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Neil Patel

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How to make a pitch deck on PowerPoint?

Fundraising is one of the most vital stepping stones to launching and growing a startup. Pitch decks are the key that opens the door to getting funded. Microsoft’s Powerpoint is one of those staples, go-to software tools that many use to create slide-based presentations like pitch decks.

Where do you start with creating a pitch deck for your startup? What ingredients and factors will help you make a killer pitch deck on PowerPoint?

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

    The Fast Hack To Make A Great Pitch Deck On PowerPoint

    The quickest and surest way to create an effective pitch deck in PowerPoint is to use a template.

    You have plenty of innovating and disruption to do within your startup, your product, and your business model. There is no reason to get distracted reinventing the wheel here unnecessarily.

    You have too much else to do and to commit your resources to. Especially when you can get your hands on an existing pitch deck template that has proven its success and value in helping others get funded.

    Look for a template that is recommended by other funded entrepreneurs, top investors, and accomplished fundraising advisors. It just makes the most sense. This is one of the most effective hacks that you can use to get funded faster.

    If you can find a pitch deck template that you can not only copy, but download and upload to your Powerpoint, and just plug it in, that’s even better.

    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.

    Methods Of Creating A Pitch Deck

    Whether you are using a proven existing template or starting from scratch, there are several methods to creating a pitch deck.

    1. Using Agencies

    There are more and more agencies out there running ads online offering to help with pitch deck creation. They may vary in services and capabilities, from building it from scratch to just giving your deck some pretty design touches.

    Of course, this can also be the most expensive route for commissioning and creating a deck. You might pay anywhere from $5k to $50k, or even more for this type of service.

    Given how much a great deck can help you raise, even on a deck of this cost, the returns can be very strong. Though it is important to be alert to the fact that many of these services are very new and unproven.

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    Be sure to do your own homework to ensure you have all the fundamentals of a winning pitch deck, without the detractors, not just pretty slides. Better yet, you might want to learn in detail how to make a pitch deck on Powerpoint.

    2. Freelance Creatives

    Most agencies simply outsource all of your work to individual freelancers. They typically make some pretty hefty profit margins on top of that for securing the clients and managing the process. That can be worth it.

    Though if you are currently bootstrapping your company and you have more time than finances to invest in this, then you may be able to piece together your own creative team for 30% to 50% of the cost of an agency, and get the same quality of work, with just a little more active management.

    Ask for referrals or turn to Upworkto shop for the best graphic designers and copywriters.

    3. Using Your Own In House Creative Team

    Perhaps you already have a strong in-house team of creatives and fundraising veterans. If you have super strong copywriters and graphic designers, this may be a source of some additional savings.

    Still, they need to have or be guided by expertise in fundraising and creating pitch decks. It’s not just about attractive visuals and witty one-liners. It has to have the meat and flow that investors demand.

    4. DIY Deck Creation

    If you really don’t have a budget, much less $100k to hire a securities lawyer or $50k for an agency, or thousands for a robust crowdfunding campaign, then you can take the DIY route.

    It’s not the best or the recommended route, especially for first-time founders and fundraisers, but you can do it. At least to get you through that first pre-seed or friends and family round.

    If you are taking this route, then definitely look for a solid template and plug it into Powerpoint or Google Slides. Do plenty of research, and gain all the knowledge you can from advisors, podcasts, and fundraising books in advance.

    Taking the time to learn how to make a pitch deck on Powerpoint will prove to be an advantageous strategy for future fundraising rounds also.

    What Is The Purpose Of Your Pitch Deck?

    Before you even open a new document in PowerPoint or write a word of the text, be sure you are really clear on your purpose for this deck.

    Don’t just be clear on the ideal outcome of this fundraising round, but what the deck should accomplish each time it is sent or presented live.

    There is more than one use for a pitch deck. Fundraising is the most obvious. Though beyond just getting the money, it can also be about enrolling and engaging desirable investors.

    More than anything a pitch deck is sales material. Its purpose, and goal is to move the audience and recipients from engagement to the next step in the fundraising conversation.

    To do this it must:

    What Makes A Successful Pitch Deck?

    What does your pitch deck need to check the most important boxes for investors and to achieve the goals above?

    Clarity

    No matter how complex your underlying tech or business model is, your pitch deck needs to be the opposite of that. If your deck and messaging aren’t super clear, investors are going to get lost.

    This needs to be a smooth and fast presentation. If it isn’t clear enough for your grandmother to get it, then it needs work.

