If you are ready to run a fundraising process that really crushes it and puts money in the bank from the best investors, these are the types of charts that you should use in your pitch decks.
Charts play a pivotal role in pitch decks for startup fundraising. They can make a significant difference in how successful your pitches and decks are. That not only impacts how you are converting investors, but which investors you land and the terms they offer too.
Let’s check out the different types of common charts, which are a good fit for your next pitch deck, where they should go among your slides, and how to use them to position your venture for optimal investment.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
The Role Charts Play In Pitch Decks
Charts play a pivotal role in pitch decks when it comes to fundraising. Well used they can make all the difference in success and achieving the desired results, in the most efficient way.
The use of charts in pitch decks is largely about data visualization.
A pitch deck is a sales tool. It is supposed to be brief, attractive, inspiring, and actionable. It is not a dense thesis or scientific study that is going to bog down readers for days trying to figure out your math.
Visual data offers simplicity, and that is critical for winning over investors. In most presentation situations, your audience is only going to take away and be able to absorb one to three main points. Charts help ensure they get and remember the most important points you want and need to convey to them.
On average investors now spend less than four minutes viewing a pitch deck. That’s sandwiched in the middle of hundreds of other decks and presentations. This is how fast you need to convey your messaging and enable them to get through your entire deck to your call to action.
As we know “a picture can say 1,000 words.”
It is obvious that prospective investors just don’t have the time to read through lots of text or even longer spreadsheets. It is just not going to happen.
Even if they did, that doesn’t mean it would be useful for you in reaching your fundraising and business goals. So, charts enable you to get a lot more in, in far fewer words, while keeping to those essential very short slide counts.
You only have time for about 10 slides, and one to two sentences on each one. You’ll find charts incredibly helpful for getting in the other points you want to include.
It’s simple, impactful, and efficient. Just remember to also keep your charts this way or you will toss out all of their benefits, and sabotage your own fundraising campaign. That’s the reason why you should know exactly what types of charts that you should use in your pitch decks.
10 Common Types Of Charts
If you were a bit of a math geek in school, or just have a good memory of those classes, you may be familiar with a variety of these types of charts, graphs, and visualization tools. Here are some of the most common.
Before we discuss that, 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.
1. Pie Charts
Probably the most iconic and common type of chart along with the line graph. It is one of the most basic and easy to use and understand. It is also one of the most visually impactful and simple for converting data points instantly to any live or online audience.
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This chart is ideal for segmentation and showing parts of a whole. Like market share, how revenues are divided, etc.
2. Line Graphs
Next to pie charts, line graphs are probably the most common type of chart. Virtually everyone learns to read and create line graphs from at least middle school.
Line graphs are used to show the relationship between two factors. Often value and time. In startups, you are probably already familiar with the iconic hockey stick-shaped line graph that indicates growth.
Cartesian graphs are a variation of this in which the X and Y axis form a cross, and are able to display negative and historic data before and below the baseline origin point.
3. Scatter Charts
Scatter charts or ‘plots’ are used to demonstrate the relation or difference in different points of factors. They offer a simplistic way to show differentiation, clusters, and similarities. May be used with a line graph or Cartesian graph backdrop.
This type of chart most likely shows up in pitch decks when comparing the competition, SWOT, and competitive analysis.
4. Bar Graphs
Bar graphs are another super simplistic form of a chart that is easy to create in most presentation software programs, as well to understand, even by the least mathematical viewers.
Horizontal or vertical bar charts can be used much like line graphs, those can be much more visually impactful than line graphs. Especially on a small screen, or from a distance on stage.
This may also make them more effective when it specifically comes to pitch decks. Even if they are less commonly used in this setting. You absolutely must include these types of charts that you should use in your pitch decks.
5. Combination Charts
As the name suggests this is the combination of two charts in one visual. Use a bar chart and line graph together, overlaid on each other is a common form of this. Can also be done with scatterplots.
Make sure you include a legend for clarity and so viewers easily understand the two different sets of data or points that you are trying to make in this visual.
