Pitch Your Idea: 11 Slides to Engage Your Audience
Why this guide
When presenting a business idea, you have to engage your audience with a very limited amount of time, attract the attention and provide fundamental information to make them eager to discover more.
This slide-by-slide tutorial is conceived as the presentation of a new venture or startups to potential investors, but it can be easily generalised for any kind of commercial presentation of a business, a product, a new activity. The fundamentals to create an effective presentation are often very similar. I propose always myself to follow this checklist.
Checklist: what matters in a presentation
- Always consider your audience’s interest. Ask yourself how they can be positively impacted by what you are presenting
- Provide the fundamental information to assess the value of what you are presenting: the essential data your audience need to evaluate it (what — who — when — where — why)
- Include a call to action (if needed). What’s next and what is the role of your audience in the future steps of this project?
The structure of the presentation is simple and includes a series of backup slides, in case the audience want to analyse more in depth what you are presenting.
11 Slides (plus a Cover) to Include in Your Pitch
Get the attention, engage the audience, and include contact. You are presenting yourself: include all the elements that present your business (name, logo, contact, slogan, a couple of lines to introduce your service / product)
SLIDE 1: OPPORTUNITY
There is an opportunity out there: an unresolved problem that can have different forms, an unsatisfied need, a gap in the offer, an unserved market, etc.
SLIDE 2: SOLUTION
You have the solution to the resolve that problem, present it as your value proposition.
SLIDE 3: PRODUCT
The solution is offered through a new product or service. Present it adopting a non technical language, but be ready to add additional technical details if requested.
SLIDE 4: BUSINESS / REVENUE MODEL
Clarify how you make money. This is very important if your business is innovative and the revenue streams aren’t obvious at first sight.
SLIDE 5: TEAM
Present who you are and your team. Why you are the right team to develop this specific project. A track record in the field makes the difference in many cases.
SLIDE 6: MARKET
Is the market promising? What is its size and growth rate? Who are main competitors and key success factors in the market? You have to demonstrate that your business is entering a promising market, and thus large enough, possibly in a phase of growth, with a low competition and with the possibility to establish barriers and protect your competitive advantage.
SLIDE 7: COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE / COMPETITORS ANALYSIS
At the end, the core of your strategy is to define the activities and the resources that create a stable competitive advantage if compared with incumbents and potential new entrants.
SLIDE 8: PAST RESULTS AND METRICSProvide a brief overview of your past results, identifying main metrics (see this post about metrics) and your goals.
SLIDE 9: MARKETING (CUSTOMER ACQUISITION)
In the majority of the cases, the main problem is not the creation of the product, but the acquisition of leads’ interest and their conversion into paying clients. Do your best to describe in detail how to engage your audience, attract them in your POS, and convert them.
SLIDE 10: NEXT STEPS
What are your plans for the future? What are the main milestones and goals? Demonstrate that you know what’s next.
SLIDE 11: FINANCIALS
It’s time to show your forecasted sales, expected Gross Margin, EBITDA, Cash Burn Rate and Financial Need. Include the usage of funds collected, for example the split among different types of activities, like marketing, product development, IT Development, salaries, etc.
Use these slides to answer to possible doubts or request to go more in depth with some aspects of your business. For example, they can ask you additional information about:
- product, technology, etc
- differentiation and competitive advantage
- customer journey, service blueprint, etc.
- business and revenue model
- market and competition
- team members, roles, and backgrounds
- future plans
- exit for investors
- risk analysis
WHAT THEY WANT TO KNOW FROM YOU
In general, it is useful to have backup slides to answer possible questions coming from counterparts, who are interested in understanding:
- why your team
- why your product
- if this market is promising
- what’s your plan
- if you can manage cash flows and resources
On my website, you find a how-to-guide: use it as a canvas to create your own presentation. There, there are other how-to guides, to ease the process of planning, controlling, and presenting a project. I hope you find them useful.
Federico Della Bella