The 5 biggest mistakes startups make when formatting and distributing their investor pitch decks

1) Failing to prepare the pitch deck with the necessary content and format 

The topics and order that most investors expect to see in a pitch deck are the following ones. Ensure you include these in your pack.

  • Company Overview
  • Mission/Vision of the Company
  • The Team
  • The Problem
  • The Solution
  • The Market Opportunity
  • The Product
  • The Customers
  • The Technology
  • The Competition
  • Traction
  • Business Model
  • The Marketing and Promotion Plan
  • Financials Outline
  • The Ask

2) Too many slides make your deck look cluttered 

A successful investor’s schedule is occupied with a variety of important to-dos and meetings. Thus, they have the least time to invest in anything else. If your pitch deck is too long and comprises many slides, the prospective investors may refuse to invest so much valuable time on that and skip it completely. Don’t all your valuable points and information fit in an ideal pitch deck? Here is the solution! Attach an additional appendix document along with your pitch deck. For example, instead of showcasing your detailed financial forecasts in the pitch deck report, you can include this as a separate document highlighting the only high-level financials in the pitch deck. 

3) Unprofessional and unattractive design

Some of the most common mistakes that make your deck look poor, dull, and unprofessional. This is generally caused by the following reasons

  • Poor and ineffective layout
  • Low-quality graphics
  • Inconsistent font sizes throughout the pages
  • Poor titles for each slide (Adhere to the conventional titles listed under Mistake #1 above)
  • Inconsistent header title style throughout the slides
  • An outdated date on the cover of the pitch deck
  • Messy or confusing charts

Overcrowding your slide with too many details is unnecessary since you will have the opportunity to articulate and communicate all details in the live presentation. An ideal slide must exemplify no more than 3 to 5 bullet points. Because renowned equity investors and venture capitalists cannot dedicate much time going through overly long or wordy pitch decks. Among the thousand pitch decks received every year, they prefer to pick up the short and attractive ones. It is also advised to send the deck in PDF format to ensure no layout, fonts, and alignment of slides issues.

4) Emailing the pitch deck in the wrong format

It is good to remove barriers to investors receiving the pitch deck, so ensure that you are sending the deck in a format that is easy to open, mainly PDF. It is always a good idea to send them a link to a file that you can control, in case you want to make amendments to the file at a later stage in order to provide updates to the deck or to remove error such as dreaded typos.

5) Missing or not placing the “Company Overview” slide on top

The “Company Overview” slide is the pillar of your pitch deck. Missing this part completely or not placing the “Company Overview” slide at the top hampers the effectiveness of your pitch deck. The “Company Overview” page must come after the cover page of the investor pitch deck. With  4-6 bullet points, you should be able to summarize your strengths to provide them the big picture of your company and its potential.

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