Neil Patel

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Every savvy entrepreneur should know how to create a pitch deck in 30 minutes. It’s often terrifying to pitch your startup idea or product to a room full of investors.

However, it doesn’t have to be. You can hold potential investors’ attention long enough to illustrate what your product accomplishes. And why it’s a worthwhile investment if you have the correct pitch deck.

It doesn’t have to take you all week to prepare. A great deck can take months from research to polishing.

Yet, if you are behind, and have an imminent investor meeting or opportunity to raise capital, you can slice that down dramatically. You can create a pitch deck in 30 minutes, using this framework.

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

    What is a Pitch Deck?

    Investing in startups in their early stages can be risky. Investors are unsure if you will still be in business within the next few years.

    If you are, you may have spent all of their money. Most startups have gone bankrupt before they receive a cent.

    The pitch deck, also known as a pitch slide deck or slide deck, is the first tool you’ll use to communicate with a potential investor about your project.

    The substance of your pitch deck and your presentation will aid the investor in deciding whether or not to pursue your business opportunity further.

    Your pitch deck will usually consist of the following slides:

    • Company Objective – the title slide
    • Problem
    • Solution – your product demo or service
    • Market
    • Competition
    • Value Proposition
    • Revenue and Business Model
    • Team
    • Financials
    • The Ask and use of funds

    According to Guy Kawasaki, author of ‘The Art of the Start’, he suggests that a pitch deck only has ten slides, summarizing all the critical information that needs to get included. The 10/20/30 rule of Powerpoint states the following:

    • 10 slides
    • 20 minutes
    • The font is not smaller than 30 point

    Following the guidelines developed by Kawasaki will enable you to create a detailed pitch deck in 30 minutes.

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    Tips for Creating a Good Pitch Deck in 30 Minutes

    • Stick to one main point per slide
    • Use an existing pitch deck template

    Your Audience and Their Questions

    Professor Tom Eisenmann of Harvard Business School conducted research for Docsend on the fundraising of 200 startups.

    He studied how they progressed through the seed and series A investment stages, raising more than $360 million.

    It was discovered that:

    • The financial and team slides were the most popular and viewed the longest, averaging 23.3 and 22.8 seconds each.
    • The problem and solution pages received the least amount of attention, respectively, at 11.3 and 10.6 seconds.
    • Instead of including deal terms and funding details in your deck, give them out in person (they will vary for each investor)

    Getting Started: Using the Right Tools

    When you are ready to create a pitch deck, you’ll need to have the right tools. There are various programs you can choose from that have customizable pitch deck templates, these include:

    • Apple Keynote (free on Apple computers)
    • Microsoft Powerpoint
    • Canva
    • Google Slides 

    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.

    Pitch Deck Slides Explained

    The ten slides listed below serve as the foundation of every pitch deck. The purpose of the initial meeting with the pitch deck is to pique the investors’ interest enough for them to want to move forward with you.

    This is why you should learn how to create a pitch deck in 30 minutes.

    Slide One: Title

    You will need to include your startup’s name, your title and name, and contact details. The investor can read the slide, so get right to the point and outline what you do, e.g., sell software.

    You want investors to consider your startup’s potential as well as the size of the market.

    Slide Two: The Problem

    Describe the problem you’re solving to your investors. The objective is to get everybody to agree and buy-in. You should be creating a solution to an existing proven problem.

    Not trying to find a problem to fit the solution you’ve already made.

    Slide Three: The Solution

    Describe how you will solve the problem and what meaning you bring to it. Make sure the audience recognizes what you’re selling and what your value proposition is.

    Remember, you are creating a pitch deck in 30 minutes, so avoid getting too technical during the presentation. Just give the basics of how you’ll solve the problem. Focus on one main feature.

    Slide Four: The Market

    First, identify and characterize the type of customer you serve. Then estimate the size of your solution’s total addressable target market (TAM) and explain why it is already huge or will be large in the future.

    Finally, determine the serviceable addressable target market (SAM), which is the portion of the total addressable target market that the company can reach based on its abilities.

    This is the opportunity in the market.

    Slide Five: The Competition

    Investors are interested in learning about your competitors, and how you differ from them. They also want to know how future innovations may disrupt the market, and how you plan to react.

    Consider who will be your future rivals and determine how you plan to defeat them. This is an opportunity to demonstrate your extensive understanding of the market.

    Knowing your business inside and out is the greatest approach to present it to investors. The competition slide must depict how your company is better and defendable.

    Slide Six: The Value Proposition

    This slide builds on the previous solution slide in a logical way. This is your opportunity to expand on the product and present it how it would get sold to buyers.

    A value proposition defines the product or service and the advantages it offers. You want to express “the secret ingredient” that distinguishes your offering from all other possible solutions, as Guy Kawasaki explains it.

    This is also the part of the pitch where you may get more specific about the product line-up, such as:

    • Product architecture
    • Intellectual property ownership
    • Functionality
    • Features

    If more development work is needed to finish the product, you should also offer a development roadmap.

    You should also offer details on how you plan to recoup their investment and explain why a buyer should purchase your service or product.

