How many charts do you need to include in a pitch deck? Visuals are an incredibly important part of any successful pitch deck. Charts are certainly some of the most important visuals that you will include in your deck when fundraising for your startup.
So, how many charts should you plan to include in your pitch deck? What types of charts do you need? How do you ensure that they are effective in helping run an efficient and successful fundraising process?
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Here is the content that we will cover in this post. Let’s get started.
- 1. What Is A Chart In A Pitch Deck?
- 2. Why Use Them?
- 3. What Types Of Charts Should Be Used In A Pitch Deck?
- 4. How Many Charts Should I Use In My Startup’s Pitch Deck?
- 5. Which Slides In Your Pitch Deck Need Charts?
- 6. The Market Size Slide
- 7. The Competition Slide
- 8. The Traction Slide
- 9. The Business Model Slide
- 10. The Financials Slides
- 11. The Use Of Funds Slide
- 12. Tips For Including Charts In A Pitch Deck
- 13. Other Visuals You Need In Your Pitch Deck
- 14. Summary
What Is A Chart In A Pitch Deck?
Before we dive into how many charts you need, the best practices for creating them, and where they belong, what exactly is a chart in a pitch deck?
A chart is a visual representation of data. Which may be in the form of a table, graph, or diagram.
Why Use Them?
Why do you need to use charts in your pitch deck?
The three main reasons to include charts in your pitch deck are:
- To keep your pitch deck clean and simple
- To make your data fast and easy to understand
- Investors expect them
The main key to an effective pitch deck is simplicity. It has to be clean, easily understood, and quick to get through.
On average, you only have about two and a half minutes for investors to make it through your pitch deck. If you only use text, you are probably going to lose them before the end, and your call to action to invest.
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While words and text are extremely important, you can convey a lot more information, in a far more palatable way with an image.
Investors have also become accustomed to expecting charts and big data points. Serving them what they want and need is equally as pivotal in getting funded as the actual information you are providing.
Keep in mind that in fundraising, storytelling is everything. In this regard, for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.
What Types Of Charts Should Be Used In A Pitch Deck?
There are actually many different types and styles of charts.
Some of the most common that you may want to include in your startup’s pitch deck include:
- Bar charts
- Line graphs
- Pie charts
- Column chart
- Bubble chart
- Venn graphs and stacked Venn chart
- Funnel chart
- Maps, including heat maps
How Many Charts Should I Use In My Startup’s Pitch Deck?
So, let’s answer your question–how many charts do you need to include in a pitch deck? For a high-performing pitch deck for an early-stage startup (pre-Seed, Seed, or Series A), you will probably use six charts in your startup’s pitch deck.
This, of course, can change depending on the stage that your startup is at. You will want at least this number of charts in your pitch deck. Even if you are using a very lean 10, 12, or 16 slide deck template as a pre-revenue startup.
If you are preparing to raise a Series B, C, or later round, then you may well have more data to convey. If you have multiple product lines, income sources, or even subsidiary businesses that you have acquired, then you may have more complex information to present, and a higher volume of it. This may require two to three more charts and slides to be added to your pitch deck.
It is important to have an idea of how many charts you will need to include in your deck before you start. This will help you recruit the right help, budget accurately, and stay on track to have a polished deck ready for pitching investors.
Which Slides In Your Pitch Deck Need Charts?
There are at least six slides in your deck that should have some type of chart. Make sure that you have gathered your data and include great-looking visualized data for these slides.
The Market Size Slide
Market size is one of the most important factors for startup investors. It can make or break any startup and fundraising campaign.
Here you want to show the size of the entire market. As well as your serviceable and obtainable market. Then the target market that you are aiming to win first.
Use a big visual to show the huge opportunity here. This is contrasted by your initial target market, which shows you know how to focus, and will make good use of their funds by concentrating your efforts.
The Competition Slide
With a little strategy and a great visual, this slide can be one of your most powerful.
Be very intentional about selecting three or four competitors in this space which you can use to position your startup as a great investment.
There are several ways you can do this to support your fundraising efforts, and maximize the perceived value of your startup while creating that necessary sense of urgency that will compel investors to action.
Use a graph-type chart to plot your competitor logos. With yours standing out in contrast, up and to the right.
You may include well-known, large corporate incumbents. They can provide proof of this as a stable and sizable business to get into. As well as hinting at who may be potential acquirers of your startup in the future.
Other trending startups may be included. Specifically, those that have been growing fast, and have raised significant amounts of money. This can help justify your ask and indicate the growth potential. If they have also been raised from notable investors, it can provide a fear of missing out, and a little more encouragement for these investors to get in early and score wins for themselves in a space they might have passed up on before.
