• Keep away from disappointing investor pitches not committing one of the vital frequent errors.
  • Deal with telling a charming story that does not get slowed down in quotes or stats. 
  • Preserve it brief and do not shrink back from addressing your competitors. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Pitching buyers within the hopes of touchdown funding is a demanding however mandatory job when scaling your startup. You can also make the method much less taxing by guaranteeing your pitch deck will not be overly difficult or too lengthy, two of the commonest errors entrepreneurs make of their decks. 

Insider spoke with profitable entrepreneurs and buyers to assemble the 5 commonest errors founders make when presenting their pitch decks. They steered methods to keep away from or restore these vital errors, which may price you tens of millions. 

First, inform buyers a charming story 

One of the vital essential facets of a pitch deck is telling a narrative, mentioned Andrew Parker, founding father of senior service startup Papa. Final September, his firm raised $18 million in a Sequence B, bringing its complete to $31 million. 

When Parker introduced Papa to buyers, he began by highlighting the issues his startup would clear up. He used related statistics — for instance, there are 50 million US seniors and social isolation prices the US $7 billion per yr  — to shortly present the trade stakes to buyers. 

“The perfect strategy could also be to make use of the titles [of your slides] as the muse to inform the story,” Parker instructed Insider. “If the potential investor solely reads the titles will they be excited to speculate?” 

When Parker crafted his pitch deck, he drafted headlines of the foremost factors he wished to deal with. Particularly, he confirmed buyers that elder care is an more and more essential trade that Papa can capitalize on. 

Matt Martin Clockwise

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Whereas statistics and knowledge factors are important to any pitch, they’ll’t be the one components, mentioned Matt Martin, the co-founder of good calendar assistant Clockwise.

(Courtesy of Clockwise)


Do not get misplaced within the stats, quotes, or logos 

Whereas statistics and knowledge factors are important to any pitch, they can not be the one components, mentioned Matt Martin, the co-founder of good calendar assistant Clockwise. Martin’s startup raised $18 million in Sequence B funding final yr, bringing its complete funding to $31.6 million. 

“Too usually I see founders lose the forest for the bushes of their decks: An excessive amount of element and never sufficient storytelling,” Martin mentioned in an e mail to Insider. “Inform the story clearly first, then, assist the narrative with knowledge, quotes, and logos.” 

Echoing Parker, Martin suggests entrepreneurs do not get slowed down by the numbers. As a substitute, stability storytelling with different particulars that articulate your mission. “Key stats, buyer quotes, and headcount charts all have their place, however on the finish of the day, your job is to inform a compelling story about how that is going to turn into an enormous firm,” he mentioned by way of e mail. 

Consider the information, quotes, and logos are supplemental supplies that flatter the narrative you are attempting to inform, Martin added. 

Do not lean on technical language — it betrays a insecurity

Founders who’re involved about sounding unqualified have a tendency so as to add further particulars and technical vernacular to their pitch decks, making them illegible, Russ Heddleston, cofounder of safe doc sharing platform DocSend, previously told Insider

Heddleston’s firm has studied 1000’s of pitch decks despatched to buyers by way of its platform. He usually personally evaluations these pitch decks earlier than deciding whether or not to ship them to enterprise capital contacts. If the shows are laden with jargon or complicated language, he will not ahead them. 

“It is like, I do not know what you do. I am not going to take the assembly,” Heddleston mentioned. “I do not perceive why blockchain is concerned with the canine strolling market. That does not make any sense to me.”

Deal with your competitors 

Do not shrink back from the rivals in your trade. As a substitute, present buyers that you simply perceive your market panorama, the foremost gamers, and your rivals, Anu Duggal, the founding companion at Feminine Founders Fund, previously told Insider

Feminine Founders Fund invests in early-stage know-how firms run by ladies and, oftentimes, Duggal sees pitch decks that keep away from the subject of competitors. Present buyers you have achieved your analysis; they’re anticipating your startup to have rivals. 

“Once we take into consideration investing in an organization, we wish to perceive — that is nice that you’ve an attention-grabbing thought otherwise you noticed one thing that has the potential to be an thrilling enterprise — however we additionally wish to perceive what’s already available in the market,” she mentioned.

Samir Smajic

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It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as doable, however retaining pitch decks easy is one of the best coverage, mentioned Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept.

(Courtesy of GetAccept)


Quick and easy is one of the best coverage 

It could appear tempting to incorporate as a lot info as doable, however retaining pitch decks easy is one of the best coverage. In spite of everything, “buyers are sometimes not specialists, they’re generalists,” Samir Smajic, founding father of gross sales platform GetAccept, instructed Insider. GetAccept raised $20 million in Sequence B funding in December, bringing its complete to financing to $30 million. 

Traders wish to know if the issue you are presenting is important, if there is a market in your product, can your group execute on the plan, and is your resolution the one that can change the world, Smajic mentioned. 

“Attempt to construct out a pitch deck round a story the place every dot connects and the place it’s straightforward to observe the pink thread,” Smajic mentioned. 

To maintain pitch decks digestible, do not add pointless slides, Smajic steered. Round eight slides is suggested for early-stage firms whereas 14 is healthier for later-stage startups, he added. 

Moreover, in case you pitched an investor who would not know your trade or market, in 20 minutes or much less, would they have the ability to clarify your product and provide you with suggestions after, Smajic mentioned. Think about that query when weighing what to incorporate or how granular to make the pitch. 

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