Are you wondering how to title your pitch deck?
The title of your pitch deck is the first-moment potential investors get to see anything from your pitch. You have to make that moment count. A badly designed pitch deck title can immediately put investors on the wrong footing. In fact, it can completely derail your pitch.
In this article, I’m going to show you why your pitch deck title is important, how to come up with a good one, and how your pitch deck title slide can be designed to maximize your chances of securing investment.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Why Your Pitch Deck Title is Important
Do you know how long it takes to form a first impression? You might have heard varying estimates up to 30 seconds. That sounds about right, doesn’t it? The truth, however, is that psychological studies show that it only takes a tenth of a second to make a first impression on someone.
When it comes down to how to title your pitch deck, remember that the title of your presentation is the business equivalent of that first impression.
We tend to think that investors make investment decisions purely based on logical conclusions, backed up with the evidence that an investment has a good chance of providing a healthy return.
However, investors are only human, and they are often impacted by the same psychological factors we all experience every day. This means that even if your pitch has a fantastic vision and the financials to back it up, an investor might already be in a negative mindset because of a bad first impression.
It’s difficult to claw back that first impression if it’s a negative one. Psychologists have discovered that we all have a negative bias mechanism in the brain. This means that we weight a negative impression up to five times as much as a positive impression.
The takeaway: A bad first impression has far more impact than a good first impression.
Your pitch title then, at the very least, needs to avoid making a bad impression. If it can make a good impression, all the better. But how do you make a good pitch deck title?
What Makes a Good Pitch Deck Title Slide?
When you are thinking about how to title your pitch deck, remember that It’s a mistake to think that a pitch deck title is just some text to gain investor interest. It’s so much more than that. In fact, at the beginning of your pitch deck, you’ll have a slide that is entirely focused on creating a good impression through your title.
This slide that you need in your pitch deck is usually called either the title slide or the cover slide, and it’s the slide that will set the tone for your entire pitch. You, therefore, have to think about this entire slide rather than just the title itself, as this slide supports the first impression you’re trying to make.
I’ve seen hundreds, if not thousands, of successful pitch decks over the years. In that time, here are the elements I’ve learned to make up a killer pitch deck title slide.
- Company or brand name
These are the four elements you’ll be dealing with in your title slide. Get these right, and you’ll create a positive impression with investors from the start.
A Pitch Deck Title Slide Example
A great example of a minimalist approach to these four elements is Dwolla’s title slide. After their pitch, Dwolla now generates $8million of revenue annually. You can see here that the Dwolla title slide has a pleasing logo, the brand name, and a tagline: “the best way to move money”.
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This is supported by a background that is almost entirely dark gray, but contains faint outlines of the ways you could use Dwolla to pay for things.
With those four elements in place, the angel investors have a good idea of what Dwolla is about, without being immediately bombarded with sales data.
For more detail, I also recommend watching the video below I did not long ago on how to create a pitch deck where I cover how to make the slides super powerful.
Making Your Brand the Focus
When you are thinking about how to title your pitch deck, keep in mind that a good pitch deck title puts your brand first. This is usually your company name with the logo at its side. I highly recommend placing this in the center of the slide or just above a central image. That way, regardless of what’s around it, the eye will be drawn to what your business is called.
Take a look at this pitch deck by real estate startup, Castle. Their title slide makes their brand the most eye catching thing on the slide. It’s also the first thing investors will see. This is then supported by images, a logo, and a background that all support exactly what the product does.
Creating an Effective Tagline
Your tagline needs to represent what you do in as concise a way as possible. Some presentations such as the recent Orchard pitch, leave the tagline out, focusing purely on the logo and company name. However, I think this is a bad move.
Your tagline is a great way to help investors understand what they are investing in from the start.
Instead, try to aim for something more like the Uber title slide. This slide has the name of the business, a car at its center, flanked on either side by smartphones of the time. Underneath all of this is the tagline: “Next-Generation Car Service”.
Now, this doesn’t tell the investor exactly what the product does, but it doesn’t have to. Your Problem, Solution, and Product slides will do that. But what this title slide does right, is that the tagline informs investors, along with the images used and the business name “UberCab”, that this is a new type of taxi service.
What You Should Not Include in a Title Slide
What you don’t include is just as important when thinking about how to title your pitch deck. You could have a killer title slide and then ruin it with one bad addition. Keep your title slide clear and clean. Don’t include unnecessary information such as:
- The date of the presentation
- The venue of the presentation
- The audience such as “X VC firm”
- A misplaced joke to “keep things light” (you’d be surprised how many people try that)
- Marketing, financials or team information. Leave that for your later slides.
Remember that storytelling plays a key role in fundraising and you will need capital to scale things up. 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.
You can download the full pitch deck template where these slides above were taken from by unlocking the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.