The Slides You Need To Slash From Your Pitch Deck
Sometimes I sit in pitches, and it feels like the person presenting believes the only thing standing between them and my investment is their ability to get me to like their product.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of talking to investors as if they’re your consumers, but nine times out of ten, this is a sure fire way to blow your shot at the golden ring.
What investors like me are most interested in hearing about is your growth plan, your metrics, and whether your company can scale. Remember, investors are busy people with limited attention spans so if you want to keep them focused on you and your business long enough to get to the negotiations; you’ll need to streamline your pitch deck as much as possible.
That’s why in this week’s video I’m talking about the slides you need to slash from your pitch deck to increase your chances of landing an investment.
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THE SLIDES YOU NEED TO SLASH FROM YOUR PITCH DECK
I'm Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, angel investor and venture capitalist. In this video, I'm going to talk about slides you can take out of your presentation to up your chances of getting an investment.
I see so many pitches and sometimes really solid pitches don't get my interest because they talk to me as if I'm their consumer and not a potential investor. It's so crucial that when you're pitching, you understand your audience. If it's an investor like me, I don't need to know too much about your product. Sometimes it feels like entprepreneurs think that the only thing standing between them and my investment is me liking their product and that's just not the case. Sometimes I may be your likely consumer, but often I'm not. Even if I am, that's not the point. You have to convince me of the whole company's ability, profitability, and scalability. If you can't do those things, how pretty your product is, how neat it is, what it can do in the marketplace, it's only half the equation, if that.
Before we get started talking about the specific pitch slides you don't need in your deck, let's talk about why it's important to know who you're talking to. In any kind of a pitch, whether it's to me as an investor, or to a partner, a collaborator, someone you want marketing your product, you have to think of what their needs are as your audience. Just like any good writer is aware of who is reading her material, you have to be aware of who is listening to your pitch. If you're not thinking like them and addressing their needs and their desires, they really have no reason to give you what you want.
I see so many entrepreneurs burn the time that they have in a pitch with pretty slides about their product and really don't need that many. If you're using too many slides to talk about your product, again, you're talking to investors like they're customers. There's so much else we want to see about your financials, about your vision, about how you're going to make it through the next three to five years without going under.
Another slide I see popping up in a lot of presentations is the anecdotal slide, the testimonials. These are great and it's nice to see when people like your product, but if you're not linking it back to something measurable, profit, margins, an idea of the market and who represents it, we're not going to be interested. Why? Because testimonials are just one person's experience and you have to give us a sense of the aggregate experience of the entire market, not just one person's experience of it.
One of the biggest mistakes I see in a pitch deck is when entrepreneurs claim they have no competition. It's one thing to say you're first to market, meaning you are the first person on the field and that's why you have an advantage. But even first to market is not a win-all. If you think you have no competition, you've told me one of two things. Either other people out there have been smarter than you, researched your market idea, and decided it wasn't worth it and not profitable and walked away, or you didn't dig hard enough, and there are competitors out there, and you don't know who they are. In either case, I'm skeptical.
Sometimes entrepreneurs think it's great to pad their pitch deck with some nice pictures and head shots of people who are advisors and mentors. Don't get me wrong. Where you can find powerful connections and people who will open up networks to you, that's great. But if those people aren't actively supporting you, if they're just someone you kind of know or they met you once, don't put them in your slide deck. Investors are going to ask are these people supporting you with their time or, more importantly, their money? If they're not, we'll raise some eyebrows asking why wouldn't they support your business if they're advising you.
To sum up, don't get carried away with how great your product is. While you've got something fantastic and you've put a lot of creative energy into it, when you're talking to investors, what you're offering to the market is only a fraction of why we are interested in your company. Don't waste time and don't pack your deck with so many slides that you can't get to the meat of your presentation. We want to know about the market, the numbers behind your company. How are you going to stay profitable? Where do you see margins? Why are you scalable? Exit strategies.
Have a really concise pitch deck. You can use all the time they give you but we're impressed if you can get to the heart of your message as quickly as possible. If you know what we're looking for and you hit those check boxes, we're impressed because so many entrepreneurs just want to talk about what they've created, their baby, why the market wants it. If you can talk to us about the numbers and the things that most people don't see going on in your business, we will really take note.