    When learning how to create a pitch deck in 30 minutes, know how to incorporate this element.

    Slide Seven: The Revenue and Business Model

    The Business & Revenue Model slide discusses how the startup will generate revenue.

    You should address issues such as:

    • Pricing and revenue model
    • Model of sales and distribution (how will customers find you)
    • Average account lifetime value, customer acquisition costs
    • List of clients/prospects
    • Barriers to entry

    According to Guy Kawasaki, the ideal method to explain a revenue model is to create a compelling demo that allows the audience to fill in the blanks on who, when, and why people will pay for themselves.

    Slide Eight: The Team

    It’s essential to have a good team. In reality, with recurring entrepreneurs, the team often receives funding instead of the idea.

    The idea is to demonstrate that the team has the necessary experience to show that they know what they’re doing.

    If any management team members and skill sets are missing, make sure you have a plan in place to fill any vacancies. This is another element to understand when learning how to create a pitch deck in 30 minutes.

    Slide Nine: The Financials

    Your startup’s financials is one of the most crucial slides in your presentation, so make sure the data is accurate and that you understand the figures.

    Avoid getting caught unaware. Answering concerns about financial information inaccurately is a sure way to turn off a potential investment.

    Include sales achieved and targets, client numbers, profit and loss information. Showcase your current revenue levels.

    Slide Ten: How Funds are Being Used

    Describe how much money you need now, what you plan to do with it, and what critical milestones you want to achieve with the next round of funding.

    You can also include a thank you closing slide and reiterate your contact information.

    You may not want an appendix, but providing appendix slides and an FAQ with organized answers for investors is essential.

    It shows that you’ve thought about all of your startup’s difficulties, prospects, and similarities, as well as them.

    Types of Startup Pitches

    The Elevator Pitch

    As a startup entrepreneur, you will meet hundreds of individuals at numerous meetings, events, and conferences, as well as online.

    In such cases, you only have a few seconds to pique someone’s interest. A convincing Elevator Pitch is the greatest method to do that.

    Put simply, this one-sentence statement outlines what you do, who you serve, and why it’s essential. The summary can be swiftly repeated to a stranger during an elevator trip, as the title suggests.

    The One-Minute Pitch

    You’re ready to move on to the One-Minute Pitch once you’ve developed your Elevator Pitch.

    You can add various important information to your pitch, for scenarios in which you are expected to give more of an introduction.

    The Pitch Deck

    The pitch deck is often one of the first interactions with potential investors. These may be the first thing you send to get a conversation started.

    Or you may be using a set of slides to present to a whole group of investors.

    Would you like more information on how to build a pitch deck quickly and deliver it within a few minutes? Check out this video I have created explaining in detail how it’s done. You’re sure to find it helpful.

    Guidelines for Creating the Perfect Pitch Deck in 30 Minutes

    Consider your presentation as a visual business plan. Your goal is to demonstrate your industry expertise, business concept, and qualifications in a concise manner.

    A typical deck contains ten slides, the most common error made by inexperienced entrepreneurs is showcasing too much information, too soon.

    The purpose of meeting No. 1 is to pique people’s curiosity to the point that they want to attend meeting No. 2.

    Don’ts for creating a pitch deck:

    • Include growth estimates that aren’t backed up by evidence.
    • Extraneous recruiting details should not be mentioned.
    • Avoid making use of a lot of text.
    • Exaggerate your abilities or achievements.

    Do’s for creating a pitch deck:

    • Keep it simple.
    • Make use of large, easy-to-read fonts.
    • Include colorful graphs, data, and graphics in your presentation.

    The Case for Two Decks

    Many entrepreneurs are startled to hear that they may require two decks:

    • A detailed version that can provide more detail to interested investors
    • A streamlined one that can be blasted out and used to grab their initial attention

    Before agreeing to meet, it’s not uncommon for investors to request to see a deck. As a result, your first version should have enough information to stand alone.

    A deck that you’ll be presenting live should be simplified so that investors spend more time listening and less time reading.

    How to Have a Successful Pitch Deck Presentation

    • Maintain a time limit of fewer than ten minutes: Respect your audience’s time by condensing your ideas into a short presentation.
    • Make up a story: Don’t just speak stats; take your audience on a voyage to understand why your startup is important.
    • Have a distinct UVP: During a typical week, investors are exposed to dozens of presentations. Make an impression with a truly distinctive unique value proposition.
    • Express your enthusiasm: Don’t be scared to show your enthusiasm for your project to potential investors.
    • Prepare for questions: Though it may not appear so, being interrupted is a good thing; it means that your audience is paying attention and is concerned enough to express their issues. Prepare answers to possible queries long in advance. Include them when learning how to create a pitch deck in 30 minutes.

    Final Thoughts

    Your pitch deck should be around ten slides and shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to create.

    To grab investors’ attention, an effective pitch must have an immediate hook, establish a vision, and clearly describe the problem that your company is tackling.

    It must answer the question “why now?” and persuade your audience that your product or service solves a problem that a substantial number of people are prepared to pay to have solved.

    You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

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    Neil Patel

    I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

    If you want me to help you with your fundraising, just book a call.

    Book a Call