Why the cover slide is so important in pitch decks? This is a question few people ask themselves which is a missed out opportunity.
If you see the importance, and impact it can have for good or bad, what should be on it, and how do you make the most of it?
Typically the cover slide sets up the expectations. Think about the cover slide as a trailer of a movie. Before you watch the movie you take a peek at the trailer. Same thing with a cover slide. It helps the investor to understand what they are about to review.
The Science Of First Impressions
What you do up to getting your cover slide in front of potential investors for your startup is certainly vital too. You’ve got to make a good enough impression and be able to create enough urgency and interest to get them to even open up or click the link to your startup’s pitch deck. That includes your first outreach, your subject line, you email or DM body, and even your social profile and email address.
Most investors are going to be looking at many, many decks before they even short list any of those. Even those that get a meeting will mostly hear “no.” We are talking about hundreds of noes for each yes and check they write.
For active investors that is a whole lot of pitch decks they need to look at. In order for them to be efficient with their time, and get down to making the deals they want to, which are going to help their own metrics and profits, they have to be very selective with their time. Even decks they like may just get 2-3 minutes of their time. That means they are likely to toss and delete a lot of pitches just based on the cover slide. Make sure yours isn’t one of them.
According to the Institute for Organization Management of the US Chamber of Commerce, 55% of a first impression is visual. Next most important is the way and tone that something is said, at 38%. So, even when pitching in person, the visuals and tone is much more important than what you are saying.
When you are looking into why the cover slide is so important in pitch decks, keep in mind that according to Forbes contributor Serenity Gibbons and The Association For Psychological Science, first impressions are formed far faster than you think. Just a 10th of a second to determine traits like trustworthiness, and just 50 milliseconds to form an opinion based on a website. That may not even be long enough to fully read a tagline or the rest of the content on your cover slide.
So, when it comes to cover slides it is wise to think about the details, and psychology, and to really keep it clean and focused, so that investors pick up on the impression you really want to convey.
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.
What Should Be On Your Pitch Deck Cover Slide?
What does your company name say about this opportunity? What is the first impression it will give during an investor meeting?
This is your opportunity to sum up your business in a single sentence. This may be the best lever you have to get them to open and start swiping through the rest of your deck, or drop it in the trash folder.
The font, colors and imagery all instantly convey volumes about your startup. It is worth thinking it through from the investors’ perspective. What is going to give them the first impression that you are going to become their next hit startup, based upon what they’ve seen before in the market and their own portfolios?
Your name, business address, phone number, email address and Linkedin handle also say a lot. How can you optimism these factors for a superior first impression?
This should be a picture showing your product or service in action that is self-explanatory. Possible the most important thing when addressing why the cover slide is so important in pitch decks.
The Cover Slide & Capability
The uncomfortable truth is that ideas are cheap. They are infinite. The difference in a startup that can make it and is fundable, is that they have a strong, capable team. In milliseconds your cover slide demonstrates an enormous amount about your capability. Here are just some of those ways.
Nailing The Marketing Pitch
Make no mistake that your fundraising pitch is one of the greatest marketing tests of your business. It also directly shows how capable you are at marketing your business, brand, and product to consumers and partners.
Presentation is important. So, is proving through this that you also have a great handle on the market, your target customers and the marketing you will do for acquiring customers. This shows up in your research, marketing plan, traction, marketing ROI and unit economics, as well as your fundraising ask and what you say you will do with the money.
If you haven’t hired a CMO or marketing and sales talent yet, then this is a good time to at least bring in someone freelance to nail it for your pitch deck and presentation.
While there is certainly a lot of poor and misinformation out there online, it really doesn’t require a big investment to find out what really works when it comes to pitch decks and to find a proven template.
Showing up with a strong cover slide that checks the boxes shows that you are coachable, are able to seek great advice and listen. That is one of the most essential traits of entrepreneurs that have what it takes to make it, and investors want to work with.
Think about it. If you are too stubborn to do this for creating your pitch deck and presenting to them, how are they supposed to believe you’ll show up in the right way when it comes to everything else.
The Cover Vs. Closing Slide
The closing slide is your chance to leave a strong impression. Use it to thank them and close with those strong elements from your cover so that they can follow through, take action and contact you.
Hopefully this post provided you with some perspective as you are looking into why the cover slide is so important in pitch decks.