The Traction Slide
Traction is vital for startups. It can be even more important when it comes to fundraising and creating a winning pitch deck.
Having a big market, a strong value proposition, good team members, and the right timing are all parts of the recipe for a successful startup. Yet, it all means nothing if you cannot execute well, and prove it through your traction and growth.
Investors expect traction and hyper-growth. The earlier the stage of your startup, the higher the expectations.
This is typically presented in a line graph that hopefully heads sharply up and to the right. Keep these factors in mind when figuring out how many charts do you need to include in a pitch deck
The Business Model Slide
While you can present your business model in the form of a few step-by-step bullet points, using a visual on this slide will make it faster and easier to understand, more appealing to look at, and more professional.
Consider a visual graphic that shows your business cycle and how money flows through your business.
The Financials Slides
For startups that already have been operating and have some financial history, there will be two slides in this section of your pitch deck. One for your existing financial performance and situation, and a second slide for your financial forecasts.
As a new pre-revenue, early-stage startup, you will only need the financial forecast slide.
Both of these slides can present your data using a simple table. Just feature the main categories.
You can provide more detail, with your more sensitive information, and line-by-line detail in more comprehensive financials and spreadsheets inside your virtual data room. Reserve that information and level of detail for investors that you have vetted, and are serious about.
This enables you to share your pitch deck as widely and freely as possible to get the most possible investors looking at it. While having the data, those who are willing to provide term sheets and are ready to begin their due diligence will need to close the deal.
The Use Of Funds Slide
You may choose to use a visual graphic here to liven up the use of funds slide. As well as to provide more information in a way that can be understood faster.
Of course, investors want to know what you are going to do with their money. You do not have to go into great detail at this point. Just highlight which buckets or categories you plan to dedicate this capital to. That may be hiring, marketing, new facilities, or something else.
Investors want to see that you are focused, and are spending the money on moving the levers that will make a difference, add real value, and increase the value of their investment.
If you need more detailed information on the types of charts you should use in pitch decks, check out this video I have created.
Tips For Including Charts In A Pitch Deck
Be sure to make the most of the charts in your pitch deck. Done poorly, they can certainly take away from your presentation and make you look unprofessional. Done well, they can level up your pitch deck and help you secure the funding you need. Take the time to understand how many charts do you need to include in a pitch deck.
- Up And To The Right: Graphs and charts should go up and to the right. This especially applies to your traction and competitor slides.
- Leverage Modeling Tools: When creating financial slides, it may be helpful to utilize financial modeling software to project and organize your data. You may also use these tools to forecast various scenarios for yourself internally. Then recast and evaluate different scenarios as your business evolves and macro factors change.
- High Quality, Small File Sizes: Don’t use distorted or low-quality images, pictures, and charts which are just going to turn potential investors off. It doesn’t cost much to leverage the help of a professional graphic designer to help out here. At the same time, you want to ensure your images, and entire pitch deck is of small file size so that they can be easily shared and stored.
- Optimize Visual Files: If you will ever be hosting your pitch deck or charts online, you may want to use SEO-rich tags to help them be found. Using appropriate tags and file names can also make it far easier and more efficient to find these images and charts when you need them. As well as making sure that you are always inserting the most recent versions.
- Formatting: It is smart to be sure that your charts and other visuals transfer well between any software programs that you may be saving, presenting, and sharing in.
Other Visuals You Need In Your Pitch Deck
What other visuals will you need in your pitch deck aside from charts?
- Team Pictures: Your team is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting funded. Your team slide should feature high-quality headshots of your cofounder team members. This also applies to other key team members and notable advisors.
- Logos: Logos are a powerful and fast way to convey a lot. You may want to incorporate the logos of your previous investors, or investors committed to participating in this round. You may also feature the logos of your customers on your customers and engagement slide. Of course, your own logo should be of good quality and appear right on your cover slide.
- Product Pictures: Even if you only have a prototype or mock-up of a screenshot, product pictures are important to include. They work even better if you show your product in a real-world situation.
- Background Themes: Carefully used themes and backgrounds can help bring your pitch deck to life, and may carry a lot of emotional weight. Be sure this does not drown out your messaging and take away from your charts. It should remain easy to read, and smooth to present and share. Be sure to use themes that work seamlessly with your branding and other online assets.
A variety of charts can be used throughout your pitch deck. Each can help deliver vital data that investors need to make a decision. They also help keep your deck easy to understand, and emotionally compelling. So, that you can speed investors through to providing those much-needed term sheets. That should explain in detail how many charts do you need to include in a pitch deck.
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