Pitch deck tips - 1. An Investors Perspective
In the first of a series of mini blogs, we wanted to explore some of the key things you need to know before creating your pitch deck to set you up for success and avoid the dreaded investor delete button.

Pitch deck tips - 1. An Investors Perspective

In this series of mini blogs, we wanted to explore some of the key things you need to know before creating your pitch deck to set you up for success and avoid the dreaded investor delete button.

We cover investors' perspectives, goals of your pitch deck, common mistakes and more.  This post is focused on getting an investor's perspective on things so you can see the way they receive, view and  assess pitch decks so you can keep this in mind when creating your own show stopping version.

We love seeing pitch decks that from the get-go grab our attention with a compelling vision, so we can get excited and want to join the founders journey.

No investor wants to jump on the boring bus so when an investor clicks open, it’s the moment of hope, anticipation and intrigue for the pitch deck to spring into life and grab the investors precious attention. As they see so many this is a tough ask, but let's explore things you need to know.

Let's dive in!

1. Hundreds of decks

It's no exaggeration to say they see a lot of decks each week (depending on role/seniority - 10s to 100+). So they are tempted to write you off before you even start. They have to go through a rapid filtering process to find the opportunities they see an interest in. There’s no point spending much time on something that doesn't pique their interest given the volume in their inbox.

2. The 30 second skim

You need to catch their eye in the first 30 seconds because of the volume  mentioned above. You need to grab their attention from the outset with clear simple messaging to get them to read on.  Give them something to catch their eye, then you’ll get step 2, the precious further 2-4 minutes going through it. Make the pages simple and easy to digest to let them skim it easily and pick up the key headline messages and avoid lots of text. .

3. Overflowing with deals

As they are dealflow rich & time-poor they have to be highly selective; they may only invest in less than 1% of deals they see, so the odds of getting a meeting is slim. However, it means that if your messaging and proof points aren’t strong enough they won’t give it a second chance.

4. What's your story

Most investors want to hear the unique stories behind your idea, such as the early stage challenge that halted your success at some time and finally led to a solution and helped you come up with your business idea with impressive metrics.

“The ideas that we back and the entrepreneurs we back—there’s so much conviction about the inevitability of success, it’s contagious.”  - Chris Sacca An American Venture investor, whose portfolio includes early investments in well-known companies like Twitter, Kickstarter, Instagram, and Uber

5. Back the Jockey not the Horse

Remember that they are not swayed by ideas alone; they want you to have a clear vision and overall assessment of how you intend to spend their money and provide them a high return on investment. They will want to see how investable you are and how you can convince them that you can execute a plan and be trusted with their precious investment capital, so it's key to ensure you are showcasing yourself in the deck, not just your business.

6. Assume they are generalists

You live and breathe your sector everyday, but they most likely do not. They  are more likely to be generalists and not subject matter experts, so don’t alienate them with sector specific terms they won’t understand. Your deck must be simple for them to understand and want to learn more.  

A few key takeaways

Before the deck has even been opened, what 2-3 key takeaways do you want to stick in their mind? You have the chance to give them some key messages, so make them loud and clear so they resonate after they’ve closed your deck and moved onto the next.

Now that you know how investors think and act when reviewing decks, how would you assess your deck and its odds? You need to get past the 30 second skim, the 2-3 minute read, then if really lucky open up an initial meeting with the investor?  

Understanding an investor's approach to pitch decks

To summarise, the importance of understanding an investor's approach to pitch decks cannot be overstated. While creating a pitch deck can be a daunting and overwhelming task, following the advice in this post will put you on the right track and help you create one that greatly increases your odds of getting that important initial investor meeting.

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