Part 1 of a 2 Part series on pitch deck design and content development

If you’re putting together a pitch deck and looking for some inspiration, look no further.

Here we have collected some prime examples of pitch decks that our team of pitch deck experts have created for our startup clients over the years. These span industries, funding rounds, branding aesthetic, and business models. But each can help you as you think through your own pitch deck.

And, if you need help, the pitch deck experts at Pitch Deck Fire are here for you *link to start project**

We broke out our investor deck examples into two groups, those that are great examples of key content (the words on the slide, the story developed through the deck) concepts, as well as design (the look and feel of the slides from a graphic aspect) concepts.

CONTENT

  • THE “WHY NOW” SLIDE
  • STORYTELLING IN YOUR PITCH DECK
  • BREAK IT DOWN: MARKET SLIDE
  • SHOW YOUR FACE: THE TEAM

DESIGN

  • NO MORE BULLET POINTS
  • IMMERSIVE DESIGN ELEMENTS
  • USING TIMELINES AND INFOGRAPHICS
  • MAKE IT REAL – USING PRODUCT IMAGES
  • USING ICONS AND CUSTOM GRAPHICS
  • USING WHITE SPACE
  • BONUS: ANIMATION FOR LIVE PRESENTATIONS

For this part of the series, we’re focusing on key content first.

“WHY NOW” SLIDE

“WHY NOW” SLIDE

CONTENT

All pitch decks should convey a clear “problem statement” to make the pain that the customers feel tangible, even viceral to your audience. This lays the foundation for why your startup exists, the clear need or demand in the marketplace and corresponding opportunity for your company to solve those problems. In addition to a problem slide in your investor deck, consider a “why now” slide. In this pitch deck example, we can see how the industry trends affect not only the company’s customers, but the company itself. This is a wider, more broad-based look at the problem statement. Zooming out a step, if you will.

Startup Sample

Industry: Wearables

Business Model: Tech Enabled Product

Seeking: Investment

For this client seeking funding in the wearables space, we told an overarching story about their specific target customer and use case, but set it up with a nod to the fact that the wearable space was getting rather saturated with wearable devices, but there was a gap in the amount of data those wearable devices could provide. And at the same time demand for getting more out of those devices was higher than ever. A simple in-brand and visual-heavy slide worked well for this deck that was primarily used as a presentation aid during investor pitches.

STORYTELLING IN YOUR PITCH DECK

Examples of content for pitch deck

STORYTELLING IN YOUR PITCH DECK

CONTENT

With the vast amount of pitch deck templates out there, and “the only slides you need in your itch deck” articles, a founder may think that a great pitch deck is just about filling in slides, checking off the boxes. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Investors are humans. And, for eons, humans have been conditioned to understand and retain information shared through stories. From the very first story around the campfire until now, people have been telling stories. Stories captivate people, keep attention, increase retention, and make a bigger impact than any bulleted list of facts ever will. Filling in a template is the equivalent of a bulleted list. There is nothing remotely storydriven about it.

Adding story into your pitch deck is not hard. But it does take some thought. Think about your customers, who are they? What does their life look like? What challenges do they face? How does that look / sound / feel? And what does their life look like now with your product or solution? How much better is it, how does is look / sound / feel? How does what you do benefit them? That can all be incorporated into your deck into a fluid story that spans slides and breaks the mold. What about your audience? Where are they coming from? What do they care about? What would be a big reveal to them? What greater industry trend or storyline are you helping to rewrite with your product. The best pitch decks use these customize story arcs to shape their content and flow.

Startup Sample

Industry: Healthcare / Medical

Business Model: Consumer Facing Platform

Seeking: Investment

This project was for a client working to digitize healthcare. Specifically, they focused on access to Radiologists and their valuable opinions. So for this problem and solution section of the pitch deck, we told the story through one particular patient. We shared what her life looked like before and after the introduction of their platform. It broke the mold of the standard 2 slide problem & Solution, but in doing so it better and more clearly told the story. It’s a great example of a pitch deck that use storytelling.

BREAK IT DOWN: MARKET SLIDE

Pitch deck examples: killer content

BREAK IT DOWN: MARKET SLIDE

CONTENT

Investor pitch decks are built for one purpose, to excite and engage an investor in the value of the company and the value of making an investment in it. Value = ROI (return on investment). There are many ways to prove the value of a company, and it almost always involves the market size or maret opportunity. Why? Because if the pitch deck laid out a killer problem, there is a need, and a killer solution, we can solve it!, but the market was super small. Then no matter how fantastic the company is, no matter how hard they try, if there are only 2 people who would ever buy it, that will not be a successful business. The size of the market matters.

In a pitch deck there are many ways to show the market size. You want to be able to show a large market size, yes. But it also needs to be specific. If you have an app, you can’t say your market is the billions of people with a smartphone. That is too broad. You need to be more specific.

Startup Sample

Industry: Entertainment

Business Model: Regional Installations

Seeking: Investment

For this client, we developed a market slide that showed not only the “top level” market size, the entertainment industry, but also key sub categories that were more pertinent to their particular product. This was important because while it was true that their customers would be spending money on entertainment in patronizing this company, the company was clearly not going to be able to acquire ALL of entertainment spend. It’s just too big a market.

SHOW YOUR FACE: THE TEAM

Pitch deck content examples - pitch deck fire

SHOW YOUR FACE: THE TEAM

CONTENT/DESIGN

Investor invest in people, not companies or concepts. The company or concept is important, but they invest in people in the end. Ever pitch deck should give the investors a solid view of the management team. Consider sharing names, title, bios, key experience or achievements. But most of all, show your face. This means use a solid picture of your and your team. This makes it tangible and real to your investor.

Startup Sample

Industry: Hobby Cars

Business Model: TV Show

Seeking: Advertisers

For this client, a TV show revolving around a rehab retro car garage, the characters were colorful. And their experience and love of cars deep. The main owner had the biggest and most recognizable personality and background, so we focused the slide on him. We used a killer picture of him in his garage with one of the cars they worked on. This showed not only the team, but also their close connection with their work. It showed they cared and they were deeply committed.

Wrap-up

Content is important for your pitch. What we’ve seen is that companies with great ideas and no real execution lack content. Developing your startup is the first task. Capturing the content comes next. Use your pitch deck to help you see where your content is weak. Vet the deck in front of advisors and business experts to ensure you aren’t showing up to your next investor presentation under-prepared.

Content will make your pitch stronger, but ultimately, content is a reflection of the business and the owners who are developing it. Hard questions and their answers need to be thought through in advance. Hopefully this article has pointed you in the right direction to understanding key content components. Note that the general content approach here needs to be customized to your actual business. Don’t follow pitch templates or copy pitch deck examples.

Stay tuned next week for a deep dive into pitch deck design. 

Let us know if you need help.