A pitch deck is one of the most important tools in an entrepreneur’s arsenal. It can communicate your vision, outline your progress, and create new opportunities for your business.
However, a pitch deck can also do the exact opposite if it’s not properly executed.
Crafting the perfect pitch deck can be difficult for both new and experienced entrepreneurs. There are templates and “how-to” guides, but following these too closely can lead to a pitch deck that fails to tell your story.
We’ve put together a list of the top five mistakes you may be making with your pitch deck and what you can do to avoid them.
Not using your audience’s time effectively
No one wants to feel like they’ve wasted time, and you certainly don’t want potential investors to feel that way after you pitch your business to them. Only include crucial information in your pitch deck and aim to leave your audience feeling informed, yet still wanting to learn more, and ready to ask some questions.
Claiming you have no competitors
Stating you have no competitors shows a lack of research and market knowledge. Questions about competitors are always tough, but investors want to know that you plan to establish and maintain a competitive advantage. If you’re finding it hard to identify competitors, think about your competition as not only other businesses with similar products, but also other alternative solutions. Consider unconventional (or conventional) ways customers currently solve the problem you’re trying to address.
Not telling a story
Entrepreneurs often fail to see the value of captivating an audience and potential investors with an engaging story. Storytelling is one of the most effective strategies you can use to enhance your pitch. Think of your pitch deck as a visual aid to strengthen the story you’re telling.
Missing a Call-to-Action
The best pitch decks have a clear call-to-action. The call-to-action typically comes at the end of your slides. If you’re pitching for investment, include a clear ask. Be sure to mention how much investment you’re looking for and how you will use it to grow the business.
Poor pitch deck design
Even the best pitch can miss the mark with your audience if the pitch deck isn’t well-designed. A pitch deck that looks outdated can distract investors from your message. Once you have the content of your pitch deck finalized, be sure to spend time fine-tuning the design. Don’t forget to use your brand colours and maximize white space to create a clean-looking deck. If you’re unable to dedicate time and effort to designing your pitch deck, or you just aren’t feeling creative, seek out the help of a professional or a design-inclined friend.
Avoiding these pitch deck mistakes is key to delivering a successful pitch, but it’s only half of the battle. Determining what to include in your pitch deck is a whole different challenge. Wondering what content you should have in your pitch deck? Check out our blog on must-have slides to perfect your pitch deck.
Ready to put your pitch deck to the test?
Apply to pitch at our next pitch competition by November 17 for the opportunity to practice your pitch, receive feedback from peers and industry professionals, and win some great prizes.
Also published on Medium.