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Common unnoticed pitfalls while designing your Pitch Deck

Design and Alignment 

 Too many slides

Stick to the standard concept of 15 slides in the Pitch Deck. Investors have a very limited time. Talk less but explain clearly.

Loads of information

Keep it simple and clear. Do not present every single information on the slides.

Long paragraphs

Think about it as of presenting only headlines! So, use only keywords instead of long statements.

Only images and no plan

Use supportive images only in those slides, where they are essential.

Investors gauge your offering

Use the pitch deck slides qualitatively. Investors want to see methods, planning, and the correct approach when gauging your offering.

Local slangs and industry jargons

Do not forget that sharing local language slang with investors is not equal to being frank. And industry jargon cannot help you either.

 Standard boring look

A wonderful business idea presented in a poor design look often gets ignored by VCs. Your commitment to your idea is reflected in the distinctive look of your deck.

Your philosophical thoughts

Investors are not there to hear what others said. So, keep your philosophical thoughts out of the deck.

Pessimistic statements

Investors keep a positive business outlook to solve problems. So, avoid pessimistic statements.

Bad design

If the Pitch Deck designed poorly, many promising startups fail to achieve lift-off by investors.

Company overview

A slide giving the company overview is vital – Summarizing your business, problem, solution, team, and traction that structure the big picture clearly.

Industry abbreviations

Investors may or may not identify the industry abbreviations. So, do not play with them. If necessary, provide a legend to explain their full form.

English version

Investors can send your deck for approval in any part of the world. Making a deck in the local language is good but having an English version of the deck is better!

Pitch Deck PDF

Make sure to send the pitch deck in a PDF format to prospective investors in advance of your meeting.

 Underestimating the importance of storytelling

Nothing captivates an audience like a compelling story. After all, stories are easier to understand, share, and get excited about.

Market and Venture Capital Fit

Market too small

VCs need to see 10-100x returns on the investment they make in your startup. If VCs feel, the multiples of return for the investment seems impossible, they will not plunge into that venture.

Too many target markets

If you are targeting two markets, it is better to reach them separately using marketing strategies.

Disruption

Focuses on the businesses, industries, or behaviors impacted by a transformative startup.

Pro Marketing Slides

Do not trade yourself to the investor. Introduce your business model as a value proposition instead.

Excessive financial data

 Mention only crucial financial indicators in the slides. Keep the other financial data in the Appendix.

 Complex business graphics

 Business graphics are meant to represent complex things in simpler ways. Keep them simple.

Bloated facts and figures

Investors can research your facts and figures anytime by appointing experts. So, keep them real!

Niche need not give a competitive advantage

Being a niche product cannot be considered a competitive advantage by VCs. You have built a niche product. Still, it may or may not give a competitive advantage in the real world.

More slides on market, fewer slides on product

Dedicating more slides only to the target market will leave less scope to explain the offering, competitive advantage, business model, go to market strategy, and other important details.

 Following the hype

VCs like to invest in innovative technology or unique product lines. Investors can easily identify whether you are just one of those who try to cash-in an on-going trend.

Customer Acquisition Costs

What costs will you incur to acquire a customer? What will be the likely lifetime value of the customer? What marketing channels will you use? What is the typical sales cycle?

 Using VCs investment

Investors want to know how their capital will be invested and the company’s anticipated burn rate so that they can understand when you may need the next round of financing.

Unrealistic Valuation Expectations

Often, it is best not to discuss valuation in a pitch deck or a first meeting other than to say you expect to be reasonable on valuation.

 No Demo

A demo could be screenshots, an app mockup, or a video. This helps potential investors visualize your product. This will improve their interest and feel secure in their decision to invest with you.

Addressing real and significant market

The pitch deck must convince investors that there is a real and significant market in which the company can capture a meaningful stake.

Traction – Progress

Traction shows the progress the company has made so far. This covers early customers, pilot programs, revenues, financial metrics, strategic partnerships, press and PR, and testimonials.

 Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Make sure not to insist on an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) being signed in advance. Most investors will refuse to agree to an NDA just to hear a pitch or get an overview of the company.

 Execution

 No proof of execution

Find a way to show a track record of relentless progress, if not with your current startup, then some previous relevant experience.

No team slide

The team is a crucial part of any investment decision. VCs are in a people business, and the Pitch Deck needs to build trust.

Your own credentials

Take the time to show your credentials and give investors a reason to believe that you are the best person in the world to launch and grow the business.

 Insufficient network or connections

Lots of startups are attacking the same root problem, and investors see multiple startups that look very similar — therefore they cannot sign NDAs.

Evidence to back the bold claim

Communicate real progress and scale your boldness in proportion to your actual merits.

Confusing the investor

Stirring up the investor’s mind cannot help you win anyway. Be clear and simple.

Unrealistic plan and approach

Investors come across thousands of unrealistic plans every day. So, do not be one of them as they can easily spot out such pitches.

Unveiling all your cards

Unveiling ‘All key ingredients to success’ in the first meeting itself is not advisable.

Unrelatable problem

Make sure they feel the pain right off the bat to pique their interest in learning how you solve the problem and how VCs can help.

No clear call to action

Tell investors specifically what you are asking for and provide them with an easy way to follow up. Always finish your pitch with a clear ask – Usually funding.

Clarity

 Lack of idea clarity

Startups add too many details but fail to convey what they try to solve. State the crux of your idea or solution plainly. If the deck lacks idea clarity, it will not serve the purpose of the meeting.

 Problem slide

Describe the biggest customer pain point. Explain how the customer will experience the pain? Explain how you are going to address this pain point with your best solution?

 No Statistics

Add credible statistics to substantiate your claim. To provide authenticity, include sources wherever possible. If quantitative data is less, include success stories, customer testimonials, etc.

 Complex problem slide

If the Pitch Deck presents a complex problem slide, this will create many doubts in the VCs mind.

Presenting unnecessary information

Avoid repetition. It is advisable to serve your product only once. Keep only relevant information and avoid your personal achievements. Avoid pitfalls and contradicting information in the deck.

No competition slides

Do not explain the competitive landscape generally. Be clear and specific. Explain market penetration strategies. Do not be afraid to educate the investors if they are learning a new market.

Downplaying the competition

Do your research. Try to learn as much as you can about your competition. Present all the important details with whoever you are pitching your startup to.

Are you pitching your innovative business ideas to Venture Capitalists (VCs)?

Pitch Deck can make or break your investor funding. We design it for you professionally, visualizing your business strategy. Reach out to us and we would love to help you design powerful Pitch Deck presentations that impress the VCs during the meeting.

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