One of the most nerve-wracking times of growing a startup is pitching to venture capitalists, angel investors, and corporate board members. Your performance at this stage could determine whether your startup gets off the ground. That's why you need an excellent pitch deck to capture their attention and convince them to fund your business.
The best slide decks will clearly convey how your company will solve a problem and how it plans to generate revenue solving that problem. So what slides should be in a pitch deck? Read on to find out.
This article outlines the core components your pitch deck should have. It also shows you how to create an outstanding one from scratch as quickly as possible. If you would like to learn more about each slide, check out our pitch deck slides explained series.
What Slides Should Be in a Pitch Deck?
There are so many takes on what slides should be in a pitch deck. So we will outline them and explain why they are important. These slides include:
1. Title Slide
The title slide is the first slide in your pitch deck; it sets the tone for the rest of your presentation. Your title slide should include your company name and logo, and it should be simple and straight to the point. You only have a few seconds to capture your audience's attention, so make sure your title slide is eye-catching.
At a glance, your title slide should give your audience an idea of what to expect from your presentation. It should establish credibility.
Remember, the average human attention span is 8 seconds, so get the first slide wrong, and you will likely miss your shot.
2. The Problem Slide
The most successful companies in the world today have one thing in common: they understand their target customers' needs, problems and pain points. This is why the problem slide is a must-have in your pitch deck. When you can identify the problem your business is trying to solve, it becomes easier to focus your pitch and make it more relevant to your audience.
Providing a clear explanation of the problem your startup intends to solve is a good way to show that you understand your customers' needs. When potential investors see that your startup is solutions-oriented, they'll be more inclined to raise funds for it.
To gain a 360-degree insight into the problem your startup is trying to solve, you might have to answer some questions related to the problem. Such as:
- When does the problem occur?
- How many people/businesses are impacted by the problem?
- How do people react to the problem?
- What are the consequences of the problem (using numbers to convey the severity)?
3. The Solution Slide
The solution slide is another crucial component of what pitch decks include. It sets you apart from the competition, setting a precedent for whether there will be a demand in your market. There are a few things to keep in mind when clarifying your solution.
First, ensure it's feasible. While exploring uncharted waters and doing what no one has done is admirable, it's essential to be realistic. Don't propose a solution that's too difficult for your team to build or expensive to implement. You should assess your capacity to deliver on your promise.
Finally, ensure your solution is in demand. Investors will only consider funding your startup if they are convinced that your solution will make your target customers buy from you rather than your competitors.
If you have an existing product or service, show some data on usage rates and customer satisfaction rates. If you're developing something new, show mockups or prototypes of what the finished product will look like, along with an explanation of how it will work once launched.
4. The Market Slide
The market slide provides a detailed analysis of the people who will benefit from your solution. This pitch deck slide proves the demand for your product or service. It shows investors that you've done your research and you understand your target audience.
The market slide also helps them understand the market's potential size and how your startup can capitalise on it. When creating your market slide, include the following information:
- Your target market demographics (location, age, gender, and income level)
- The size of the market (TAM) and its growth potential
While having a large market is great for business, it's equally important to be precise about your ideal buyers. With social media listening and market research tools, you can gain more insight into your target market and help investors do the same.
When wondering what slides should be in a pitch deck, the market is a must-have for any early-stage startup raising money.
5. The Competition Slide
The competition slide is a critical part of your pitch deck. It allows you to highlight your unique selling point (USP) or competitive edge over your competitors. For example, your USP could be your pricing, delivery times, customer service, or new technology.
In order to create a compelling competition slide, ask users, partners, and even your competitors' customers about what they like about each solution and why it works for them. You can also conduct market research using tools like SimilarWeb and SEMrush Competitor Analysis to analyse your competition.
Once you've identified your competitive advantage, you must back it up with data. Finally, you need to show potential investors that your startup is fit to seize a considerable market share - without this, they will be unsure whether they can get the return needed for their investment.
6. What Slides Should be in a Pitch Deck - Traction Slide
The traction slide is a summary of your company's progress so far. It's a snapshot of your key metrics, highlighting how well your company is doing and where you're headed.
Venture capital Investors want to invest in businesses that are doing well and have a bright future. And the traction slide proves that you're on the right track. It shows that you're a credible business and demonstrates that you have a solid business model. The traction slide also shows growth potential.
When writing the traction slide, you need to specify the number of customers, revenue, user growth, and so on. Also, be sure to explain the trends behind your metrics. For example, if you've seen a steady increase in revenue over time, explain why this is the case.
