sheets, Cash flow analysis, details of the investment deal you are offering.

Seems like a lot? Remember that “pictures are worth a thousand words” so appropriate use of diagrams, tables, graphs, etc. can get many points over very quickly in a way that words never can.

It is important to get this right since investors and business angels very rarely look at an investment proposition twice – and if they do it will be years later. An investor or business angel will assume that you did the best you possibly could first time around.

If you want to know more about creating the Perfect Pitch I run Workshops on the subject or you can email me anytime…

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Great post Brian, thanks.

    Just some points (for consideration, I’m not dogmatic about these):

    Company Purpose – I’ve seen this early slide described as a succinct overview of the business so that investors will not be confused during the pitch, something like:

    Our target market is …
    Our company ABC is a … that ….
    It does this by …
    Unlike … it …

    I would suggest Problem and Solution need to include (at least in talking to the slides details of validation of reach).

    Financial Model – I tend to suggest focussing on Revenue, Gross Margin, Operating Costs, and Working Capital rather than accounting documents, or hockey stick financial projects but it probably depends at what stage the startup is at.

    There are other possible slides too (always a gamble as to which ones the audience / investors want), for example:

    • Value Proposition
    • Unfair Advantage (Secret Sauce)
    • Timelines / Milestones / Plans etc.

    The suggested order can vary widely as well.

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