This is the first article in a series focused on building a great pitch deck, and if you are an entrepreneur and you need funding, at some point, you have to get out there and pitch. Yup, it is inevitable. And, it isn’t entirely enough to talk a good talk. If you have a shot at delivering an outstanding presentation, then your pitch deck design must stand out as well. There are a lot of businesses looking for money. Design can be the deciding factor for getting major funding, attracting key media, and landing big customers. A winning pitch deck is a mixture of great design and focused, clear content. It also has to fit into a time structure. Are you overwhelmed just thinking about how to do this? Let’s break down the design portion.
Design is the other half of the equation to a great pitch. The best presentation design is visually appealing, simple and today’s “fashion” is to not use standard bullet points. Think imagery. Think simple. Why? When a slide has a lot happening, your audience is not paying attention to you, they are figuring out your slide. You’ve LOST them. Here are the dirty dozen:
- Use 16x9 size for your slides. It shows refinement and looks nicer.
- Limit animations and transitions. They take time and can often come across amateurish
- Do not use a Microsoft (pre-loaded) PowerPoint template. There are plenty of beautifully designed PowerPoint presentations that are cheap and 100% customizable available online.
- Create a color theme and then 3 or 4 slide “styles” within each theme. This style change will break up the monotony of a single slide type. To see some examples, take a look at http://slidebean.com/blog/startups/pitch-deck-examples
- For fonts, chose sans serif. It is easier to read. Also, go beyond the same old Arial. Fonts are design elements. Think big headlines!
- Similarly, try different ways to convey information e.g. visual only, or text only, or graphs, illustrations or photos, etc.
- Use color, font accents (e.g. bold, italic, all caps), imagery, and other graphic elements to EMPHASIZE or create focal points on individual slides. But DO NOT overuse them. Remember to retain consistency within the overall theme.
- Use quality photography. DO NOT use images off Google searches. There are plenty of free photos online e.g. Pexels.com
- No bullet points! Feel free to use unique symbols (e.g. check boxes or shapes) instead
- Remember the 25/25 rule: 25-point minimum for the font, maximum of 25 words on a slide. 5 words per slide are even better - like unique single words or short phrases.
- Make it very clear what your product is or what you do.
- This is not a technical presentation; spend no more than 30 seconds on the tech stuff.
Are you a technology-based company with high-growth potential? Join the CEI community of entrepreneurs and apply today!