A common mistake here is focussing on vanity metrics. For example, monthly active users (MAU) may make your customer base seem bigger, but if a small % of these users return, does MAU truly show how well your business is doing?
Top investors will want to see solid metrics in a traction slide, and will see through fluff if you include it.
7. The Business Model Slide
A business model is a plan of action that outlines how a company makes money. Investors will need to see your business model to understand what you are trying to achieve. They may also be interested in seeing a complete picture of your business's future business models to decide whether it's worth their time and money.
There are many business models for startups, but the most important thing to remember is that each business model has its own specific strengths and weaknesses. To decide on a suitable business model for your startup, consider how your customers buy and the cost and complexity of your solution.
8. The Team Slide
When pitching your business, you want to ensure that you put your best foot forward. And that means highlighting your team's strengths and what they bring to the table. Your team is one of the most important aspects of your business, so it's critical to ensure that they're front and centre in your pitch deck.
A team slide that depicts a strong team helps build trust with your investors and shows them that you're the people to disrupt the market. Investors want to know that they're investing in a company with experts who can take it to the next level.
As a budding company, you'll likely have an incomplete team. Nevertheless, identify the key roles you still need to fill and why those positions are critical to the business's success.
It is commonly said that the team is the most important thing about a startup. Therefore, the team slide must convey why you're the right team and why your experience creates a synergy that will lead to a successful business.
9. What Should be Included in a Pitch Deck - Milestone Slide
If you're looking to impress potential investors, be sure to include the milestone slide in your presentation. The milestone slide is a good way to demonstrate your ability to get things done and show how you will use the funds you raise to take your company to the next level.
This slide helps investors understand your direction, which may help them determine whether they want to be involved in future funding rounds. Generally, you'll want to list your notable achievements, major funding rounds, partnerships, and any awards or media coverage your company has received.
10. The Customer Acquisition Slide
Your customer acquisition slide should detail how you plan to reach your target market and how you plan to generate leads. In comparison, your sales strategy should explain how you plan to convert leads into customers.
This slide typically explains the customers' journey: from when they hear about your brand to when they purchase your product or service. No matter how efficient your solution is, it won't generate revenue if you don't have a plan for acquiring customers in your deck or business plan.
Therefore, you need a clear-cut marketing and sales plan to convince investors that your startup can generate revenue for them.
11. The Financial Projections Slide
The financials aim to show potential investors your company's overall financial health and prove that it has the potential to be successful. Here are the key details to include in this slide.
- Your revenue and profits over the past few years (if you have any).
- The financial forecast for your business in the next few years.
- Your burn rate and when you expect to break even.
One way to prepare a financial forecast is through a financial model. This tool summarises where your business will spend its money and the growth it will lead to over the coming years.
12. The Ask Slide
The ask slide is where you ask for the investment from your potential investors. Here, you also specify how much you need to fund your startup.
Ideally, the size of your target funding round will depend on your stage of development, so don't be apprehensive about stating how much you need if you're confident of the growth. This slide shows potential investors how you plan to use their money and how they'll get a return on their investment.
The ask slide is crucial when wondering what slides should be in a pitch deck. If you're unsure what to include, think, "what is the one thing I want my audience to do after listening to this pitch?" - this will ensure you're concise and to the point with your ask.
13. Contact Slide
Although the contact slide is the final slide in your pitch deck, it doesn't mean that it's the least important. At this point, you must have convinced your potential investors that they will get an outsized return by investing in your startup.
So, you'll have to include your contact details, and a call-to-action that will convince them to reach out to you.
Some articles may have different answers to what slides should be in a pitch deck, but our years of experience have found that the above is the right combination to get your business funded.
Create Winning Pitch Decks With BaseTemplates
Now you know what slides should be in a pitch deck; it's time to get busy. Even though you have an idea of what to add, a pitch deck can be challenging to finish because you have to collect data from various sources, structure your document, and create appealing visuals.
Nevertheless, you can accomplish so much with templates. A pitch deck template can help you organise all the key slides in your deck with minimal effort. When you have a template to build on, you don't have to spend time thinking about how to structure your slides.
Instead, you can focus on creating great content. It helps you stay organised and ensure that you cover all the key points in your pitch. So, where can you find the perfect template for your business?
BaseTemplates offers professionally designed pitch deck templates to help you make a good impression on potential investors. These templates are a great starting point for creating the perfect pitch for your business.
If you want to add a personal touch to your deck, you can add your style to these templates to suit your needs. You can also reach out to our team of experts if you have any questions about what should be included in a pitch deck.