In times of turbulence and uncertainty, the significance of a head-turning pitch becomes even more pronounced. Now, more than ever, entrepreneurs must harness the power of a pitch-perfect presentation in order to set their funding mechanisms in motion.
During periods of economic instability and shifting market landscapes, naturally investors are more cautious. A well-crafted pitch is highly necessary, not only to capture their attention but to allow the investors to envision its potential success.
A typical venture capitalist or angel investor may see hundreds of start-up pitch decks every year, usually spending 10-15 minutes reading each one, depending on how text heavy it is, before deciding whether to meet with the founder. It is therefore crucial that a pitch deck sparks interest and answers the questions investors might have.
Why this start-up project?
In order to succeed in the business area, it is first necessary to identify the problem that the start-up is trying to solve, the business persona, the value proposition, the steps needed to follow to achieve it, and the competition.
The key to creating a well-rounded pitch deck is to walk investors through all the milestones of a start-up project from conceptualisation to implementation and deployment so they can understand how an idea is aligned with current market trends, making the proposition an attractive one to invest in.
Why you and only you?
Market places are saturated, and set against the backdrop of turbulent economic conditions, entrepreneurs must work overtime to bring their idea to life, showcasing its value and unique offering in comparison to competition.
It is very likely that other entrepreneurs will have a similar Big Idea. Therefore, creating a sharp pitch that addresses issues, purpose and why this business model will bring the idea to life is how to convince investors.
A pitch should provide investors with a clear understanding of the following aspects:
- The problem or challenge a business venture will address. Back claims with relevant statistics that underline the significance and impact of a proposed solution.
- The solution to the challenge that a business venture will offer. This is the essence of the product or service. Clearly articulate how the solution effectively tackles the identified challenge.
Describe the product or service, highlighting the innovative aspects and key features that makes the offering expectational.
Articulate the vision and mission, conveying the short, medium and long-term goals while outlining the strategic roadmap for the next year, five years, and ten years, illustrating a commitment to growth and expansion.
Provide an analysis of competition and position the business venture in relation to competitors. Highlight how the proposition is unique and how it differentiates itself within the market.
Illustrate the market share you aim for. Quantify the size of your target market and explain how your business venture will target it.
Providing a clear outline of the business model is also imperative. Offering insights into how a venture operates and generates revenue, highlighting the key elements that will drive a business.
Making the development stage the business proposition is currently at and the projected roadmap clear while defining the milestones needed to materialise the idea.
Finally, introducing the team is vital. People buy into people and providing insight into the architects behind the big idea and the skills they offer that provide a competitive edge is an important aspect of a pitch.
The anatomy of a head-turning pitch deck
Brevity is key. Short, snappy headlines will capture attention, as long as it’s not overdone. A pitch deck is not a blog article and keeping messaging concise is key.
The first slide should clearly state the challenge a solution addresses and how the product or service intends to solve it. This allows investors to grasp the essence of a concept from the outset, establishing a solid foundation for the rest of the pitch.
Slides should not be overcrowded with excessive content. Instead, they should be condensed into easily digestible formats, such as bullet points or equal-size blurbs. Less is more.
Presenting a message not only from a content perspective but also from a design perspective is important so a pitch deck is neat and easy to navigate.
Consistency is key. Maintaining a stylistic consistency from beginning to end, for example, sticking to American or British spelling throughout the presentation and maintaining the same tone of voice. A commitment to consistency enhances the overall professionalism of the deck.
Maintain consistency in font choice: fonts are more than just an aesthetic element, they carry meaning. Sticking to one font family from beginning to end holds importance. Some of the best fonts for pitch decks include Lato, Montserrat, Open Sans, Roboto, Bentham, Fira Sans, Dosis, Libre-Baskerville, and others.
Icons play a crucial role in visual communication. Cultural context matters, therefore collaborating with design teams and researching icons as they’re not universally valid should be prioritised. A US-style email icon may not be understandable to someone outside the US cultural realm.
Also, utilising white space to direct the reader’s focus, making a presentation easier to follow is a good trick.
When presenting heavy-data content, diagrams, charts and infographics are hugely useful resources. Visualise and present the data clearly, enabling the audience to extract insights efficiently.
The creation of a head-turning pitch deck is highly important for start-ups when they look to secure funding, a challenge increasingly difficult due to the saturated market and economic conditions.
SMEs act as the backbone of our nation and as the country strives for economic stability, ensuring businesses receive the support and funding they deserve, that will promote innovation and growth, is more important than ever.
Author: Steven Mooney, CEO of FundMyPitch