Posted on
January 8, 2024
min read

Creating a Pitch Deck 101: Ultimate 2024 Guide for Startups

Maximilian Fleitmann
Maximilian Fleitmann
Co-Founder @ BaseTemplates
Author Twitter

So you’ve got a great startup idea, and you’re ready to pitch to investors. The only problem is you’ve never created a pitch deck before.

Pitching your startup is a big milestone, but creating a pitch deck doesn’t have to be complicated. However, with investors spending 22% less time looking at pitch decks in 2022 compared to 2021, it’s becoming increasingly important to have a compelling pitch deck structure.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of building a pitch deck that converts. We examine the important sections to include, how you can save time and stress with our startup pitch deck template, valuable tips, and more! We’ll kickstart with an overview of what a pitch deck is and why you need one.

What Is a Pitch Deck and Why Do You Need One?

A pitch deck is a short presentation, usually 10–20 slides, that provides an overview of your startup to potential investors. As an entrepreneur, you must learn how to make a pitch deck, as it’s a crucial step in raising capital for your business.

Here are 5 reasons why you need an effective pitch deck:

  • It’s your first impression: Your pitch deck will likely be the first information investors see about your company. You need to make a good first impression by demonstrating a clear vision, mission, and business model.
  • It tells your story: Use your pitch deck to share your startup’s story, from how you came up with the idea to where you want to take the business. Help investors understand your motivation and passion.
  • It highlights key details: Your pitch deck focuses on the most important details about your product or service, business strategy and model, target market, competitive analysis, financial projections, and key milestones. Leaving the nitty-gritty details for follow-up conversations.
  • It’s a conversation starter: An impactful pitch deck should spark interest and lead to further discussion. Be prepared to answer any questions that come up and go into more depth about certain points. Your pitch deck gets the conversation going.
  • It attracts funding: The ultimate goal of a pitch deck is to persuade investors and raise capital for your startup. A polished, professional pitch deck that effectively communicates your vision can attract the funding you need to get your business off the ground.

In summary, a pitch deck is a vital tool for any startup founder. Put in the necessary time and effort to craft a pitch deck that tells a compelling story, highlights the most critical details about your business, and helps you secure funding from investors. But what should you really include in a pitch deck? Continue reading to learn how to create pitch deck slides that convert.

6 Key Sections to Include in Your Pitch Deck

According to reports, investors give up on unsuccessful pitch decks in just 2 minutes and 13 seconds. This means you’ve got one shot to impress potential investors or partners with your presentation, so you must make it count by learning how to make pitch deck slides the right way.

Apart from the title/cover slide, here are 6 key sections you’ll want to include in your pitch deck:

  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Business model
  • Competition
  • Team
  • Financials

1. Problem

The problem slide should clearly define the problem you’re solving. Use real examples and statistics to show why it’s significant and urgent. Discuss how it impacts your target customers and the market opportunity.

2. Solution

This is where you unveil your big idea or value proposition. Your solution slide should explain your product or service in a simple yet compelling way.

Focus on the unique selling point and benefit that makes sense. Share how you’re uniquely suited to solve this problem. Your solution should get investors and customers excited about the possibilities.

3. Business Model

Outline how you’ll make money and achieve profitability. Discuss your pricing, revenue streams, customer acquisition costs, and key partnerships or suppliers. Investors need to see a realistic and scalable business model slide show to get on board.

4. Competition

Do some research on the competitive landscape to determine alternative solutions — direct and indirect competitors. Analyze their strengths and weaknesses, then show how you’re different and better. Your competition slide should discuss any competitive advantages you have and barriers to entry for new competitors.

5. Team

Highlight the relevant experience, skills, and accomplishments of your team. Discuss key hires you still need to make in your team slide. Investors are betting on the team as much as the business idea, so help them get to know you and build confidence in your abilities.

6. Financials

Share your key financial metrics and projections in your financials slide. Include important data from your financial model, such as income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and key ratios and drivers. Be transparent about any funding you’ve already raised and how much you need to reach key milestones. Investors need to see the numbers add up for a viable investment.

Tip: To ensure you present the right information in your financials slide, we suggest you work with a financial model template.


With these essential sections of the presentation deck covered, you’ll have a solid pitch deck that tells a compelling story to help you raise money. However, your pitch deck isn’t complete without the right visual elements. In the next section, we’ll explain how to build pitch deck slides that are eye-catching and compelling.

3 Design Tips for Creating an Effective Pitch Deck

Design is an essential element to consider when learning how to create a pitch deck. A well-designed pitch deck is essential for effectively communicating your vision to potential investors.

Here are 3 tips to ensure you create an eye-catching and impactful deck:

  • Choose a simple yet stylish design theme.
  • Use visuals to enhance your story.
  • Keep your content concise and impactful.

1. Choose a simple yet stylish design theme.

Your theme should be clean and minimal and not distract viewers from your content. Stick to a maximum of 2–3 complementary fonts and a consistent color palette. For startups, a modern and minimal design works well. Consider working with a pitch deck template with simple design themes.

