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How to Prepare a Pitch Deck for Investors

 How to Prepare a Pitch Deck for Investors

Pitch deck is a PowerPoint presentation prepared by entrepreneurs in order to raise funds for their business. Sometimes, it is considered as the conclusion or short summary of your business plan listing the most important points that can attract investors.

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Pitching to Investors

The industry has plenty of presentation templates indicating rules and advises on preparing pitch decks including subjects like: what to include, what to avoid, how to explain content, how to present (body language, executive presence), and presentation formats. 

To save your time and mine, we rely here on certain points extracted from a vision of Guy Kawasaki, the Chief Evangelist of Canva and Podcaster, also an entrepreneur who provides the finest advises for entrepreneurs pitching for investors.

This subject is expected to become a hot trend as people are moving towards entrepreneurship, which requires a frequent lookup of funds. From the investor's side, the first and most important rule to follow, is to provide him/her the shortest possible presentation of your pitch deck. 

Investors don't have time, most of the time, and they filter yearly huge numbers of pitch decks to accept five among 500 pitch decks per year. Follow the below advises if you want to be selected among those five.

Guy Kawasaki Rule 10/20/30

This rule applies for many types of pitch decks: raising funds, making a sale, and partnering with another entity. I didn't try it in my marriage proposal but I would like to know if it worked with someone else.

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Guy Kawasaki

The rule consists of the following:

10 Slides

Attendees will be exposed to a heavy and new content so you need to focus on the comprehension limitation of human kinds. Ten is the optimal number tested for pitching and it can handle the main points to be covered in pitch decks.

20 Minutes

The common practice of pitch deck times is one hour, but you need to account for Information Technology problems, which you will not have too much time to troubleshoot. Also, you need to account for latency in investor's team attendance. In total and in common practice, you need to consider the actual effective time of presenting your pitch deck as 20 minutes, the rest is for questions and answers.

30 Points Font

Use 30-points large fonts in your slides in order not to condense text. The audience can read with their eyes faster than what you read with your mouth; you don't want them to feel bored, or even faster than the pace you practiced many times before coming to the meeting.

What Should a Pitch Deck Contain?

After following Guy Kawasaki's rule of pitch decks, I have made few adjustments on the content of each slide in order to adapt the pitch deck to the Middle East style and preference.

Each pitch deck depends on the case it is made for and each pitch deck requires a lot of preparation, brainstorming, due diligence about investors, and analysis of content.

Entrepreneurs going through this hustle should try to investigate a lot of information about the investors, of all their types (angel investors, venture capitals, fund organizations, ...). By collecting this type of information, they can handle the audience preferences much more accurately and effectively.

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Brainstorming, Due Diligence, and Analysis of Pitch Deck Content

Here's the content of each slide in your pitch deck (5 bullet points max per slide): 
Note: 1 picture of infographic is worth 100 words.
  1. Slide #1 - Title and Contact Details: Include your one sentence vision statement and make it memorable and remarkable
  2. Slide #2 - Problem / Opportunity: Describe what problem you are solving with your product / service and why your targeted customers need/want to buy such product
  3. Slide #3 - Value Proposition: Mention the brand name of your product/service if available, highlight the innovation in your proposed solution, and highlight the added value over competitors
  4. Slide #4 - Product / Service: Explain more about your product or service and the underlying magic you will use to win the consumers and get a high traction rates
  5. Slide #5 - Business / Revenue Model: Explain how you will generate income and from which consumers
  6. Slide #6 - Go-To-Market Strategy: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning strategy, plus Logistics /sales channels
  7. Slide #7 - Competitive Analysis (be fair and realistic): List your competitors and indicate one point that makes you unique among them
  8. Slide #8 - Management Team: Highlight a brief strength of the key leadership members in your organization
  9. Slide #9 - Financial Projections and key metrics: Cash Flow Statement (3-5-7-10 years) - Snapshot, NPV, IRR and payback period, important ratios and metrics for your business
  10. Slide #10 - Current Status: What are the accomplishments until today? How much funds are you expecting? How you will use those funds?
Notes: 
Pitch decks are not the right place to discuss pricing strategies, marketing mix, branding strategy, operations plan, board of directors, financial forecasting assumptions, or details of any points made above.

Your financial projections should be based on the size of the project and its profitability. If your idea is to launch a profitable product after 5 years, you can't just show the 3 years forecasting plan and leave the audience to guess if it's going to be profitable or not in the future.
If you were asked, during the 20 minutes, about the financial forecasts and assumptions, do your best to apologize and delay your answer to the questions time slot.
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