Creating a good pitch deck is hard. And creating a great pitch deck is even harder. We look through applications to the APX program every single day: a lot of them are great, some of them…not so much. Why? One of the main reasons is that the pitch deck is incorrect or incomplete. Here are some tips on how to get content and design right for your pitch deck.
How to get the content right
Since we have invested in many startups, we’d like to share with you a few hints and guidelines on what investors expect from a pitch deck. That way, you can up your chances of leaving a lasting impression.
First of all, by the end of your pitch deck, the investor should have answers to these three questions:
Take your potential investor on a journey. Show them all the aspects of your company that they want to and should know about. A great place to start is to include the following dimensions and answer these simple questions:
What problem are you addressing?
What solution do you offer?
What is your product?
What’s your vision today, in a year, in five years?
How big is your (addressable) market?
Who are your competitors (direct and indirect)?
How does your business work? How do you plan to make money?
Where are you today? What key milestones do you want to achieve in the next 12 months?
Who are you? Why are you the right team to build this?
Why this investor?
Last but not least, the pitch deck design matters. No one expects you to have your corporate identity completely figured out — or even to have a logo yet. Just prove to us that you have a good feeling for form and function. After all, an image is worth a thousand words. How you design your pitch deck gives the investor tons of insights into how you plan on building your product, even if you’re not a designer.
How to get your design right
By APX graphic designer Jasmin Zimmermann
1: Keep it simple
One of the most important things it to not overwhelm the viewer with your presentation. Using as little text as possible will help with keeping the information short and streamlined. You can also visualise information with the help of images or try reducing text with the use of icons.
2: Use impactful images
When using images, try not to fall back so much on generic stock images, instead, use actual photos of your team and product. If you face the challenge of not having a visual product, try to represent it in other ways, possibly through an illustration or diagram.
3: Think about your message
It’s important to keep the message and focus of your slides in mind — what do you want to convey and how can you manage to do so? Not only content- but also design-wise this means to keep it simple and honest.
4: Be consistent
Consistent branding helps to make investors remember your startup. Make sure that your pitch deck incorporates your brand colors and include your logo on the slides.
When choosing fonts, try to not use too many different fonts and be consistent when using different font sizes. It’s also usually helpful to create a hierarchy for your text before designing your pitch slides. This hierarchy should at least include the presentation title, header, a subtext, and the main body text.
You also have to remember to be consistent when choosing icons for your presentations. There are different types of icons such as ‘flat icons’ or ‘line art icons’ and it is important to stick to just one style to ensure the consistency of your design.
5: Remember to use whitespace
Whitespace is the so-called blank space between different elements. It can be a great help to make the slides easy to read and lead the eye. Instead of cluttering your slides with text, making it feel claustrophobic, try to use whitespace effectively and intentionally. A way to do this is by prioritizing the information you want to convey and arranging it respectively.
6: Always guarantee legibility (aka readableness)
Make your slides and information as easy to read as possible by always maintaining legibility. This means big, simple fonts on a contrasting background. Generally, sans-serif fonts are the best choice.
7: Visualise your data
To make your presentation easier to understand you can use different types of charts and infographics whenever you want to present data-heavy content. This helps to understand complicated statistics more easily. Keep in mind to not make these infographics or charts overlay complicated, since that would defy their purpose.