How to end a pitch deck presentation? What’s the best way to end your pitch to leave a lasting impression on investors?
There have been volumes of new information coming out on how to get started with the right framework for a winning pitch deck, as well as how to get started trying to find investors to fund your startup.
In comparison, there seems to be almost little to nothing about how to finish a pitch deck presentation strong.
So, how do you end a pitch?
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
It’s All About A Strong Finish
A great start is important. First impressions really do matter.
They can definitely set up and influence the rest of this opportunity. Though how you finish is even more important.
You can start out fantastically, but if you bomb at the close it is all for nothing.
How you end your deck and presentation can make all of the difference in the outcome of that pitch.
In fact, you might get off to a rocky start, but be able to finish even better.
You might be late to the pitch, spill coffee on yourself on the way there, have your tech glitch and laptop and backup crash, or even stutter and lose your place mid-pitch.
With the right ending, you can still nail it and get the funding. Don’t underestimate the importance and power of the end of your pitch.
What’s The Purpose Of A Pitch Deck Presentation?
Always start with the end in mind.
Crafting a pitch and deck should not just be about filling in blanks or other formats because you think you are supposed to or saw someone else do it that way.
In fact, instead of working chronologically focusing only on your first slide and introduction through to the end, and end up trying to squeeze in or rush the finish, you might benefit from looking at it in reverse order.
What is the outcome you really want to see most from this presentation?
Reverse engineer that from your close backward to ensure you have all the bases covered to lead to that.
It’s also worth considering your second or third ideal outcomes from this as well to set those up as options.
What are your priorities? Are they:
- Learning as much as you can from your audience?
- Getting the money? And if so what for?
- Enrolling more experienced people as backers and ambassadors?
- Increasing your credibility and visibility?
- Letting the world know about your product?
In many cases funding is the primary driver. Yet, in many scenarios, the outcome of a pitch deck being presented is not getting a check handed to you on the spot.
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It is more likely to be an investor meeting to discuss this again in more depth. Even if you are in one of these meetings, second or third meetings are common.
If you walk out with a signed, proposed term sheet, that is often as close to walking out with a check as you’ll get in most scenarios.
Though it is always good to believe and think big and bold too. Still, if the ideal outcome is a meeting or term sheet, that is what everything should be focused on achieving.
So you see, figuring out how to end a pitch deck presentation is critical for success.
Set It Up Well From The Start
Fundraising is about strategy. We’ve already touched on reverse engineering your pitch deck and presentation.
So, from beginning to end your deck and verbal pitch should be setting up a smooth finish.
From the introduction through to your closing slide your visuals, words, tone, and body language should all be leaving your audience with the same outcome in mind as you.
The battle is won before you even get to the close or ask.
This is done through subconscious branding with your color and font choices. How you present your team, and your financial projections.
Your slides should be checking off the investors’ boxes one by one, and overcoming their objections in advance.
In their minds it should be “check, check, check, okay we better get in and fund this thing before someone else does. We need to get them in for a real meeting to finalize the details and lock this up asap.”
That’s the goal to have in mind when planning how to end a pitch deck presentation.
Whether you’re planning a robust conclusion at the start or developing the final slide as you start at the top, you’ll need to know how to create a pitch deck. Check out this video I have created explaining how it’s done.
Use A Strong Recap
A pitch audience is only going to be able to remember one to three things from your presentation. That’s it.
Not only does this reinforce the importance of using a very short deck of slides and verbal pitch, but staying focused on those ones to three major points that will pivot them to taking the action you want them to.
Use your wrap-up time to quickly recap those stand-out points that put you ahead of the rest of the crowd.
Be sure you’ve covered the essentials for making a sale. The what, who, why, and why right now.
Open Up A Q&A Session
If you’ve been disciplined with your timing then you should have already budgeted time for questions and answers.
This is just as, if not more essential than the time you spend actively pitching and selling. There are three main purposes to the Q&A time.
- Learning from your audience and what is really important to them
- Overcoming their objections on the spot
- Building personal rapport, likability, and trust
Before walking into any pitch presentation you should already have a list of the most common questions your investors are going to ask.
As well as your answers and rebuttals to any outstanding objections.
A Strong Closing Slide
It is common to either have the financial ask or a thank you as the last slide.
These are both acceptable options. Though it is probably most important to ensure you have your contact information prominently displayed on your final pitch deck slide.