    A successful pitch deck provides clarity because it is short, simple, concise, clean, and incredibly focused.

    Differentiation

    You are up against thousands of other pitch decks this week. How is yours going to be the one that stands out, is memorable, and makes them take action?

    No, “we’re honest and have integrity,” is not a differentiator. If someone else can claim it, or it should just be true, then it is not unique.

    You may not want to be so far out there that even Elon Musk can’t believe it is possible, but make sure that you really stand out. What’s so special about your startup?

    Know and own the one competitive advantage that makes your startup the one investors must bet on in this industry. What will create a moat around your business to defend their investment for the future?

    This is one of the factors that should stand out when you’re figuring out how to make a pitch deck on Powerpoint.

    It Flows With The Right Formula

    Investors expect a pitch deck to follow a specific formula. You wouldn’t march into a bank or car dealer and demand a loan, but with your own origami version of a loan application would you?

    At least not expecting a positive response. So, you definitely shouldn’t wing it, or make up your own rules when trying to raise money from investors. If you want their money and participation, make sure you give them what they are looking for.

    A Huge Opportunity

    Investors are exclusively looking to fund really big opportunities. Angel investors and VC firms aren’t looking to fund your average local small business. They are looking for ventures that are going to become giants.

    A decade ago a billion-dollar company might have been a big deal. A billion-dollar market even used to sound big.

    Today’s visionaries are not only creating opportunities that can give investors 100x returns. They are working on building industries worth a trillion dollars or more.

    They have goals to build individual hyper-growth startups worth tens of billions or hundreds of billions of dollars. Make sure you are playing in the right ballpark.

    The Best Team To Execute On This

    It may be a hard pill to swallow, but ideas are cheap. Especially if you are a VC investor who has pitched countless ideas each day. What they are looking for far more than a catchy idea is the best possible team to execute on a problem in an industry and really build a fast-growing, big business out of it. They are looking for expertise, grit, coachability, and well-rounded skill sets.

    A Good Fit

    There are many types of investors out there. Some love certain business models and industries over others. While some prioritize the short term versus the long term. Some care about the impact. Beyond the idea, qualifications of the team, and potential returns, they are looking for a good fit.

    Be sure you research your investors in advance, and customize your pitch deck specifically for your target group of investors.

    List Out Your Slides

    Next outline the slides that will be in your deck. As an early-stage startup, your slides probably include:

    1. The Cover
    2. The Problem
    3. The Solution
    4. Market Size
    5. The Product
    6. Traction
    7. Team Slide
    8. Competition Analysis
    9. Financials
    10. The Ask

    Make sure you include all this information when working out how to make a pitch deck on Powerpoint.

    Get Your Content Together

    Gather all of your content, so that it’s ready to punch into your template or Powerpoint.

    This means your:

    • Logo
    • Contact info
    • Cofounder resumes
    • Charts and graphs
    • Pictures and images
    • Financial projections
    • The text

    Getting Started With Microsoft PowerPoint

    Microsoft Powerpoint is one of the longest-running pieces of software, and certainly a staple for slide-based presentations.

    You may already have a good handle on PowerPoint from school if not in your work. If you are a heavy Microsoft user, then there can be advantages of integration and familiarity with your other daily work.

    Being more mature than new slide presentation software options Powerpoint may have more theme options and other tools and features than even Google Slides. Though files generally transfer pretty well between Slides and Powerpoint, with the exception of some design features.

    Step one here is to get yourself access to PowerPoint if you don’t have it yet. Your laptop may even have an unused free trial of Microsoft’s office tools that you haven’t activated yet.

    Or you may qualify for the student version. Today, it often seems more efficient to choose their cloud-based subscription, which provides access to a suite of software, with the latest updates included, and no contracts.

    Name Your Deck

    The first step in learning how to make a pitch deck on Powerpoint is to open a new Powerpoint document and give it a name. This will enable auto-saving of your changes and make it a lot easier to find.

    Choose Your Theme

    Give your pitch deck a little flair with a theme. Be sure your colors match your branding and psychology. Just don’t get away from being clear and clean.

    Choose Fonts & Font Sizes

    The font size in your pitch deck should be at least 30 point. Go even larger for titles, callouts, and headers. Do not use more than three font styles, one or two is better.

    Again, check your font choices match your brand and psychology.

    Add Text & Images

    Copy and paste the text and images you have prepared throughout your slides.

    Add Your Speaker Notes

    Add your script to the presenter version of your deck. This will help until you practice your timing and flow enough to become natural.

