The Most Common Mistakes People Make With Their Investor Deck

investor deck mistakes

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

I get about 10 pitch deck emails a week. Most are from friends, colleagues, and even family members who know about Pitchsonify.

More often than not, I give them an overview and shoot quick tips back on how to improve their investor deck. This can happen at lunch, during break at the office, or when relaxing at home – regardless, the same mistakes seems to show up with each deck.

My learning process is predictable. I want to know: who are you? what do you do? why are you doing it? who are they (the consumers)?

If I don’t know this by the first or second slide, odds are I won’t know it anywhere else in your pitch.

The hard truth is: if investors don’t have these answers off the bat, they’ll lose interest. But with a well-thought out deck, you can captivate and engage them by avoiding these common mistakes. Here’s how.

The first slide is confusing

Does your image match your brand identity?

Is that random text I’m not interested in reading?

Don’t think you need to pack your opening with endless information, both on screen and in voice. Simplicity is key here and the ability to express ideas in that mindset is crucial.

One image. One logo. One tagline/defining sentence is everything your first slide needs. Verbally explain what you do one or two lines. Show an investor why they need to care right now.

Your numbers don’t stand out

It’s understandable there are a lot of numbers behind your startup. Whether it’s monthly users, subscribers, annual revenue, or margins, these metrics need to be able to pass a flick test.

Investors won’t hunt for numbers, so it’s your job effectively communicate them. Use different font, color, and even size to highlight important metrics. This is what they’ll remember when they look over your deck.

There’s too much text

If you have to bring font size below 30 points, shorten your text. Too much text doesn’t help tell your story. In fact, it distracts investors from your actual pitch.

Use images, a simple graph, and info graphics to balance copy. Anything you think you want to say on slide, say it in person.

It’s disorganized

There’s a science behind slide structure. Your competition shouldn’t come before discussing your solution. And the future potential of your company is meaningless if investors don’t know what you do.

Your main objective is to introduce your company, discuss a specific problem, tell why you’re better off than competitors, and how scalable the solution is.

Follow this pitch deck slide structure to maximize effectiveness of your pitch.

It’s too long

I’m immediately disheartened if I open up a 30-slide document. No matter your industry or product, everything an investor needs (and wants) to know can fit between 12-19 slides.

I don’t know what to do after

Don’t assume investors know what you want them to do after your pitch. Tell them. Your final slide should have a clear idea of how much you need and what you plan to do with it. It’s okay to ask for what you want.

Parting words

How you present your pitch will determine how it concludes.

Always start by saying to yourself, “if I was an investor, would I be impressed by this deck?”

If your answer’s no, fix it. You don’t want to risk the chance of getting funding because of mistakes that could have avoided.

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