Are you wondering how to present the business strategy in a pitch deck?
To present a business strategy in a pitch deck effectively, you have to break it down into its simplest elements and then convey those elements in a powerful way. An entrepreneur only has a few minutes to deliver their elevator pitch or actual presentation, so there is no room for in-depth information.
In this article, I’m going to outline how to be both concise and effective when presenting your business strategy to investors.
Business Strategy Complexity
When creating a pitch deck, there is a real problem of translation. How do you translate your extensive business strategy into a pitch that will last for just a few minutes?
Some business strategies are more complex than others, but all of them if properly formulated, will have detailed market research, projections, milestones, and procedures carefully mapped out. Your job to create a compelling pitch deck is to simplify this complexity in such a way that it will fit on 10 – 20 presentation slides.
Complexity Vs Efficacy
When it comes down to how to present the business strategy in the slides of a pitch deck, the big problem is that you can’t retain all of that complexity. Some of it just has to go. Why? Because otherwise, you will end up with too many slides and too much information.
Your pitch deck has to be effective. Its efficacy is based on its ability to entice investors to be part of your business plan. When there is too much data thrown at potential investors during a pitch, it muddies the water. There is too much to digest in a short time.
Worse than this, you could commit the cardinal sin of any pitch deck and make it far too long. This will bore potential investors. Remember, they only have so much time to put towards investment meetings. You won’t be the only one they are giving time to, so keep this in mind.
Your pitch deck, therefore, becomes the battleground between complexity and efficacy. How much complexity is just enough to convey your ideas in a sound, powerful way?
The Pitch Deck Filter
When it comes down to how to present the business strategy in a pitch deck, my first advice to entrepreneurs when dealing with the complexity vs efficacy problem is to put down their notebook and think for a moment. Conceptualize what it is that you are doing. Your pitch deck isn’t just a means to convey information: It is, in fact, a filter!
Anyone can plaster facts and figures all over their presentation slides, but only entrepreneurs destined for success will approach their pitch deck as a filter. A pitch deck filters out everything that is unnecessary, leaving behind only what is critical.
But I love Other Parts of My Business Plan!
Of course, you love your business plan. It excites you. It motivates you. It’s what you live and breathe as you try to bring your idea into the world. But don’t be blinded by it. Sometimes, you have to leave parts of it behind, for a moment at least.
When presenting your business strategy to investors, you have to do what film directors do when editing their movies. They have a special technique for filtering out the unnecessary so that the story they are telling is compelling without being bogged down in unneeded information.
This technique is called “killing your darlings”. A director creates their film, watches it back and then removes everything they don’t need before it is released to the public. More than this, if they are especially in love with a scene or character that isn’t necessary, they force themselves to remove them from the story.
As they “kill their darlings”, they are left with a lean, effective story that isn’t convoluted.
Back to the world of business – you have to do just this when figuring out how to present your business strategy via your pitch deck. Just like a director, you have to create your pitch deck, look at it, then remove anything that is unnecessary, even if it is something you love.
Which Parts of my Business Strategy Should I Keep?
Don’t worry, you’re not killing your business strategy in reality. You’re simply boiling it down to its purest concepts. This is only for the pitch, your complex plan will still exist. In fact, you’ll need it for the end of your pitch, but more on that in a moment.
Your strategy is the actionable part of your business plan. It’s how you’re going to reach your goals. For investors, it’s how you are going to make them money.
Your business strategy will not take up all of your slides. If you use the perfect pitch deck structure, then your business strategy should be conveyed across your Market, Product, Team, Traction, and Financials slides.
These slides break down exactly what you’re going to do to give investors a good ROI (Return on Investment). My advice is always to keep things as concise as possible. Think about the pitch deck as that great filter again for your ideas and concepts.
If possible, keep each of the above-mentioned stages to less than 3 slides each. In some cases, you might have to expand those sections, but most of the time this is unnecessary and will only increase the length and complexity of your pitch deck.
Looking at each of these stages, use no more than 3 bullet points per slide. In some cases, you may want to use a graph to convey part of your business strategy. This is certainly true for showing the outcome of your strategy via growth projections across the next 3 – 5 years.
Filter out unnecessary information from your strategy and keep it simple.
Describe the market niche you will be filling, show the most salient features of your product/service, outline your team’s expertise and how this will be leveraged, showcase any sales or milestones your business has already reached, and then finally show how all of this will come together to create profitable years ahead.
If you can do this, you will have the best chance of enticing investors with a killer business strategy, simply presented.
Don’t Throw Away What Your Filter Out
Remember when figuring how to present the business strategy in a pitch deck that you are only purifying your business strategy for the sake of your presentation. In execution, that complexity will still be there. Interested investors will want to know the details either at the end of your pitch or at a later date.
A great place to expand on these details and re-inject that complexity is in the Appendix section. Your appendix consists of several slides you may want to use if investors ask you to expand on the ideas you presented during the main body of your presentation.
It’s technically not part of your pitch deck, but the appendix stage is a great option to support all the hard work you’ve done filtering out the complexity of your business strategy when you need to dig deeper.
Remember that storytelling plays a key role in fundraising. This is being able to capture the essence of the business in 15 to 20 slides. For a winning deck, 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.
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