What Is a Pitch Deck, and Why Does It Matter?

Posted on February 11, 2024 | Updated on June 11, 2024

What is a pitch deck? These are useful for entrepreneurs seeking investment, aiming to secure potential partners or simply trying to convey their ideas effectively.

A well-crafted marketing deck or a marketing deck is a must-have in their entrepreneurial arsenal. But what exactly is a pitch deck and why does it matter?

What Is a Pitch Deck?

A marketing deck is a concise and visually engaging presentation overviewing a business, product or idea. Entrepreneurs, startups or small business professionals use it to pitch their concept to potential investors, partners or stakeholders. 

The goal of the marketing deck is to effectively communicate the value proposition and convince the audience to take a specific action, such as investing in the venture or supporting its growth.

Why Does It Matter?

  • First impressions are crucial: A marketing deck allows entrepreneurs to make powerful first impressions rapidly. Typically, the best pitch length for early investors is around 10 to 20 minutes. It sets the stage for a successful interaction and captures the audience’s attention in seconds.
  • Clarity and simplicity: A pitch deck forces entrepreneurs to express their concepts clearly and concisely, stripping away jargon and complexity. This simplicity is a valuable asset in the business world.
  • Engaging visual storytelling: By combining text and imagery, investor decks leverage humans’ preference for visual information. They create a compelling narrative that resonates with the audience personally.
  • Investment readiness: For entrepreneurs seeking investment, an investor deck is indispensable. It can make or break an investor’s decision. A well-constructed deck, complete with robust financial projections, can secure crucial funding.
  • Adaptability: A marketing deck is highly adaptable and can be used in various situations, from investor presentations to partner meetings customer pitches and startup competitions.

Elements of a Pitch Deck

A pitch deck typically contains key elements that convert the business or idea to potential investors, partners or stakeholders. Here are the essential elements of a pitch deck:

  • Problem statement: The problem or challenge is directly defined, emphasizing its relevance and impact on the target audience.
  • Solution: The pitch deck presents the proposed solution, product or idea and elucidates how it effectively resolves the identified problem, underlining its unique selling points.
  • Market opportunity: The analysis of the market being entered, encompassing its size, trends and potential growth, is provided, focusing on why this market is appealing and how the solution fits within it.
  • Financial projections: Financial forecasts, such as revenue projections, expenses and cash flow statements, are included to provide investors with a clear financial plan.
  • Funding ask: Investment is sought and the required funding amount is specified, along with the intended use of the funds. Clarity is maintained regarding what investors will receive in return, such as equity or convertible debt.
  • Use of funds: The allocation of funds is explained, offering a breakdown of how the investment will be utilized.
  • Milestones and timeline: Short-term goals illustrate the progression and achievement of critical milestones over time.
  • