What Goes Into the Perfect Pitch Deck?
Whether you’re an established founder who needs to raise additional capital to make key hires and open up new distribution channels…
An up-and-coming startup that’s tired of bootstrapping and headed for your first seed round…
Or you’re just finding your feet as an entrepreneur…
There will be plenty of times when you need to call on the help of others.
Maybe you have a partnership proposal, an idea for collaboration, or an exciting investment opportunity.
Or maybe you need to approach the bank, your parents, or a close friend about the possibility of a loan.
Whatever your motivation; if you’re asking someone to give up their time or their money to help you grow your business, you’ll need to be ready with an excellent pitch.
Knowing what to say, how to say it, and the order in which you should present your ideas will be crucial to your success.
That’s why in this week’s video, I’m talking about what goes into the perfect pitch deck.
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READY TO PITCH?
I'm Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, angel investor and venture capitalist. In this video, I'm going to talk about what goes into the perfect pitch deck. Whenever you're growing your business, there's so many things that you could use other people's help for. Sometimes you might want to talk to an investor, other times you want to talk to a bank. Maybe it's a collaborator, a partner, anyone who is key in growing your business. They're going to need a good pitch from you, and knowing what to say in that pitch and the elements that have to go into it, no matter who your audience is, is crucial for your success.
It can be so intimidating to try to get a pitch together, because what exactly should go into it? There's all these different elements and often it requires knowing the ins and outs of your business, being able to produce some evidence of the numbers behind your business. Doesn't have to be scary, but there's some key areas you have to know.
Before you sit down to create a pitch, the first thing you have to ask yourself is why are you pitching? You don't need to just go around asking anyone who could possibly help you. You want to make sure that your asks are targeted. If you don't know the reason why you want to grow your business, if it's just to be bigger and better, it's not enough. Be very specific in why you're even asking for help.
The next thing that's really important is knowing how to introduce yourself and the business. How you talk about yourself, the confidence you put behind what you've created in your business, this will speak loudly to any audience. You want to make sure that you can define the opportunity that's out there for you and your business, and when you're talking to the people, why is there an opportunity that they should pay attention to in your business?
The opportunity is important, not just in itself, but in its relationship to your market. To be able to define your opportunity as it relates to your market will help the audience you're talking to learn about where you fit in the scheme of things. One of the things that makes the opportunity pop is how you will address it. Your secret sauce, what you and your team bring to the problem or the great solution that you've come up with is what sets you apart from the competition, but you have to be able to narrow in and say, "This is why I'm different. This is why my idea pops, and this is why my execution is the thing that will take it to the next level."
It's not enough to just have a great idea. You also have to have a plan to bring it to market. It costs a lot of money, there's time, there's delays. What are you going to do when things pop up you weren't expecting? What's your plan? It's okay if it's not set in stone, but you have to have some trajectory of where you're going and how long it's going to take you to get there before you ask anybody else for help.
A business runs on money and whether you're bringing in revenue or looking for outside resources, you have to have a way of articulating what's going to happen over the next three to five years financially, inside your company. What are the metrics behind your profit? Your margins? How are you going to cover costs in between the time that you make money and you're actually borrowing money or using your own resources, or looking for investors to cover the bills? Before you start pitching, have a very specific ask in mind for each audience you're talking to. They're all different, they all have different purposes in your business. Don't get in there looking for them to fill the void of what you need. You need to be able to articulate exactly what you're looking for.
If you're approaching different people and you're essentially looking for their help, their collaboration, even if you see a way that they're going to profit out of it, you have to make sure that you're telling them exactly how they'll profit. Why is this good for them? Is it just that they're helping you out of the goodness of their heart? You don't want that to be the case. You want them to have something in it that gives them a stake in the game. Make sure you're very clear in defining how they'll benefit from working with you.
The bottom line is that it's so important for you to be able to articulate a great pitch that defines your business and the benefits for anyone you want to work with. It's not enough to just put together a little bit of information about you and your product. Do your homework and make sure you're presenting something to an audience in a way they will respond to it, that they'll want to help you, and that they can profit from it. It's to your interest and to theirs to make sure that you're very clear and hit these specific notes in any kind of pitch you deliver.
No matter who you're pitching, there's a format that you can rely on that will help you get success, no matter what kind of pitch room you're walking into. Your ability to deliver a successful pitch is such a crucial skill. It gives you the ability to put value behind your blood, sweat, and tears. You don't want your idea just going out into the world without any structure, and you don't want someone else defining what your business is about. That should be your job. You putting the value behind it is what gets people interested and able to trust you as the business leader you are. Your pitch deck will make or break you.
Until next week
Miss last week’s post? Check it out here: Why askings investors to sign NDAs is a big no no.