Avoiding Common Pitch Deck Mistakes

2min read  Creating your pitch deck is an important part of raising funding for your startup. While you may think that you have covered all of your basis there is still always room for improvement. Read below to see if you have made any of these common mistakes. 

Mistakes to Avoid

Putting the right pitch deck together takes time and practice. It’s not something individuals often get correct on the first try. In developing a pitch deck, there are several mistakes that you can avoid.

One of the most common mistakes is explaining how the product or technology works in great detail, but this isn’t necessary.

Instead, use the pitch deck to focus on its benefits and what the product does for customers.

Save the detailed explanations for later on in the process when you are in diligence.

Some other common mistakes to watch out for are as follows:

  • Not identifying the competition or claims there is no competition.
  • Utilizing a font so small that no one beyond the first row can read it.
  • Using too many words; overuse words can distract the reader.
  • The flow of the slides does not follow a logical story form.
  • Displaying market sizing to distract the audience from the fact that you have no traction.
  • Not having an “investment ask” at the end of the presentation, leaves investors wondering what you want from them.

The pitch deck should focus on your:

  • Core product
  • Team
  • Customer
  • Fundraise

You can flesh out the more extensive details later.

Finally, the biggest mistake you can make with your pitch is not asking questions and not listening.

Most startups spend their time talking when they should be listening for objections and concerns. Pay attention and welcome questions from your potential investors.

What Your Pitch Deck Should Do

A pitch deck is a brief presentation that provides your audience with an overview of your business. Ideally, the deck should answer any questions an investor might have.

The primary goal of the pitch deck is to introduce your deal to an investor. Additionally, the pitch deck should serve as a way to show what is essential to an investor who may be considering an investment in your startup.

A pitch deck is not a means to explain the full history of your company. It is also not a means to explain how your product works.

Tips for Pitch Deck Success

After you’ve made your pitch, be sure to schedule a follow-up meeting with the investor.

Good pitch decks show:

  • What you are doing differently within your given sector.
  • How you can grow more with funding.

An ideal pitch deck showcases that the business’s proposed outcome will happen with or without the investor. In other words, your pitch deck should show that your future is inevitable.

Ideally, you want to use your pitch deck to show potential investors that the results are there. Put those results up for everyone to see and show them what you have accomplished so far. The slides of your deck serve as the presenter, not the other way around.

When pitching, avoid discussing multiple scenarios. Investors will find it challenging to keep track of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Most importantly, focus on the core message:

  • Product
  • Team
  • Market
  • Fundraise
  • Outcome

Remember: You are the presentation; the slides are the presenter.

 

Read more on the TEN Capital eGuide: The Art of Pitching


Hall T. Martin is the founder and CEO of the TEN Capital Network. TEN Capital has been connecting startups with investors for over ten years. You can connect with Hall about fundraising, business growth, and emerging technologies via LinkedIn or email: hallmartin@tencapital.group

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