    Review & Cut

    Go back and strip out all of the filler words, and tighten up your images for file sizes and resolution.

    Solicit & Gather Feedback

    Share your deck with those you know and trust and who know what is working in the fundraising arena right now. Compile the feedback and tweak your deck as necessary.

    Practice

    Practice presenting your pitch. Get it down to just 3-20 minutes.

    Upload To Your Data Room

    Combine all of your supporting documents in your online data room. In addition to your deck, this means your investor updates, business plan, appendix, action plan, and executive summary.

    Start Sharing & Pitching

    Begin putting your pitch deck to work. Send it out, land those investor meetings, start bringing in those term sheets.

    You are now trained in the art of how to make a pitch deck on Powerpoint.

    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.

    In the video below How To Make A Pitch Deck On Powerpoint I cover this topic in detail.

    * * *

    FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS VIDEO:

    Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about how to make a pitch deck on PowerPoint. Before we get started, make sure that you hit that Subscribe button, and this way, you will never miss out on any of the videos that we roll out every week.

    Creating a pitch deck is essential for raising money. In today’s video, we’re going to be breaking it down for you on how you can use PowerPoint to make it happen and how to do it in a way that is super powerful. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

    The fastest track to start a pitch deck on PowerPoint is to not start from scratch. So, use a template. You can actually use the template below that entrepreneurs are using all over the world to raise millions that has the proper flow and the proper structure. That way, you don’t have to start from scratch.

    Remember that ultimately, it’s all about understanding what is going to be the format, what is going to be the structure, the flow, and what investors typically expect to see on every single one of those slides. That’s why, when you’re using a template, it also acts as a nice guide and as a nice roadmap that you just replace with your own content, and again, with that structure and that flow that people are going to want to see. Again, don’t start from scratch. Start with a template.

    There are different methods to create a pitch deck. You can either use a freelancer. You can use an agency or an advisory firm. You can do it yourself, or perhaps you can just use consultants or in-house. Let’s go one-by-one.

    Freelancers: You can use websites like, for example, Upwork, where essentially most of the stuff is going to be around the design as well as the copywriting. Those are the types of expertise that you may want to bring. Here, the type of expense that you are going to be looking at is anywhere between $1,000 to perhaps $5,000. 

    Agency: If you go to an agency, it’s going to be much more expensive. Here, they’re going to be bringing different types of teams that are coming in together, and also, especially if you do advisory firms and other consultancies, they may be charging you all the way up to $50,000, but that price ranges all over the place.

    In-house: You can also do it yourself. The thing about doing it yourself is that it may take a little bit more time. You may be making some mistakes, and you’re going to go to market, and you don’t really know if it’s going to stick or not. 

    Consultants: On the other end, you can also use consultants, people that can help you that have the background operational expertise, that have been in your same market, and that bring that insight to create something that is going to address head-on some of the investors’ concerns when they’re reviewing your pitch deck. Because, on average, an investor is only going to spend 2 minutes and 41 seconds, 2:41, per presentation.

    Creating a pitch deck is going to be a key part of the sales process. In order to get to the next meeting – your goal is always to get to the next meeting because getting to the next meeting allows you to address more concerns. The more concerns that you address, the closer that you are to the money. Obviously, when there are no concerns, money is in the bank.

    Some of the critical factors that the pitch deck needs to do in order for you to spark and really get that interest that it’s going to allow you to secure the next meeting are going to be the following:

    • Help you stand out from the crowd.
    • Spike interest from the potential investor.
    • Convey credibility and capability.
    • Drive and facilitate action.

    So what makes a good pitch deck? A good pitch deck is all about having clarity on the vision, on where you are today, and where you want to be. In order to do that, you also need to have a great team, and the team needs to present itself in a way where the investor is going to know that you are the right team on the right seats and that they need to bet on you. 

    Remember that those investors are ultimately speaking with your competitors. They have done their research on the market, and they have a clear idea of why they want to invest and what is separating them from making the investment. So by having the right team with the right expertise and skillsets is going to allow them to understand that it’s going to be okay to place a bet.

    The other thing that you want to do and that you want to convey on your pitch deck is that it showcases that the market is big enough because remember that typically the investors, especially the ones that are institutional investors like venture capital firms, are going to want to invest in companies that have the potential of a 10x return.

    That means that if you are getting money in at a $20 million valuation from these investors, the company needs to be acquired for at least $200 million for them to justify the risk of having placed a bet on your business. Again, clarity, team, and market are going to be a magical combination in order to spark interest from those investors.

