So, you’ve finally landed a meeting with the VC of your dreams. You want to convince these folks that you’re innovative, profitable, and heck, maybe even a little edgy.
Some startup founders try to wing their VC pitch to look oh-so-suave. But, in reality, some components of the pitch process are traditional for a reason, and a slide deck is no exception.
The right slide deck acts like your wingman in a presentation. It showcases your products, technology, and team to investors and puts your pitch on center stage.
Yes, you need a slide deck, but not just any old slide deck will do. These 15 – 20 slides should be you fighting for the funding you need to scale.
What makes a good pitch, anyway?
Every awesome pitch has one thing in common: an awesome story.
How did your startup come to be? How are you changing the game? (How will it affect the investors’ pocketbooks?)
What’s coming out of your mouth is only half the story, though. You need high-quality visuals in your pitch to back it all up.
A visual pitch makes it easier for VCs to understand what makes your startup tick. On a biological level, it actually makes your presentation easier to follow visually.
You know the saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words”?
Well, it’s true.
Visual pitches help you:
- Communicate fast and effectively.
- Catch a VC’s attention (so they’ll actually look up from their phones).
- Engage and maintain investors’ interest from start to finish.
VCs are busy people, and you need to grab their attention by the horns. Science says visuals lessen the amount of brain processing power needed to understand something—in other words, your VCs will understand your startup with less confusion if you have a pitch deck.
7 urgent reasons you need a slide deck
Because our human brains are wired to process images, and not words, your pitch deck needs to use more visuals than written text.
Who wants to read a list of bullet points verbatim, anyway?
Not you. If you need startup funding, you need a badass slide deck to complement your pitch.
But hey, if you still need convincing, here are 7 urgent reasons you need a slide deck for your next pitch.
1 – Stay on task
Have you ever spent weeks planning a presentation, only to feel your mind go blank the second you step up to a podium?
It happens to the best of us, but that’s not a great spot to be in.
You can practice your pitch all you want, but there’s nothing like the pressure of pitching to a room full of people with money.
A pitch deck will help you stay on task while pitching (and calm your nerves a little bit).
While you should never place a ton of text on your slide deck, it gives just enough structure to your presentation that you can lean on it if you go blank.
2 – Tell a consistent story
You’re probably going to pitch to more than just one group of VCs.
Make sure the story you’re telling is consistent. Don’t mix up the order of events or important dates between pitches.
Nothing raises a red flag for investors like inconsistencies.
Make sure the words coming out of your mouth stay consistent with your pitch deck. The visuals will guide you to tell your story over and over again, consistently.
3 – Follow up faster
In all honesty, VCs are busy people. Your pitch is the center of your universe, but to VCs, it’s just one more thing in their inbox.
Slide decks make it easier to impress VCs before and after your presentation.
Just send over a PDF version of your slide deck to their email after your pitch. Make it as easy as possible for them to remember you!
(Just don’t repeatedly follow up with your slide deck or whiny emails. Nobody wants a clingy emailer.)
4 – Humans love visuals
There’s no way around it: humans like pretty pictures. That’s why you always have to show instead of tell.
Visual presentations are 43% more persuasive. Plus, people retain only 10% of what they hear in an oral presentation, but retain a whopping 65% of a presentation with text and audio.
Don’t kick open the doors and try to impress with a casual “chat” about your startup. This is a serious presentation, and a visual slide deck makes it easier for you to get funding.
5 – Engage with distracted VCs
80% of adults in the US have a smartphone, and we spend 5 hours a day on them.
If your VCs whip out their phones and totally ignore your pitch, it’s not like you can tell them to put it away. This isn’t high school—you can’t send someone to the principal’s office for not paying attention.
Earn the VCs’ attention. High-quality graphics, images, and animations keep investors engaged. And an engaged investor is a motivated investor.
6 – Be a data voyeur
We know you’ve spent hours compiling that data. So don’t be shy about it!
But instead of sending investors your data in huge packets (who wants to read that?), use cool data visualizations. This gives VCs a quick overview of why you’re worth the money.
Spreadsheets and tables make data insights a chore. And if something is difficult or confusing, you’ll lose your VCs.
Take the complex, data-heavy stuff and turn it into an easily-digestible visual to get funding. You can always share the big packet of data with them later.
7 – Make the foundation for something awesome
A legendary pitch deck will help you secure funding. That’s awesome enough, but the benefits of a great slide deck don’t end after your pitch.
A pitch deck can actually become an outline for your business plan.
You need a business plan, anyway, so why not kick it off with your pitch deck planning? This works because:
- Slides are easy to rearrange. Use them to structure your business plan before you spend hours outlining something in Google Docs.
- You’re visualizing the bigger picture. Instead of getting lost in details like org charts, you’re focusing on the stuff that matters.
- You can toss what’s not working. If things aren’t working out, it’s easier to discard a few slides than a huge chunk of your written business plan.
The bottom line
You need a pitch deck to make an amazing first impression with potential investors. Give people positive takeaways that they’ll actually remember with badass visuals, too. That will help VCs remember you when it’s time to cut a check.
Not sure how to design your visual pitch? We’ve got you covered.