Presenting Your Pitch Deck

2 min read Presenting Your Pitch Deck: what you need to know.

A pitch deck is an essential tool to have when looking for funding for your startup. Your pitch deck functions as your introduction to your potential investor and can make or break your relationship. Here are some essential points to keep in mind when crafting your own.

The Goal of The Pitch Deck

The goal of the pitch deck is to introduce your deal to an investor and find out what is essential to them. It isn’t to tell your complete story or explain how your product works.

Ideally, you want to plan a follow-up meeting with the investor.

Good pitch decks show what you are doing and the opportunity to grow more with funding. Ideal pitches show the proposed outcome will happen with or without them; in other words, the outcome is inevitable. The results of the team are there for everyone to see what has been done so far.

Remember, you are the presentation, not the slides. Avoid discussing multiple scenarios as this may confuse your audience. Focus on the core message – it’s one product, one team, one market, one fundraise, and one outcome.

What Your Title Says About You

Investors want to know what your product is from your pitch, not just your technology or benefits.

Your title should come near the beginning of the pitch, as some investors have difficulty focusing on what you’re saying until they know what the product is. It’s essential to show the product and define it clearly, so investors know how you will approach the market.

If it’s a physical product, show a picture of it. Make sure the product has a name, helping establish it as a real thing in the investor’s mind, even if the product is still in development. Even the case of a physical device can make it seem real.

Say what it does in five words or less, so the investor gets a high-level understanding of it. Even if the product is not yet ready for sale, treat it like it has form and function now so that investors can grasp what you are doing.

Common Mistakes in Developing a Pitch Deck

One of the most common mistakes is explaining in great detail how the product or technology works. Instead, focus on the benefits of the product and what it does for customers. It’s better to save the detailed explanations for later.

Other mistakes include:

  • Not identifying the competition or claiming there is none.
  • Making the font so small that no one beyond the first row can read it.
  • Using too many words so that readers get distracted by reading it.
  • Not setting up a flow, so the slides follow a logical story form.
  • Using market sizing to distract the audience from the fact that you have no traction.
  • Forgetting to ask for investment, so investors are left wondering what you want from them.
  • Using cut and paste from Excel for financials, rendering the slide unreadable.
  • Trying to tell the investor everything in one sitting.

The pitch deck should focus on your core product, team, customer, and fundraise. You can flesh out the details later.

The biggest mistake is not asking questions or listening. Most startups spend their time talking when they should be listening for objections and concerns.

Read more from the TEN Capital eGuide How to Build a Pitch Deck:

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:

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