What are pitch decks?
A pitch deck is a concise presentation (usually made in Google Slides or PowerPoint) that provides an overview of a business, typically delivered to potential investors, partners, or stakeholders. It serves as a visual aid to communicate key aspects of a startup’s vision, mission, product or service, market opportunity, financial projections, and team. Pitch decks are crucial tools for entrepreneurs seeking funding, as they distill complex information into a compelling and digestible format. Below, we’ll share a pitch deck template to help you get started.
In a competition setting, where time is limited, a well-structured pitch deck ensures clarity and leaves a lasting impact on judges. Judges often rely on pitch decks to evaluate the viability and potential of a business. Pitch decks serve as a storytelling tool, allowing entrepreneurs to concisely convey their business narrative, influencing judges to positively sway their decision in favor of cash prizes.
What Should I Focus On During a 5-Minute Pitch In a Competition?
In a five minute pitch, it’s important to eliminate fluff and cut to the chase. Each judge may be looking for something different, so it’s hard to make a blatant statement as to what your primary focus should be. In general, judges will evaluate a company based on the following criteria:
- Market size
- Validation and traction
- Go-to-market plan
How to Create an Impactful Pitch Deck
Entrepreneurs gearing up for the upcoming RevRoad pitch competition need a focused and concise pitch deck to stand out to the judges. When you only have five minutes to share your pitch, it is critical to focus on the what matters most. Here’s a pitch deck template to guide you when creating a 10-12 slide deck that showcases the business you are building:
- Cover Slide:
- Keep it simple with your logo and a tagline.
- Start with your company’s vision or mission to set the stage with your “why.”
- Clearly outline the problem you’re solving, emphasizing its significance in the market you’re addressing.
- Showcase your innovative solution to the problem succinctly, avoiding unnecessary details. This may be more than one slide if you have a few products you want to show.
- Don’t get too fixated on product features. Investors are going to care more about your traction (see below) than your solution. Anyone can build a product. The big question is whether or not that product actually has paying customers.
- Define the market size and your target customers. Consider using a TAM, SAM, SOM approach for a comprehensive view.
- What Makes You Different:
- Show investors what sets you apart from competitors in the market. What enables you to break through the noise? Communicate your unique selling proposition, be it product features or brand differentiators.
- This is arguably the most important section of your pitch. Dedicate a few slides to showcase your revenue, partnerships, and business model. Investors will want to know exactly how your business makes money, the current financial standing, and the growth potential.
- Projections or Big Picture:
- If time permits, this is where you will dive deeper into the growth potential, presenting 3-5 year financial projections.
- Introduce your team, emphasizing their expertise and backgrounds. Investors invest in people as much as ideas.
- End with a gracious thank you and provide clear contact information.
BONUS: If you are currently raising capital (outside of the competition), add a slide detailing how much money you’re seeking and what you need the money for. This slide would come after the “team” slide.
How to Present a Pitch
Crafting an effective pitch deck (using the template above) will make your presentation stronger, but only if you know the information well. Avoid reading the slides—you should know the content inside and out. Remember, less text, more impact.
Before pitching investors or competing at a pitch competition, you should practice your pitch multiples times to ensure it fits within the allotted time frame. You should also anticipate questions from the judging panel (or investors) and practice your responses to those questions. Practice leads to confidence, and confidence leads to positive impressions!
With a well-rehearsed presentation and a pitch deck that focuses on the most important aspects of your business, you’re sure to do well at your next pitch presentation!