Like bar charts, histograms are visually impactful and easy to digest in different formats. The main use of a histogram is to show data by categories. For example; in startups, this could be used to show the users that are engaging with your ads the most. Customer demographics by age group, or B2B customers by size.
7. Waterfall Charts
Waterfall charts are a type of combo graph that can show performance or trends over a timeline, as well as break down segmentation of those performance bars, and how they are made up as well. These types of charts are commonly used by funds to report their performance.
8. Gauge Charts
A gauge chart as the name suggests displays a gauge. These can be created using a half donut shaped pie chart.
9. Area Graph
An area graph is essentially a line graph, with the value area below the line shaded in. Can be used for multiple line values. The advantage of this is a more clear visual impact on smaller screens or from a distance.
10. Radar Graphs
A radar or ‘spider’ graph is ideal for showing overall comparisons or scoring based upon multiple data points. May be especially useful for showing how your product and company compare to others in the market.
Now that you have a fair overview of the types of charts that you should use in your pitch decks, let’s talk in detail about how to implement them.
Where & How To Use Visuals In Your Pitch Deck
The Cover Slide
Your cover slide should be designed to be interesting enough to want to start swiping. Include your logo here.
The Problem Slide
You may include an image here, or callout-style data point to show how large it is or convey the painful emotions associated with this problem.
The Solution Slide
You can begin dropping pictures of your solution here.
The Market Slide
This is where you will really begin using visual charts to get points across. This is one of the most important slides in your deck. Depending on your industry and niche there can be quite a lot of underlying data and segmentation.
Specifically, you will at least want to show your total market size (TAM), and break that down to your immediate target market and SOM (Serviceable and Obtainable Market). Choose from the types of charts that you should use in your pitch decks and pick out the ones that are likely to have the maximum impact.
The Product Slide
You should definitely include an image of your product here. It can be a prototype or screenshot. Even better if you can show it in the hands of your ideal users in a real-world situation.
The Traction Slide
This is where you show your growth. Exactly which metric you use to demonstrate growth may depend on your stage of business, business model, and the milestones you will be promising these investors that you will achieve with this round of money. This is where you will typically see that iconic hockey stick-shaped line graph curve being used.
The Team Slide
Make sure to include profile photos of your cofounders, executive team, and most notable advisors here.
The Competition Slide
Use a scatter or radar style chart to demonstrate how your startup and product stand out against the competition. Show your strengths and position your startup to get funded.
The Financials Slide
As an early-stage pre-revenue startup you only need to show a brief Excel-style table with four or so rows on this single slide. Forecast your finances out for the next 1-3 years.
For more mature startups, you can use a variety of charts and diagrams to show off your data. Just don’t lose focus and get your investor prospects stuck on these numbers instead of taking action and moving to the next phase in funding your venture.
Backing Up Your Charts, Claims & Data
A proper and successful pitch deck is one that is super short, concise, and simple. As an entrepreneur organizing your fundraiser, you would want to carefully understand the types of charts that you should use in your pitch decks. And, how to use them to convey your message quickly and clearly.
This challenge is then backing up all of your claims and assumptions in a credible way, and providing all of the supporting references and data to establish trust, and skate through the due diligence phase. This is essential for keeping things moving and getting through to the next stage of the conversation and putting the real money in the bank.
As an early-stage startup, you can’t afford to complicate or confuse your pitch deck or cram in lots of text. It will only detract from all of your other great work and efforts.
Instead, all of this additional supporting information and documentation belongs in your virtual data room.
Load your data room in the cloud with all of your other documentation. Like your executive summary, one-page business plan, action and marketing plan, cofounder resumes, most recent investor updates, and articles of incorporation.
Then you may either use a separate appendix or include the appendix in your longer, the full version of your pitch deck that is more comprehensive. This includes references to where you pulled all of the data points for creating your charts and graphs.
Just keep this version of your deck and all of this brain dump of info back for those who are already sold on your intro deck and want in, on the contingency all of your facts are backed up.
