The 7 Definitive Do’s of Pitch Deck Design


Pitch Desk Design Tips

Read Time: 4 minutes


  • Simple design and image-heavy slides are processed faster in the brain than text.
  • Perform a “flick test” on your deck before you email it to investors. Make sure big numbers stick out to effectively communicate a message during brief exposure.

Nothing will improve your investor presentation more than a well-designed pitch deck. Delivering a pitch that’s cluttered and hard-to-digest is a buzzkill for today’s investor, ultimately minimizing your chances of getting funded. And that’s what you came here for – to get funded.

This post is designed to help you become a better visual communicator through pitch deck design. There are plenty of ways to mess it up, but few to get it right.

Here are the 7 Definitive Do’s of Pitch Deck Design and how you can use them to create a captivating deck for your next investor presentation.

Do keep it simple

A clean and easy-to-digest pitch deck is attractive to any curious onlooker. In fact, simplicity is proven to be easier on the brain and makes processing new information feel better.

From the amount of words to image placement – and everything in between – you want your deck to be audience-friendly.

We’re hardwired to make quick decisions, and a 2012 collaborative study with Google revealed that users will judge a sites aesthetic beauty and functionality in 1/20th – 1/50th of a second.

That’s faster than the snap of your finger.


Watch: Toward a science of simplicity TED Talk


Do use big numbers

UX/UI designer Steve Berry at Thought Merchants recommends using big numbers to better communicate your message. This doesn’t mean inflate your sales or users numbers, but make them the focal point of your slide when necessary.

Usability tests suggest 5 seconds is how quick you digest a message that sticks in your memory during brief exposure. If you are emailing your deck to a VC firm, you want to ensure it will pass a short, yet effective flick test to improve your chances of scoring that big meeting.

Do employ consistency

Every element needs to follow a design guideline that you establish before creation. This includes font sizes, colors, headers, types of images, and style throughout your deck.

Why? Because consistency removes uncertainty and builds the trust necessary to convince investors that you are capable of handling their funds properly.


Related: The Ultimate Pitch Deck Guide To Raise Capital For Your Business


Do source captivating imagery

According to research accumulated by 3M, we process visuals 60,000 faster than text. This means you can help your audience paint the bigger picture through captivating visuals instead of a bunch of words on the screen.

Visual representation is the core of pitch deck design. Here you want to use images that visualize emotion and convey a message on the slide. This can be in form of a short video, illustration, or photos that show a bit of your company’s personality.

Do apply the “Rule of 3”

People remember information in pairs of 3. It’s deemed to be the most persuasive number in communications and has been used by everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Steve Jobs.

Instead of tossing three bullet points on a slide (which we don’t recommend), use a simple icon or product shot to communicate your message. You want to group your keywords and benefits into 3’s throughout your deck.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! It’ll help your audience digest the new information you are putting in front of them.

There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for” – Milton Glasier, Celebrated Graphic Designer

Do use contrast, properly

Using contrast between background and text will help grab your viewers attention. Make sure your text is easy-to-read and complements your background. For photo backgrounds, add a neutral shade overlay to decrease clutter and help your text pop.

Don’t know how to determine contrast? Check out this quick guide to determine contrast value.

Do embrace the whitespace

In the spirit of simplicity, use whitespace, or negative space, to your advantage. Decks that don’t embrace the space are difficult to digest, don’t leave mental room for new ideas, and promotes itself as unprofessional. That’s the last thing you need when you step into an investor meeting.

The best way to embrace this is to leave enough whitespace on each slide so you don’t look unorganized.

Parting words…

Does your current deck WOW you? If not, Pitchsonify has everything you need in our Ultimate Pitch Guide to create a captivating deck for your investors.. Check it out, drop a comment, or let us know if any questions or suggestions!