What is the length of a pitch deck? Or, how many slides should be?
Such slides are vitally important for startups. They are the key or the roadblock to funding for your business. In turn, that means they can make or break everything.
There are many tips for crafting a powerful pitch deck and pitching for fundraising. Yet, one of the main things that frequently confuses and sabotages startup founders is how long the pitch deck should really be.
How Long Your Pitch Deck Should Be
Pitch deck lengths and slide counts alone can make or break your startup and fundraising efforts.
Length has a variety of impacts on the effectiveness of your deck and pitch. First, it is a significant signal as to whether you are going to make it as an entrepreneur and startup.
Just by the number of slides in your deck (without looking at any of them), experienced startup advisors and investors know whether you are likely to make it or not.
You are probably asking others for at least millions of dollars. Millions that you haven’t been able to put together in your lifetime up until now. Important capital they have personally sacrificed to save or raise. It is their livelihoods, family finances and reputations on the line.
If you couldn’t invest a few minutes to research for information about what is the length of a pitch deck, or couldn’t bother to deliver on it, why on earth would they consider investing so much in you?
Put simply, when it comes to pitch deck length, shorter is better.
Creating a shorter deck can seem harder than just pouring out everything in your head onto slides. Yet, being able to do so is a big differentiator. It is a must. It proves that you can focus and execute, follow great, and get things done.
That is what differentiates the few founders and ventures that have what it takes to succeed, while 99% fail. If you can’t focus when it comes to simply putting together a deck, how are you going to build a scalable business?
Length also impacts how you deliver on the pitch during presentations. Even if you have a 60-minute pitching slot, having a deck that takes longer than 20 minutes to talk through can be dangerous.
You need to leave time for a Q&A period, late starts, and dealing with any technical glitches. You don’t want to get cut off and run out of time right before you hook them.
Being able to keep it simple will also help with reducing pitch deck costs, including plenty of white space and larger font sizes helps to get the most important facts across. It helps maintain interest and flow, and greatly reduces the risk you’ll lose the audience in the process.
Having an optimum length for the pitch deck is critical
Length even matters when it comes to document storage and file sharing. A shorter deck and smaller file size have many more options for sharing and publishing.
That can make all the difference when it comes to getting your deck in the right hands. It also makes it far less likely to be deleted for taking up too much storage space.
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.
So, how short is short enough? How many slides should your deck have? What Is the length of a pitch deck?
This may somewhat depend on what stage your startup is at. The earlier stage your startup is the less data you will have and be expected to present. Try to avoid exceeding 20 pages in your pitch deck at all costs. 16 is better. 10 or less is even sufficient for pre-seed, pre-revenue startups.
1. Cover Slide
This is your first impression. Your cover slide can determine if they look any further or not. Include your company name, logo, and contact info. Lead in with a good tagline or slogan.
2. Problem Slide
Show that you have a clear handle on your problem. Explain it simply. You can talk around this slide and tell a story that resonates with your specific audience.
3. Solution Slide
What is your solution to this problem? How does it solve the one main problem?
4. Market Size
This data point is incredibly important to investors. How big is this market overall? What is your addressable and serviceable percentage of that? When wondering about what is the length of a pitch deck you may want to expand here but you can literally keep it to two slides. Ultimately the two critical pieces here are the size in billions and the compounding annual growth rate (CAGR).
5. Competition Slide
Who are your main competitors? How are they different? What are your sustainable competitive advantages over them? Position them well in a graphic that works in your favor.
7. Product Slide
What product are you creating to solve the problem? Use images of prototypes, screenshots and pictures of how it will be used in real life.
8. Customer Slide
Are your customers regular consumers, SMEs, or large corporations? What is your ideal customer avatar?
9. Feedback Slide
What feedback have you already compiled from potential or existing customers? This is key when thinking about what is the length of a pitch deck.
Need some added information? Check out this video where I explain how to create a pitch deck.
10. Traction Slide
What traction does your startup have? Specifically hone in on one metric. What progress have you made in terms of customer acquisition, sales volume, revenues, and profit?
11. Model Slide
What is the business model? How do you get customers, deliver to them, and make money?
12. Financials Slides
If you have already begun business include your existing financials. If not, this is all about financial forecasts for the next 1-5 years. This should include customer acquisition, sales, revenues, profits, and profit margins.
When it comes to understanding what is the length of a pitch deck, you need to keep in mind that the financials could take more than one slide. Try to condense them a bit but not too much or you will cut into the story.
13. Investors Slide
What other investors are already involved or expected to participate in this fundraising round.
14. The Team Slide
Use profile pictures, and one to two sentence bios for each cofounder.
15. Use Of Funds Slide
How much money are you asking for? What will you do with the money you raise? What milestones will it enable you to achieve?
16. Closing Slide
Thank investors for their time, repeat your contact information so they can get in touch.
When you’re looking for information about what is the length of a pitch deck, keep these essential factors in mind.
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.
Hopefully this post provided you with some perspective as you are looking into what is the length of a pitch deck.