Why pitch decks require an equal balance of text and visuals? When your startup is looking for funds from investors you know your pitch deck needs to be great. Getting the right balance of text and visuals is a big part of this.
As you are seeking funding for your startup, your pitch deck must have all the necessary information required by investors.
That begins with ensuring that the following details are included:
- Introduction: Who are you, and what do you have to offer?
- Market need: Introduce the problem in the market.
- Solution: How do you intend on solving this problem? How is your product the solution?
- Product description: Describe your product and what separates you from the competition. Introduce the prototype if you have it ready.
- Competition: Present the market research you have done. How do you intend on crushing the competitors?
- Development plan: Present how you will develop the product, the resources you will use, and milestones.
- Marketing: Describe the market strategies you will be taking and how you plan on reaching the consumer.
- Business model: How do you intend on generating profit? When will you see an ROI?
- Investment: How much money do you need, and what are the terms?
- Contacts: Your contact information.
You have gathered all the data you need and are working on the script, but what about the text and visuals to display on your slides? How much white space do you have to use? Finding the right balance between text and visuals will make your pitch deck more appealing and engaging for the audience.
The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks
Here is the content that we will cover in this post. Let’s get started.
- 1. Who is Your Intended Audience?
- 2. Designing the Deck Slides
- 3. Create Visual Reports
- 4. Engaging Pitch Deck with Visuals
- 5. Legibility
- 6. Fonts and Font Styles
- 7. Font Color
- 8. Simplicity
- 9. Short Sentences
- 10. Content Must be Obvious
- 11. Visual Elements
- 12. Brand Identity
- 13. The Presentation
- 14. The Dos and Don’ts of Designing Your Pitch
- 15. The Bottom Line
Who is Your Intended Audience?
Think about your audience. Who are you pitching to? Have your investors been exposed to this market before, or do you need to introduce them to it?
When you perform your pitch deck to investors, they need to know that you have tailored your presentation for them. Get to know your demographics.
Is it suitable for all viewers? What is the gap in the market, and is it saturated or a brand new category? You must justify why they should enter the market with the current competitive landscape.
To deliver this information in detail and clarity, you should learn why pitch decks require an equal balance of text and visuals.
Designing the Deck Slides
How you design the pitch deck can make or break the delivery of the presentation. Your listeners will start to talk to each other, daydream, or play on their phones.
Once you see their focus diverted away from your presentation, you know you have lost them. Creating a visually appealing pitch deck is the first step in impressing your investors and keeping them engaged.
When you make decisions in terms of design, you will make choices on the following:
- When the images, video, and animations must get shown for maximum impact
- The images that will have the greatest impact on the audience
- The right time to introduce tables, charts, and other visuals
- The right amount of text to use on each slide
- Organizing the graphics, so the information is delivered clearly
Your investors might not have had any exposure to your product, so your visual presentation will be the first time they get exposed to it.
Therefore, if you want to leave a lasting impression and ensure they don’t forget you, you need to make cohesive, engaging, and creative content that will stand out visually.
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.
Create Visual Reports
Revenue reporting and other financials do well when displayed in a visually appealing way. Annual reports look like large blocks of text or a long spreadsheet with the key cells getting highlighted.
You can create data visualizations in graphs to display the data and make the message clearer for the audience. Your slide deck will share all essential findings with a visual financial report and forecast.
With a data visual display, you can discuss where you have taken the business and the best way forward to drive sales. That’s the reason why pitch decks require an equal balance of text and visuals.
There are various types of visual aids that you can use for your pitch deck:
- Photographs: Striking images to make your point.
- Illustrations: Similar to photographs, illustrations can help to tell your story.
- Video: Video can be highly effective in telling your story.
- Tables: Display data and financials in tables and graphs.
- Pie charts: Show numerical information in percentages with a pie chart.
- Bar charts: Use vertical and horizontal bars to compare data.
Adding images and text is only one of the facets of how to share information with investors. If you would like to go into the details of how its done, check out this video I have created. You’re sure to find it helpful.
Engaging Pitch Deck with Visuals
Using visualizations to explain important data and visual metaphors will allow you to emphasize key points and complement your script to improve audience retention. It is much more effective to combine text and visuals in your presentation to increase engagement.
What is the point of your presentation if you have no visuals and it can’t be read? If you are speaking in a sizable conference room, those sitting in the back can’t see the text, nor will they try to.
If you have not provided legible and clear slides, the investors won’t lean in to see the text. When the font is small and illegible, you have given the investors the perfect reason not to invest in you.
When designing your pitch deck, assume that everyone in the room has bad eyesight so that your key points are clear and legible.
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Fonts and Font Styles
The sole purpose of a pitch deck is to support the presentation. However, if people can’t read what you’ve written, it’s useless. You should try to be as legible as possible.
