Insights

How To Make Your Pitch Deck Stand Out For The Right Reasons

Wednesday 8 December 2021

When you’re passionate about your tech business it can be a major challenge to secure funding, because you want to include “everything” in your investor pitch deck (brief presentation of your business plan), but too much info can quickly result in a “no, thank you”.

Investors have multiple funding applications to consider (resulting in short attention spans), so finding the right balance of what to share with them and what to leave out is tricky.

I’ve seen some terrible pitch decks but I know that Ross Faith, EHE Capital’s Chief Financial Officer, has a wealth of experience when it comes to helping our tech entrepreneurs create pitch decks that leave a lasting impression (for the right reasons). You can hear our conversation on the Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Together podcast.

If you’ve ever felt apprehensive about delivering your pitch deck, Ross confirmed that you’re not alone.

Overcoming fear

Ross: “Lots of people feel bamboozled about what to include and, as a result, are scared of pitch decks. They think it’ll involve their financial numbers being pulled apart, but that’s not the only thing an investor is interested in. The pitch deck is an initial part of the process to see if the investor is interested.

It needs to be pitched at the right level, and the simpler the better. People want to cram in too much but then the salient points get lost. You want to make an investor curious and capture their imagination. Passionate jargon-free information goes a long way (and if you do have to use jargon, explain it briefly and quickly. Investors want to see a clear, concise story.”

How to make sure your pitch deck stands out  

I love the idea of a pitch deck unfolding like a story; all good stories demand attention. 

Richard Branson experienced poor service on a train, which is why he decided there was an opportunity to do it better. That’s a story. People don’t tend to be as passionate about problems that they haven’t personally experienced.

However, there’s a fine line between telling a story about the evolution of your business (why it exists and where you want to take it) and providing the facts and figures to back it up. Investors do not want over-the-top enthusiasm without substance.

Your pitch deck needs to be succinct and colourful but it also has to make sense on paper without you being there to explain it (because there will be times when the investor is reviewing it without you).

Ross had some great input.

What else should the pitch deck include?

Ross: “A good pitch deck [business overview]will include vision, short, medium and long-term goals. It needs to clearly outline what you plan to achieve. It must explain whether it’s product, tech or customer based and it must capture the hearts and minds of the investors.

An investor wants to see you portray what’s inside your head on paper, and make it exciting! They’ll want to know your unique selling proposition, why you’ll make a difference to the market you’re entering into and what you will do that’s different.”

When I was first starting in business, I asked my friends and former colleagues for help; sometimes other people spot obvious things that you can’t see are missing because you’re too close to the business.

It’s also worth remembering that if your pitch isn’t accepted right away, you can adapt it; it may not have been right or the right time for that investor, but that may change in six months. 

What are investors looking for?

Ross shared helpful insights on how to choose the right investor (and increase your chances of success).

Ross: “There’s been a transition in terms of what investors are willing to put their money into. You want to be specific about how you plan to use the funding and then consider the best investor to approach. They [investors] score entrepreneurs based on what’s important to them at that time. I’ve seen a number of pitch decks clearly focus on diversity and inclusion because they’re looking for investors who are supportive of that.”

From what Ross has explained, it’s clear that your pitch deck needs to include your overall objective, relevant facts and figures, a strong vision (consider including images and diagrams where appropriate too), and be able to whet the appetite of an investor.

Ross shared the perfect ending.

Ross: “I’ve seen some great pitch decks but it’s taken me an hour to find the point; but if I can get there quickly and the story excites me, I will be more willing to find ways to get over any hurdles and support it.”

Next week Ross and I will share answers to frequently asked questions about pitch decks.

In the meantime, the EHE community is a great online space where you can benefit from advice, support and feedback. Come and join us!

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