    A great presentation needs to also have a great structure. When it comes to the structure for a pitch deck, it should be the following:

    • The Cover
    • The Problem
    • The Solution
    • Market Size
    • The Product
    • Traction
    • Team slide
    • Advisors and Board Members
    • Competition Analysis
    • Financials
    • The Ask
    • The Thank You slide

    Another critical piece of this is to get your content together. When it comes to content, some of the things that you want to keep in mind are the following:

    • The logo
    • Contact information
    • Co-founder resumes and bios
    • Charts and graphs
    • Pictures and images
    • Financial projections
    • The text

    Getting started with PowerPoint is going to be the first step. Obviously, PowerPoint is part of Microsoft. You’re going to need to get your account. You’re going to have to use either a PC or Mac, but you need to have the license in place so that you can operate PowerPoint.

    Another way of getting started could be using Google Slides, which is on the web where you can collaborate with other team members because PowerPoint probably lacks the component of collaborating with others. So, if you need to collaborate with others, you can always create the document in Google Slides, collaborate with your team, and then you can download it into PowerPoint and then work from there.

    When creating the deck on PowerPoint, you want to start with naming the document. This is going to allow, as well, to be able to put the document on auto-save in case you want to click out of it and you want to actually get back to it later on. Also, you want to name it because this is going to label the file that is going to be sent and the way that it is going to be perceived by others when they see it, rather than having just a blank file. It is essential that you label it right away.

    Then once you’ve labeled it with perhaps the name of your company, you want to pick the theme for your slides. If you’re starting it from scratch, there are themes in there that you can use, but my personal recommendation is that you use themes that are good for the eye. Try to stay away from dark and too bright colors. Try to stay in the middle and go with colors that are going to be okay and that are not going to be too sparkly or stuff like that because it could invite the investor to click out of it. Use white, blue, and colors that are normal and that are not too much on the edge when it comes too dark or too bright.

    Then you want to go with choosing the font size. You don’t want to go too small, and you don’t want to go too big. You don’t want to go too big because then it’s going to take too much real estate. And you don’t want to go too small because if you go too small, some people are not going to be able to read it because remember that many of the people that are going to be reviewing those presentations are going to be a little bit more advanced in age, and perhaps they have lost some of their eyesight. Keep it to 30 points. That’s the size that is universal when it comes to creating pitch decks.

    Then you want to add text and images. With the images, you want to make sure that they represent well your brand, your tone, the design, and goes in parallel, and has that consistency with the way that you’re packaging your company or your service offline.

     What you want to do here is have that nice balance between text and images because, as I always say, investors tend to skim through those presentations. They’re not literally spending the time investing themselves in reviewing and reading. They just go right away, one after the other. That’s why you need to make it easier for them. Don’t make them work harder. Just have that nice balance between the text and the visuals.

    The good thing, as well, about PowerPoint is that you can add your notes when it comes to the narrative. One thing is the pitch deck, but the other thing is how you’re going to be delivering the pitch on all those different slides. Typically, the pitch, the narrative, is going to be between 10 to 20 minutes. You could be spending between 1 to 1.5 minutes per slide. But what you want to do here is PowerPoint allows you to put some comments on whatever narrative you’re giving per slide and under each one of those slides. So, on the comment section, you want to put in there what you’re going to be saying, so that way, you remember, and you know what kind of narrative goes into each one of those slides.

    Then you’re going to want to review and cut, especially after you’ve put all the content in, then you want to make sure that the furniture is in the right places of the house. Once you have that solid structure, then start cutting down and simplifying because simple is better. Try to avoid filler words. Try and see if you can combine certain visuals. Again, the less that you have, the better it is going to be for them to digest the story.

    Then you should start to get feedback. They can put feedback on the comment section of the PowerPoint on each one of those slides. That way, you know on which one of those slides people have commented and what they’re suggesting so that you can make some of those changes to the deck.

    Then you want to upload the pitch deck, the PowerPoint document of the pitch deck into a Dropbox folder or a Google Drive folder where you can grab that link and share it with those potential investors or with whoever you want to share it. The last thing that you want is to add that PowerPoint into an email because the attachment may be too big, and some of those investors may be too picky with you taking over their inbox.

    Again, hit a Like on this video. Also, leave a comment and let me know what you’re up to, and Subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week. If you’re raising money, send me an email at alejandro@pantheraadvisors.com. I would love to help out with your fundraising efforts. Thank you so much for watching.

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    Neil Patel

    I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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