Visuals can make or break your pitch deck and fundraising efforts. Charts and graphs play a very key role in your visuals. These are some of the most common types of charts you should use in pitch decks.
Plus, the best places to use them for each of your pitch deck slides. Then how to back up your data and diagrams without detracting from the aesthetics of your deck and its effectiveness.
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 Types of Charts That You Should Use In Pitch Decks I cover this topic in detail.
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS VIDEO:
Hello, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about types of charts you should use in pitch decks. 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.
If you’re ready to run your fundraising efforts, remember that charts, especially in the financial information, are absolutely everything because the financials section is where the investor reviews and spends the most amount of time. So in today’s video, we’re going to be breaking down to you how you should look and think about those charts and how you should put them in your pitch deck. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
The charts play a critical role in your pitch deck. Remember, on average, investors are going to be spending about two minutes and 41 seconds, 2:41, per presentation. That’s it. The #1 slide where they spend the most amount of time is the slide that is related to the financials. That’s why you want to have those graphs, those charts so that visual appeal is helping to avoid doing further reading and so they’re able to get right away what the numbers are all about.
Essentially, what you want to do here is remembering that one picture can have a thousand words of meaning. Instead of creating screenshots and dumping whatever information from your financial model, you want to make sure that you’re breaking it down and that it’s very easy for the investor to digest. That’s why those charts play a pivotal role in any presentation.
There are different types of charts, but the ones that you should keep in mind when you’re creating your pitch deck are the following:
- Pie charts
- IVL for segmentation and showing parts as a whole
- Line graphs
- Cartesian graphs: A variation of this in which the x-axis and y-axis form a cross.
- Scatter charts: Used to demonstrate the relationship or the difference in different points or factors.
- Bar graphs: Another super simplistic form. They are horizontal or vertical bar charts and can be used just like line graphs in a more visually impactful way than line graphs, perhaps.
- Combination of charts: Make sure that you include a legend for clarity so that it is easily understood.
- Histograms: Visually impactful and easy to digest. The main use is to show data by categories.
- Waterfall charts: A type of graph that can show performance or trends over a timeline.
- Gauge charts: As the name suggests, it displays a gauge. They can be created using a half-donut shape pie chart.
- Area graph: A line graph with the value area below the line shading in.
- Radar graphs: A spider graph is ideal for showing overall comparisons or scoring based upon multiple data points, which is why you want to use those radar graphs.
Where and how can you use those charts? In the pitch deck, the most important section is going to be the financials. That’s where you’re really going to be thinking about those graphs. The other areas and the way that you need to be thinking about those charts to be incorporated into your pitch deck could be the following sections:
- The Cover Slide: include your logo.
- The Problem Slide: you can collect some data points and some charts where you can associate.
- The Solution Slide: drop in some pictures of the solution with some type of chart.
- The Market Slide: You want to do a lot of data and segmentation, specifically, the total addressable market.
- The Product Slide: You definitely want to include an image here and any real-world situation type of visual.
- The Traction Slide: Show your growth and the metrics on how you demonstrated and how it’s dependent on the stage of the business, the business model, and the milestones.
- The Team Slide: Include profile photos, but also any advisors, and any chart with some of the logos of previously-worked-at companies, and so forth.
- The Competition Slide: Include a radar-style chart to demonstrate how your startup and product are different against competition.
- The Financial Slide: Forecasting your finances out of the next one to three years.
Every chart that you include on the presentation needs to be backed up by data. You want to do the research. You want to include the source. It’s great that you’re going to be using the design, and by the way, the design is critical, so don’t try to do it yourself. Maybe you want to get a professional designer. You can either have it in-house. You can get it on freelance platforms. There are a lot of freelancers that can do this for you. But you want to include your source, and typically, you’re going to be including it on the bottom left of the presentation.
Again, visuals can make or break a presentation. When it comes to your pitch deck, again on the financial slides, it’s critical that you include those charts because that’s going to be the difference between getting financing or not.
Hit a Like on this video. Then also leave a comment underneath 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help you out with your fundraising efforts. Thank you so much for watching.