6 Questions You Must Answer Before Building Your First Pitch Deck

How Does Pitch Deck Design Help You Communicate Business Basics & Score Support from Investors?

Man in business suit presenting at a pitch.
A pitch deck should serve as visual support for the presenter.

We’re often asked about our process of how we help clients build their first pitch deck (aka investor deck).

It’s a popular question because creating your first pitch deck feels daunting. You know what we’re talking about. Have you ever experienced so much stress over a task that you continuously put it off for so long that the task itself goes from being a small hurdle to feeling like a giant mountain? Now, what would take you a handful of hours (you think) feels like it’s going to take you days – weeks – to complete!

It feels big and difficult and overwhelming.

Yeah, we’ve been there before, too! And we don’t want that for you.

Instead of stressing about building your first pitch deck, let’s break this task down into manageable pieces. You don’t have to address every task at once. As they say, you eat an elephant one bite at a time. 

What is a pitch deck?

A pitch deck is a collection of slides that share your business’s core capabilities, introduces your team, and shows your audience what makes you stand out from your competition.

Startups and businesses use pitch decks as tools during presentations to show up professionally, communicate clearly, and earn engagement and social capital with potential investors.

While pitch decks are often used in conjunction with an in-person presentation, virtual pitch decks are becoming increasingly common thanks to online video chat technologies. Thanks, Zoom!

What should be in your pitch deck?

You know your business better than we ever could. We are creative, but we need to understand your business basics before we can help you woo the client/investor.

While we don’t write pitches for you, we can help you figure out what types of content you should include. Remember, when you’re building your first pitch deck, your goal is to communicate who you are, what makes you different, and the problem your business solves.

Here are seven essential questions your first pitch deck should answer:

  1. Who are you/your team?
  2. How do you introduce your business simply?
  3. What’s your mission?
  4. Who is your ideal client?
  5. What’s the problem that is making their life/business difficult or uncomfortable?
  6. What do you value?
  7. What makes you so different and the right person/business to tackle this for your potential client?

As you’re answering these questions, don’t forget to show your audience using quantitative and qualitative data. Yes, we sound like your teachers telling you “show, don’t tell” and to cite your sources, but trust us, it’s important.

Why is pitch deck design important?

Once you’ve written your first pitch deck’s content, it’s time to put it through our presentation design machine. (This is the building part we’re talking about when we say “building your first pitch deck.”)

We’ll take the content you provide and turn it into a visually engaging presentation. In this process, we’re asking ourselves:

  • What information can we streamline or cut to be as clear and concise as possible?
  • How can we visually illustrate your talking points?
  • What memorable brand assets can we include?
  • How can we use design to engage your audience of investors?

When you get your presentation back, it won’t look like the same information. Instead of a text-based document with hundreds or thousands of words, it’ll be a professional presentation that you can use in combination with your notes to pitch your business to investors.

Pitch deck design example

Let’s look at a design example our team created for a hypothetical hemp company with the proposition of a joint venture.

As you can see, this presentation works well as a slide presentation or as a virtual video presentation, too. Of course, how the company uses the presentation would depend on their specific circumstances.

One of the benefits of using a well-designed pitch deck is the ability to structure your speech and avoid getting caught up in the weeds of your business. Staying on-topic and moving through the information in a timely manner is key to a clear pitch message.

This pitch deck also incorporates maps with detailed callouts that could not be as usefully communicated using words only.

One detail you may not realize is working to keep the audience’s attention is the outline or tracker system that helps the viewer understand where they are in the presentation.

In the same way that questionnaires update the reader of where they are in the process of answering the set number of questions, pitches are requesting something from the viewer on every slide, too: Attention.

If the audience feels like their swimming in a sea of information without an end in sight, they will likely zone out resulting in a less than desirable investment, if any investment at all. So, we help you keep them up to date.

How to respond if your pitch flops

If you are reading this because you’ve previously DIY-ed your pitch deck, and you’re looking for fresh inspiration after a pitch that didn’t gain investment capital for your business, then we want to say – KEEP GOING!

Here’s what we suggest you ask yourself after every pitch:

  1. What worked?
  2. What didn’t work?
  3. What can be improved?
  4. What else needs to be included?
  5. What needs to be excluded?
  6. What information evoked an emotional response from investors?

If, after asking yourself these questions, you’d like a presentation designer to review your pitch deck, let us know. We’re here to help!

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Crystal McKenna Green

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