The Internet is full of resources and guidebooks on how to make excellent pitch decks. But when the time came to build my startup pitch, I had a reality check. It turned out that I had grossly underestimated the amount of time, effort, and resources it took to build something remotely credible for my investors.
After going through several pitch decks, I found that the most effective pitch decks used great storytelling techniques. Storytelling conveys purpose, reminds people of the status quo, and then shows them an effective way to solve the problem. By doing so, these pitch decks build the stage to show the conflict that needed to be resolved.
This realization led me to research how to master the art of storytelling in pitch decks and these are the learnings that I wanted to share with you
For building effective pitch decks, I found it very useful to think of my presentation as a stage performance. Every good stage performance has three parts:
A story has four clear elements:
Best storytellers in pitch decks keep the users of their product as protagonists and speak to their deep-seated goals. They establish the stakes involved and lay out a clear, believable change path in the face of the conflicts that are likely to arise.
Not-so-good storytellers in investor presentations keep the narrative at a superficial level and lose the audience quickly.
Following are a couple of examples of startup pitches that developed this subtle methodology of storytelling.
This problem statement slide cleverly used the fundamental concepts of storytelling. It first establishes the problems of average internet users (protagonists)- how they cannot easily share big videos via email. The spark or the solution here is YouTube itself. At stake is the deep need to connect to the community – which is very important to the protagonists.
The solution slide then goes on to make the solution believable in the face of technology difficulties by sharing how the solution works.
Uber showed how old cabs are inefficient and are bad for the environment, which created an angle of “doing things for the greater good.“
Their pitch deck presentation related to problems that people face, like hailing a cab in the streets and not having a guaranteed pickup.
The goal of the protagonist (cab riders), in this case, is to reach a place on time, but long waiting times, non-guaranteed pickup, and sub-standard services are in his way.
The change or spark of this story is Uber as the knight who comes at the end of the day and saves everyone from the impending catastrophe of not being able to find transportation just when it is needed.
Props are all the resources and tools you are going to use to express your story.
Your PowerPoint presentation is one of the most vital tools in your arsenal. It is one of the things that the investors have to face head-first- they will even ask you to send it ahead of time.
Once you have your story ready, you need to start working on the PowerPoint slides to bring your story to life. The Powerpoint slides must look professional and stand on their own.
The acid test for a good PowerPoint slide is whether it needs a presenter to present or can it stand on its merit. Powerpoint slides that require a presenter to showcase fall short on thinking, messaging, visuals, and often cause confusion in the minds of the recipient
I would highly recommend signing up for a subscription with a PowerPoint template service like ours – SlideUpLift.
You will save hours by not building slides from scratch. If you are like me, graphic design is not your cup of tea- so leave it to the experts. I would much rather spend my time thinking of my story and how to prepare for the actual act.
Pitch Deck Template Examples
Below are some examples of Pitch Deck templates that can give you a head start in your business presentation building journey –
1. Problem Statement
Articulate the problem being addressed to the investor in a way that’s clear, straightforward, and easy to understand. These Problem Statement PowerPoint Templates are a few creative examples to summarize and present the problem you intend to solve.
2. Value Proposition
The value proposition for customers is a clear statement that explains how your product solves customers’ problems. Below is a collection of value proposition templates that can be used in the startup pitch presentation.
3. Business Model
The business model describes the rationale of how your startup will create, deliver and capture value. talk about your key business strategies.
With these business model templates, you can talk about your milestones, roadmap etc.
4. Competitor Analysis
Present the competitive landscape and how you are different than your competitors with these competitor analysis templates.
5. Core Team
It is the driving force of your company. People who are critical to company growth. Here are a few team PowerPoint template to show strong leadership in your company.
6. Investment Strategy
This explains the costs to start and operate the business to achieve key milestones over a certain period of time. A few investment strategy PowerPoint Templates-
Roadmap templates to showcase the progress that you have achieved so far and milestones that you aim to hit. A few examples of milestones and roadmap PowerPoint template –
It is important to highlight milestones in your pitch deck as it gives a clear idea to the investors on your high-level strategy and execution plans. There are several ways you can showcase your roadmaps in the presentation to highlight your key plan.
Here a list of presentation hacks that will help anyone conquer their Investor Pitch or Sales Pitch. I have clubbed these hacks in three categories for easy reference and understanding:
1. Hook Your Audience:
The attention span of an average human is around 10-20 minutes, and so, you have to hook your audience in the first few minutes.
2. Minimize Distractions
Know thyself: You can be your worst enemy in the presentation. Here are some common pitfalls:
3. End Well:
Well begun is half done but remember: All’s well that ends well. Often, the conclusion of an act defines the whole act. Put your heart and soul into your climax and conclusion of the presentation to energize the audience. Always end on a high note with positive, uplifting messages that leave an impact on the audience.
The goal of your pitch deck should be to spark your investor’s interest in your company. Pitch decks come in different formats and structures. It is essential to understand which one fits perfectly with your startup.
Pitch Deck Examples
Save your time in designing the Pitch Deck from scratch. Here are a few Pitch Deck Examples that can be helpful in making an impressive presentation and allow the investors to pique more interest in your startup. –
In nutshell, tell a story with smart, rigorous preparation; communicate with passion and style. Be the ultimate protagonist -the knight in shining armor, who saves the princess – that your startup is or deserves to be.