2. Use visuals to enhance your story.

Visuals like charts, graphs, and images help bring your story to life. Consider using a graph to show market trends and potential or customer journey maps to illustrate your solution. Photos of your product or team also help make a personal connection and help build a unique pitch deck. However, don’t overload your slide deck with flashy visuals that detract from the overall message.

3. Keep your content concise and impactful.

Your pitch deck should convey a compelling story in no more than 10–15 slides. Focus on the key highlights, problems you’re solving, your solution, business model, team, and financials. Use simple bullet points and avoid long paragraphs. Check out these 200+ real pitch deck examples from successful startups for inspiration.


Following these tips will ensure you have a pitch deck that clearly articulates your vision while keeping your audience or venture capital engaged. You can also opt for a custom pitch deck design from professionals to avoid mistakes; remember, you may not have another chance to impress investors, so it’s important you get it right. However, if you choose to continue with a DIY approach, there are certain pitch deck mistakes to look out for, as outlined below.

4 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Your Pitch Deck

When making a pitch deck, avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Information overload
  • Lack of flow or story
  • Not tailoring to your audience
  • Lack of visual design

1. Information Overload

Try not to put too much information onto each slide. Your audience will tune out if there’s too much to read. Focus on one key message or data point per slide. Use visuals like charts, graphs, or images to help illustrate your points without a lot of text.

2. Lack of Flow or Story

Your pitch deck should have a clear narrative flow that tells the story of your startup. Don’t just throw together a random collection of slides; think about how to organize all the slides and information in a logical way that builds up your central message. For example, you might start with your mission and vision, discuss the problem you’re solving, share your solution, introduce your team, outline your business model, and end with your key milestones and goals.

3. Not Tailoring to Your Audience

Make sure you customize your pitch deck for each new audience. What investors want to see will differ from what potential partners or customers want to focus on. Do some research on your audience ahead of time to determine what is most relevant and impactful for them. Focus on providing answers to the questions investors are likely to ask, ensuring the details resonate most with their interests and priorities.

4. Lack of Visual Design

Your slide decks and slides should be visually appealing and easy to read. Use a simple but professional design theme with a consistent font, image style, and color palette throughout the deck. Limit each slide to a few bullet points or a single visual. Use charts, graphs, photos, or illustrations to help bring your key data and ideas to life. Your pitch deck’s visual design and branding should also match your overall company brand for consistency.


By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll create a pitch deck that effectively tells your startup’s story and leaves a lasting impression on your audience. However, your pitch deck creation journey doesn’t end here; you must ensure your story is as compelling as possible. Continue reading to learn how you can achieve this.

How to Tell a Compelling Story With Your Pitch Deck in 5 Steps

To captivate your audience during your pitch, you need to tell a compelling story. A good story will make your key points memorable and help investors connect with the vision for your business ideas.

Here is a step-by-step guide for crafting a good story in your pitch deck:

  • Focus on the critical aspects of the problem.
  • Show examples of how your solution solves the problem.
  • Share your vision.
  • Bring in the team.
  • Discuss your business model.

1. Focus on the critical aspects of the problem.

When describing the problem your startup aims to solve, focus on the pain points and unmet needs. Discuss how the problem affects your target customers and share some real-world examples. This helps set the scene for why your solution is so critical.

2. Show examples of how your solution solves the problem.

Don’t just introduce your product or service as the solution to the problem; boost investor confidence by showing why it is. Explain how it works at the simplest level, and give them some past examples or simulations that they can connect with. If your audience can see the solutions like you do, they’ll share in your vision. Check out these 200+ real pitch deck examples from successful startups for some inspiration.

3. Share your vision.

Lay out your vision for how the solution can impact the market and evolve. Discuss your key business goals and milestones by explaining your potential for scale and growth. This helps investors understand the big picture and the opportunity from early stage to massive success.

4. Bring in the team.

Your team is key to achieving your vision, so introduce the key members of your founding team and board of directors or advisors in a team slide. Highlight relevant experience, skills, and past successes that make your team well-positioned to execute. Explain your company culture and values, too. Help investors see that you have the drive and expertise to make your venture a success.

5. Discuss your business model.

Explain how your company will make money and achieve profitability by walking investors through your key revenue and cost drivers and sales strategy. Share your key metrics around customer acquisition, lifetime value, churn rate, and unit economics — ensure these match what’s in your startup’s financial model. Provide projections for revenue and costs over the next 3–5 years, showing investors how you plan to build a sustainable and scalable business.


By following this stepwise approach, you can craft a persuasive story in your pitch deck. Keep each part of the story concise but compelling while using visuals to highlight key data and metrics. Most importantly, convey your passion for the vision! A good way to get started is to have a professionally designed startup pitch deck template — they save you the time and hassle of having to learn how to build a pitch deck from scratch, allowing you to dedicate more time to crafting a compelling story.

3 Benefits of Professional Pitch Deck Templates

A professional pitch deck template can save you tons of time and help you avoid common mistakes.

