So, it's another pitching day! You're so anxious you almost forget to carry your laptop this time. You take a deep breath, try to calm your over-the-moon nerves, and put a spring into your step. Today feels slightly different, and you're ready to take that chance.
You meet your teammates wearing sober looks, intimating a "here we go again" mannerism. You crack a few jokes to lighten up moods, and there are a few laughs around. Yeah, it's going to be good.
So, pitching starts! You open the first page of your pitch deck, and immediately you know you have lost some edge. You shake it off, breezing through your slides in a rhythmic, almost sing-song manner. Why not, you have done it a few times, so it feels like a performance. A few questions are asked, and then the bombshell – "just not it, yeah?"
It has happened. Again.
So, what exactly is going wrong? You've done an excellent job of displaying your idea and how it solves a problem, "what did we miss?"
Actually, that might be one of the reasons why you didn't get those funds, you know. Maybe you talked about your goods far too much.
Here are some reasons your pitch deck is failing:
1. Your pitch deck is overly wordy.
In truth, no one wants to read a three-slide exposition of how the AI is programmed. It is not of their business. They are unconcerned.
Make your message relevant to your audience. If you are delivering a pitch without a spoken presentation (although this is ill-advised), you may need to provide extra information. However, if you're joining a pitch competition where you'll be presenting in person, you might have some slides with no words, just graphics. The main aspect to remember is to consider your presentation as a whole (verbal and pitch deck) and to tailor your message to your audience. Consider how it will be perceived and make minor changes if you believe it will significantly impact your intended audience.
You are telling your company's story both now and in the future. Tell it like you mean every aspect of it.
2. Too much focus on your product
Sounds familiar? No? Keep reading.
Yes, investors are interested in what you are offering to your clients, but they are more interested in how you are selling it. What plan do you have to attract customers/users, what do you know about your competitors, and what capabilities/ strategies have you laid down to run your business? These are fundamental questions for founders.
When pitching to investors, remove your entrepreneur hat and consider your firm the same way you would when picking which partner to work with or supplier to select. Do you believe they will deliver on their promises? Are they being truthful with you? Is there a growth strategy in place? Have they considered both long-term goals and short-term requirements? Do they have the knowledge and experience to carry out the plan and vision? Are the figures correct, or are they exaggerated?
Modifying your message to your audience is vital for engaging communication. So, conduct your homework and consider yourself as a potential investor.
3. Pitch Deck Errors
If you think investors don't notice this and are only concerned with data and graphs, you're mistaken. When you're reading your favorite book, and you come across a typo, it's really distracting, and for some individuals, it isn't very reassuring. Most importantly, it demonstrates a lack of attention to detail, which is bad in business or leadership.
Here are a few pointers and tools to help avoid this:
• Make use of online design platforms such as Slidebean. It has stunning, professional, pre-designed templates that you may use and personalize. Everything from colors to images, films, graphs, and so on can be found here. It will assist you in keeping your deck's design consistent. You will also be guided through each stage of pitching.
• Hire a pro to assist you. Practice makes perfect. Experienced personnel are people who have done the same thing over and over again. Work becomes second nature after a while. An experienced pro can do a task that would take you days to complete. As a result, you get your pitch deck faster and have more time to do what you should be doing: growing your business or preparing your pitch speech.
A common mistake that entrepreneurs make is failing to devote enough effort and time to completing market research before presenting their pitch deck. All marketing terms that have something to do with the market, such as Serviceable Obtainable Market (SOM), Total Addressable Market (TAM), and Serviceable Available Market (SAM), should be in your pitch deck.
5. An idea is not a business…yet.
Do you know how many headphone companies are in the world? Yet, Beats by Dre is one of the most sought-after headphones globally. You don't have a business until you and your team demonstrate that you have what it takes to earn a profit with a particular concept. And the reality is that investors don't just invest in ideas; they also invest in the people who create them. Plans and strategies differentiate an idea from a business.
This is why investors frequently ask, "Why should you be the one to start this?" Of course, the fact that you thought of it isn't the end; it's just the beginning. At least not one that will assist you in attracting investors.
To accurately answer this question and effectively attract investors, your response should demonstrate why you and your team are capable of turning your idea into a business. It's not about your ambitions, dreams, or immediate requirements, which entrepreneurs sometimes get hooked to. However, those very factors may be the reason you're the one to start the business, as they can lead to expertise, industry contacts, and a solid network.
6. Your Pitch Deck Should Not Have More Than 15 Slides
Avoid cramming too much information onto the pitch deck. It is advised that your pitch deck contain no more than 15 slides. This is because investors will have difficulty reading a lengthy presentation, which may cause them to lose interest in your product.
7. Your financial information seems incomplete
It's common for early-stage startups to omit detailed financial projections. Worse, they may overstate their financial predictions. When it comes to your pitch deck, be sure and consistent about financial information. It seems simple and enticing to do otherwise, but to investors, it depicts unseriousness. They probably know much more about money than you do. It's why you have come to them, after all.
Even if your startup is already profitable, you should know how much more it could earn as it grows. After all, you wouldn't be looking for money if your business didn't need it. Founders face the quandary of determining how to value their firm and finding the sweet spot in terms of financial projections. Overshooting makes you appear unrealistic and out of touch, while underestimating your potential makes your firm seem less appealing to investors.
Below are some ideas for making your pitch deck more appealing:
Avoid Using Bullet Points
Bullet-pointed slides are uninteresting and don't tell a story. Use a large font and keep the number of words on each slide to a minimum. Images can be added to presentations to develop an emotional attachment.
As a starting entrepreneur, it is quite improbable that you would have no competition from your peers in whatever business you wish to establish. Include a list of your competitors in your pitch deck. Take advantage of this opportunity to distinguish yourself and demonstrate why you are superior to the competition.
Always write your pitch deck with three people in mind: the entrepreneur, the investor, and the end-user. These three perspectives assist investors in funding firms with genuine market appeal.
Tell A Story
Choosing the proper story to tell, supported by accurate and realistic data from your firm and market validation, will enliven your pitch deck and make it more attractive to investors. Tell anecdotes about your target customers' experiences and the difficulties they face, and how you intend to solve them. Don't just state the facts; aim to pique the curiosity of investors. You can hire a good storyteller for this purpose.
Discuss the customer's thoughts about your proposed product or service and their expectations. Use names and situations. It will make your pitch appear more appealing to investors.
Keep It Short and Simple
A simple pitch deck performs better than a long, complicated one. Convey your ideas succinctly and leave room for questions from investors.
Read Your Pitch to Someone Else
Allow a mentor or coworker to review your pitch deck and note any questions or concerns they have.
Include A Call-To-Action (CTA)
One thing that successful pitch decks share is a call-to-action right at the end. At this point, you should ask the investors what you want, how much you want, and what you intend to do with it. Never assume that the investors understand what you want.
Ensure That You Address the Risks
Investors understand that every investment entails some level of risk. As a startup entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to present those risks and your approach to mitigate them. Potential investors will view this positively because it demonstrates your ability to prepare ahead. Tell the truth about what you're going through.
Getting a good pitch deck is essential. Getting an impressive, investor-attractive pitch is far more essential. SlideBean is an online platform that gives you all tools needed to create that impressive, investor-attractive pitch. Whether you need an experienced graphic artist, or an excellent storyteller well versed in the makings of pitch decks, SlideBean is here to guide you through your entrepreneur journey till you stand out!
You can look through our tools for what you want, apply to get support throughout your journey, learn about financial modeling, and also check through our portfolios for samples and templates. We help startups pitch to investors. Visit our website to get started.