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 I cover in detail why the cover slide is so important in pitch decks.
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THIS VIDEO:
Hi, everyone. This is Alejandro Cremades, and today we’re going to be talking about why the cover slide is so important 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.
Let’s face it. Nobody really talks about cover slides. It’s actually one of the most important slides in the presentation, but nobody talks about it. People just think that it’s about putting a logo, an image, or putting a simple tagline. There’s much more to that, and in today’s video, we’re going to be giving you all the insights, the actionable steps to think about in a powerful way so that you can go out there and go get what’s yours when it comes to raising money. So let’s get into it.
The science of the first impression: Ultimately, the cover slide is like a trailer because a pitch deck is like a movie. It’s all about storytelling when you’re raising money. When you’re thinking about movies before you even go to watch the movie you tell your significant other, your boyfriend, girlfriend, brother, sister, mother, father, or whoever that is, that you have done your research first because if you take them to a terrible movie, they’re going to kill you. And the same thing happens with pitch decks.
The cover slide, in the end, is the trailer that sets the expectation to the investor for what they are about to review. Remember that in pitch decks, typically, on average, investors spend 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Essentially, what the cover slide is doing is setting up the expectation so that they can quickly scan through the presentation without the need to figure out what you’re doing.
So, right off the bat, you’re setting up the tone and the scenario for what they’re about to see ahead. Then, it’s going to make their life simpler. Just think about, for example, Apple products. They don’t even come with instructions – same thing. That’s why you want to do that on the pitch deck where you are using that cover slide as a trailer to push them in an effective and efficient way through your own presentation.
Essentially what you want is to have a very powerful image, an image that ideally is capturing the essence of what your company or what your product is doing, or perhaps your service, in a powerful way so that right away when people see it, they get it. Now, that’s going to be in the background.
The other thing that you’re going to have is a logo. Obviously, you have that logo nicely designed by a professional. Then put it along with a tagline. You want a tagline that is self-explanatory. Think, for example, of Uber’s tagline: Everyone’s Private Driver. It is self-explanatory, right away, it tells you what the business is about, and it is super down and straight to the point.
The other thing that you want is your contact details. You want to have your first and last names; you want to have your title; you want to have your cellphone. You want to have your cellphone so that if an investor wants to call you at 2:00 am, or if anyone wants to call you at 2:00 am that has an interest, they have a way to reach you.
The other thing is, you want to have an email. Stay away from putting a Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo email – nothing generic. It needs to be professional, and it needs to come across as serious, so you need to put the name of the company. The other thing that you want to do here is very much align the design and make sure that everything is looking professional and serious. So, to recap, you want to have the image, the logo, the tagline, and the contact information.
When it comes down to the rest of the pitch deck, again, remember that the cover slide is part of the structure of that flow that you’ve put together for this pitch presentation. What you want to know or what you want to do is have the same type of consistency. Whatever image you’re using on the cover slide, it should be images and visuals that are in line with whatever you’re putting all across the presentation – also, the font, the way that you’re positioning things, all of that needs to go in parallel so that you don’t look like you’re all over the place. Like I was saying before, the cover slide is setting up the expectation so that when they’re reviewing the presentation, it needs to follow that flow in a very nice way.
When it comes to the cover slide versus the back cover slide, the cover slide and the back cover slide are two separate things. The cover slide is literally to open up their eyes as to what they’re about to review. On the back cover slide, what you want to do is to thank them in a powerful way so that it triggers, to a certain degree, either them reaching out or them wanting to ask questions or having more excitement to invite you to a follow-up meeting or to whatever that is.
You want to use the back cover slide as a way to trigger – to trigger action on their end. One of the best ways to position the back cover slide is to use a picture of your team, perhaps smiling, posing in front of the product, or around the service, or whatever that looks like, but for people to see that there’s a real team and real human beings. Perhaps with their smiley faces, you can show even how great of a culture you have, and even posing with a branded tee-shirt, or a Polo shirt, or whatever that is. Make sure that the image of the team is coming across in a very good light.
Hit a Like on this video, and also subscribe to the channel so that you don’t miss out on all the videos that we’re rolling out every week. Then, also, leave a comment below so that you can let me know what you’re up to. If you’re fundraising, shoot me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to help out. Thank you so much for watching.