Here are some of the key benefits of using a pre-designed pitch deck template:

  • Save hours of work
  • Look professional without the cost
  • Follow best practices

1. Save hours of work.

Designing an effective pitch deck from scratch is extremely time-consuming. You have to choose visual styles, fonts, color palettes, layouts, icons, and more. A pitch deck template has already made these design decisions for you, so you can focus on filling in the content for your unique business. Just plug in your text, images, numbers, and charts, and you’ll have a professional pitch deck in no time.

2. Look professional without the cost.

High-quality pitch decks and deck design don’t come cheap if you hire an expert to create one from scratch. Pitch deck templates provide an affordable solution, giving your deck a polished, professional look on a startup budget. Your content will shine through without being distracted by poor or amateur design.

3. Follow best practices.

The BaseTemplates pitch deck template is designed by professionals who understand what makes for an impactful investor pitch. It’ll guide you to include the right sections in the right order, with the right balance of text and visuals. By using a professionally designed template, you can be confident your deck addresses everything investors expect to see.


Using a pre-built pitch deck template is one of the smartest moves any startup founder can make. The time savings and professional results are invaluable, especially when you’re focused on so many other important areas of building your business. Choose a template, plug in your winning content, and you’ll have an investor-ready startup pitch deck much faster than you ever thought possible! Download our startup pitch deck template now.

After you build a pitch deck, the next big thing is delivering a good presentation. This is a major obstacle for many startups, considering the short attention span of investors. Keep reading to discover valuable tips to ensure a seamless pitch deck presentation.

7 Tips for Perfecting Your Pitch Deck Presentation

Practicing your pitch deck presentation is key to nailing it. Remember, you have less than 3 minutes to convince investors to set up a meeting with you, so you need to learn how to do a pitch deck the right way.

Here are 7 tips to help you deliver a successful pitch deck presentation:

  • Review and practice each slide.
  • Practice in front of a mirror.
  • Practice in front of friends and family.
  • Set a timer.
  • Record and review your body language.
  • Prepare for unexpected questions.
  • Practice a day before the presentation.

1. Review and practice each slide.

Go through your deck slide by slide and practice presenting the information on each slide. Speak slowly and clearly, pretending like you’re actually presenting to potential investors. Hearing yourself present the information out loud will help build your confidence and familiarity with the content.

2. Practice in front of a mirror.

Run through your pitch a few times in front of a mirror. Make eye contact with yourself and smile to help you get comfortable making a personal connection during your actual pitch. Smiling, even if you’re nervous on the inside, can help you appear more confident to your audience.

3. Practice in front of friends and family.

Do a run-through of the pitch presentation in front of friends and family and ask for their feedback. Have them play the role of potential investors and ask lots of questions. This helps prepare you to think on your feet and address any gaps or weaknesses in your pitch.

4. Set a timer.

Time yourself and aim to finish within 10–15 minutes. Keep your pitch concise while still effectively communicating the key highlights of your own business plan and investment opportunity. Brevity is key!

5. Record and review your body language.

Consider recording yourself on video and reviewing your body language and presentation style. Look for any distracting mannerisms or room for improvement in your tone or enthusiasm. Make any needed adjustments to your posture, hand gestures, and facial expressions.

6. Prepare for unexpected questions.

Practice answering difficult or unexpected questions. Come up with a list of hard questions potential investors might ask and practice responding to them with confidence and composure. The ability to handle tough questions with grace under pressure will make a good impression.

7. Practice a day before the presentation.

Do a final run-through the day before your pitch to boost your confidence. At this point, you know your content inside and out, and a last practice will help calm any remaining nerves.


You’ve got this! Walk into your pitch meeting feeling well-prepared to share your exciting business concept with potential investors. With practice and persistence, you’ll perfect your pitch in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a pitch deck template?

A pitch deck template is a concise, persuasive tool for showcasing your startup to potential investors. Aimed at convincing them about your innovative idea, it clearly illustrates how your product or service operates and highlights its primary benefits.

How do you build a pitching deck?

Building a persuasive pitch deck involves crafting impactful slides in the following order:

  • Start with a memorable title and one-liner for a strong first impression.
  • Highlight the problem your idea solves, then demonstrate the market size and fit.
  • Describe your product and business model, show evidence of traction and revenue, and finally, introduce your team.

What is the best order for a pitch deck?

The optimal order for a pitch deck is as follows:

  • Start by identifying the problem your idea addresses.
  • Follow this with the solution you’re proposing.
  • Explain your business model and identify your competition.
  • Introduce your founding team and detail your marketing plan.
  • Discuss your fundraising needs and strategies.


The key to creating a pitch deck template that converts is crafting a compelling story that resonates with investors and gets them excited about the vision and potential of your company. While building the perfect pitch deck requires a significant devotion of time and resources, working with a professionally designed pitch deck template can save you the hassle. This allows you to focus on building your business and practicing how to impress investors with a powerful presentation instead. Remember, time is invaluable.

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Maximilian Fleitmann
Maximilian Fleitmann
Co-Founder @ BaseTemplates
Author Twitter LinkAuthor LinkedIN

Maximilian Fleitmann is a passionate founder and entrepreneur. For the last 12+ years he has successfully launched several businesses in the areas of education and digitalization. Max purpose is to enable growth and therefore he shares his experience in building startups.

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