Five Mistakes to Avoid in Your Pitch Deck
When looking to secure funding for your business, there is no greater asset than a winning pitch deck (and maybe a winning smile!). Pitch decks are your one chance to make a great first impression on potential investors and to position your business favorably at the same time. With funding on the line, entrepreneurs typically spend hours upon hours preparing and planning their pitch decks before that ever-important meeting. However, even a knockout pitch deck can be held back by a few commonly made mistakes.
We’ve talked a lot about what you should be doing before, during, and after a pitch, but it’s equally important to know what not to do. To that end, we’ve compiled the top five most common mistakes to avoid when preparing your pitch deck –
1. Too Long/Too Many Details
It can be exciting to finally be making the case for your business, however, it’s extremely important to respect the time of the investors and not oversaturate them with information. For many entrepreneurs, this business is their baby. And like a proud mom or dad, they may want to overshare every detail of its existence. But investors have both limited time and bandwidth. So, if it isn’t pertinent to the primary message you’re delivering, you’d be well advised to omit it. A great pitch deck will have investors excited and wanting to learn more by the end, not overwhelmed by extraneous information.
2. Lack of Clarity
The message you are communicating with investors should ring loud and clear. Remember that the investor may know nothing about your business and/or industry, so your pitch deck needs to have clear and concise points regarding their merits. Entrepreneurs should avoid using too many buzzwords or jargon, which only tend to muddle the overall message of the pitch.
3. Ignoring Weaknesses
The very foundation of investing is about evaluating risk and reward. A pitch deck that does not acknowledge the weaknesses of the plan robs the investor of the opportunity to make a proper evaluation. Your pitch should help assess the risk for them and make the case for your business despite any weaknesses. Ignoring them will only make the investor think you haven’t fully analyzed your position or have something to hide.
4. Not Revising Enough
Never present your first draft to investors. Actually, never present your second or third draft either. Your pitch deck can only be perfected over time with thorough revisions to pick it apart and put it back together again. Revision is a crucial part of creating a winning pitch deck formula and eliminating mistakes.
5. Generic/Outdated Formatting
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of focusing too heavily on what they want to say in their pitch deck rather than how they should say it. Make no mistake, the “what” is incredibly important, but the overall appearance and formatting will be one of the first visual components investors see—making it the “first impression” to your first impression.
An outdated or generic format or appearance will automatically make your pitch deck seem outdated too. Ensure that the formatting aligns with your product, the industry you’re in, and the consumer you’re serving. If you’re edgy, then the formatting should be edgy. If you’re conservative, then it should be more conservative. You want to create cohesion between the formatting and the content of the deck overall. In this particular respect, no detail is too small.
There’s no denying just how important it is to make a great first impression to potential investors. And avoiding these mistakes will help you do just that. In such a competitive and high-risk financial world, don’t you want to give yourself the best chance to walk out with funds?
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