How long should a pitch deck be? A pitch deck should be no longer than 20 slides in length. Ideally, you should be as concise as possible. 10 slides are even better, as long as you aren’t overcrowding your pitch deck. Less than 10 slides would tend to suggest that your pitch is underdeveloped.
With that answer out of the way, you might think you know everything you need to know about pitch decks and their length. However, the only way you can make a pitch deck the right length is to understand what goes into making an effective one.
Other Considerations for Pitch Deck Length
When thinking how long should a pitch deck be I’ve advised thousands of entrepreneurs about how to make a pitch deck, but one of the most challenging aspects in doing so, is figuring out how long a pitch deck should be before putting it in front of potential investors.
As opposed to a business plan, your pitch deck length will be determined by your central argument, market data, investor attention, and basic pitch deck structure. On the video below I cover how to create a pitch deck and you will also see from a visual perspective how keeping things simple is critical.
The Pitch Deck Central Argument
The central argument for your pitch deck is the main point you are trying to get across to investors. This is the point that will, hopefully, entice them to invest in your company. This is usually explored through the problem/solution dichotomy.
The “problem” is the issue you are trying to solve for potential customers. The “solution” is the product or service you launch to achieve that goal.
In order to attract investors, you need to be able to persuasively show that the problem is real and that the solution is valuable. Do those two things and you will already have a great shot.
However, when wondering how long should a deck be, know the problem/solution dichotomy is often what adds substantial length. Entrepreneurs become so engrossed in their product/service, that they go into too much detail when writing their pitches.
Be as concise as possible when you are determining the slides you need in your pitch deck. The entire point of the problem/solution dichotomy is to purify your pitch. You need to boil it down to the absolute heart of what your pitch is about. Stick to one slide with no more than three bullet points to show the problem you are solving.
Do the same with the solution and you will cut down the length of your deck while keeping the attention of potential investors.
When thinking how long should a deck be, know that Investors aren’t interested in your intuition alone. You might make great observations about a niche and what it will take to be profitable within it, but how can an investor know your intuition or insight is correct?
To make your points more compelling with angel investors, you need to back them up with cold, hard facts.
Each point you make during your pitch must be supported by accurate data. That way, an investor cannot so easily unravel your entire business plan – and believe me, that’s exactly what investors will try to do to stress test your deck!
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