To ace this, use a font that is readable and bold while also aligning with the personality of your brand. Finding such a font would be difficult unless you are familiar with font psychology. Here are some font styles to consider:
- Verdana: Microsoft created Verdana in 1996 specifically for use on computer screens. The letters are well spaced, and the tall letters make this font very readable.
- Helvetica: It’s a neutral font that will work with any style. Because it is such a strong font, companies such as Jeep and Toyota have made it their brand font and logo font.
- Gill Sans: It is a beautiful font that suits any brand. They especially look fantastic for presentations.
- Using at least a 30 point font will help readability and ensure there is plenty of white space. It’s one of the factors to keep in mind when figuring out how pitch decks require an equal balance of text and visuals.
The text must have a good background, or it will strain the reader’s eyes. So, for example, you shouldn’t use an orange font with a green or yellow background. But a white font with a blue background is very appealing.
Keep text at the top of the slide. Then, your audience at the back can see the writing if their view is hampered by others.
There are times when fundraisers attempt to provide multiple answers on a single slide. When you have more than one key point per slide, it becomes overcrowded and too complex to explain and understand.
Ensure that you don’t overcrowd your slides with more than one argument, and follow a simplistic design.
Your pitch deck must compliment your script, not overshadow it. It needs to highlight all the key points and the visuals are what keep people engaged. Large paragraphs of text will have reverse effects. There are two most important things to remember – only add the key points, and if they can be removed, remove them.
Content Must be Obvious
If you take a quick look at the content and it isn’t obvious, you need to change the content on the slide. They must be immediately understood and self-explanatory.
Investors get distracted easily and will lose interest if they have to try and interpret the content. If you have lost their interest, you might find it difficult to gain it back.
That’s one of the reasons why pitch decks require an equal balance of text and visuals.
A slide that contains only text is highly unappealing than those with visuals, such as images and icons. Complement your text with visuals and ensure that:
- The pitch deck is easy to read from any area of the room, and the content is easy to understand.
- The visuals you use are aesthetically beautiful and interesting to look at.
- Use infographics when you can instead of the basic bullet points. Graphs and charts are highly effective and legible.
There must be a balance between the text and visuals. If there is too much text and not enough visuals, you lose engagement.
If there are only visuals and no text, the audience will not know what they see exactly with your visuals. The two go hand in hand in producing the perfect pitch deck.
Another purpose of your pitch deck is that it establishes your brand. The visuals help you show off your identity. Don’t assume that the colors, fonts, and icons don’t matter.
They will be what the audience remembers about your brand. The headings and sentences must also be the color and font that suits your brand’s voice.
When working on PowerPoint, you have the option of creating a custom theme so you can be consistent with your look.
Investors want to know why they should invest in you but also excited by the opportunity. So you need to show them facts and figures in the form of visuals.
There are various ways you can draw your audience in with the text and visuals from your presentation.
- Be unique: Stand out in the best way possible with your creativity. Take the visual elements and the text of your presentation seriously and put a lot of thought into its design. Remember – stay short and relevant. Bullet pointed slides need to be the talking point, not the reading point. Use images to break up text and utilize white space, so the presentation remains unique but straightforward.
- Preparation: Have you practiced your presentation? Practice your presentation as though you are standing in front of investors. Use the same software and your own laptop. Avoid the thumb drive in case there are issues with the hardware or software they provide for you. Recheck it right before heading on stage. The last thing you need is technical malfunctions and bring a backup should things go wrong.
- Tell a story: You already have written and perfected the story in the script, but what about visually? How will the story tie into the graphics and text in the presentation? Ensure that there is a good balance between the visuals telling the story and essential text.
- Consistency: Use the same template because if investors happen to see you again, they will remember you and your brand. Keep the same fonts, colors, and styles, and edit the images consistently.
The Dos and Don’ts of Designing Your Pitch
- Do use engaging videos, images, and other visuals that are relevant to your topic.
- Don’t use videos that are too long.
- Do use graphics and charts when necessary.
- Don’t assume that the audience can read and understand your graphs – keep them simple. Use headings and text to explain the concepts to the audience.
- Do include images of people for authenticity.
- Don’t create generic images, as you will lose trust from the investors.
- Do keep text to the minimum and focus on the key points, headings, and short bullets.
- Don’t add big blocks of text. Your audience won’t read it and will disengage.
The Bottom Line
A good presentation takes conscious effort and choices. You need to understand its purpose and audience to tailor the content for them. Each decision you make for every slide must be organized, highlighting key points, and balance visuals and text appropriately.
You will lose your audience the moment they see a full slide of text. If you have cluttered the page with visuals you may also lose them.
Take your time planning and designing the perfect pitch deck, and don’t forget it’s all about the audience. Research the investors and tailor each pitch to them. Understand why pitch decks require an equal balance of text and visuals
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