Someone in your audience may have to rush out and leave. They could be in the back and unable to hear you well.
Or they may want to follow up privately. Whatever the case, having your contact information big and front and center means it can be captured with a screenshot, snapped with a mobile phone camera, or jotted down in a hurry.
It is also super easy for them to find your contact information if they have a link to your pitch deck hosted online.
The last thing you want to happen here is to fail simply because the convinced investors who really wanted to invest in your startup didn’t have your contact info handy.
That would be tragic. Especially, if they fund your competition instead, just due to this one factor.
Make sure to add this information when working out how to end a pitch deck presentation.
Ask For The Sale
You’ve got to ask for the sale. Everyone in the room knows the purpose of your pitching is to raise money.
They are there to invest their money that is burning a hole in their pockets. Be sure to ask for the sale.
Far too often in both formal and casual sales settings from car dealerships to retail stores, websites, and social and networking the bulk of sales are missed because of a lack of call to action.
You miss all of the shots you don’t take. Be sure to end your pitch deck presentation with a strong call to action and to buy in.
Be Clear About What You Want
Your pitch deck presentation should make it pretty clear how much money you need for your venture, as well as any other resources and help you are seeking.
However, you also need to end your pitch by being clear about what you want them to do as the next step.
This applies to having emailed out your pitch deck, as well as presenting it live in person or online.
What’s the next step they should take right now? Is it to send you funds on the spot?
Is it to use your calendar link to set an appointment for a more private investor meeting?
Or is it to simply pick up the phone, email, or text you? Be sure about the action you’re expecting when figuring out how to end a pitch deck presentation.
Explain The Fit
There are countless investment opportunities for startup investors, as well as sources of financing for entrepreneurs.
What makes the difference is the alignment and fit between a specific set of investors and founders.
Explain why you are the best fit, and how you are aligned better than the other options. From your own research, why have you chosen them as investment partners over others?
This can be more important than the amount you are raising, the terms of funding, and even the product.
Explain Why Now Is So Important
There are endless nice business ideas and investment opportunities. The difference between those that are just nice, and those that investors will take action on is the ability to confer a sense of urgency, and why this is the moment they must act.
This may be market timing, or your round becoming oversubscribed. Show them the pain of failing to act right now.
Ask For Advice
If you are afraid to ask for the sale or don’t feel your pitch has gone well, then ask for their advice. Most people like to share their opinions and to help.
Ask open-ended questions to get their feedback. Catalog that data and use it to tweak and improve your venture, pitch deck, and presentation for your next meeting.
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.
Get A Commitment
It is easy for people to say that they like your invention or mission, and will buy or invest. Nailing them down to actually doing it can be something entirely different.
Don’t just take feeble and vague compliments. Don’t leave without a specific commitment to taking the next step.
That may be as bold as wiring you a certain amount of funds by 11 am on Monday morning, setting a follow-up call for tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm, or an investor meeting with other partners next Wednesday at 3 pm at their office.
Make sure to snag that commitment when working out how to end a pitch deck presentation.
Anticipate The Sale
If you are doubting yourself, your company, and your presentation it is going to show up in your pitch and closing.
It is going to be weak. You will self-sabotage yourself with your own words and body language.
Instead, exude confidence in having closed the deal. The next step is just nailing down the specifics or the mechanics of sending the funding and executing the paperwork.
Your attitude and projected confidence will make all of the difference in getting the results you really want.
Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up
90% of selling is in the follow-up. Get those commitments and then follow through.
Show up on time for those calls and meetings and with your updates or answers to questions, you said you would provide.
You have nothing to lose by continually following up until you get a yes.
In fact, the one difference between getting funded or not may be the startup that follows up that one more time after their competition gives up.
Make Sure That You Are Really Listening
Typically, the number one thing standing between you and the money your startup venture needs is you listening.
Investors will tell you what they want and how to get their money, or at least give you clues at a minimum. At least if you really listen.
Get Professional Help
If you are presenting and still coming up empty-handed, or just don’t want to blow important investment opportunities and presentations, invest in expert help.
It can pay the best dividends of anything you’ll do. It will show investors that you are serious about doing the best with their money too.
This can include getting pro copywriting help with your pitch script and supporting materials, expert deck design, and getting a pitch coach to help you with your verbal delivery.
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.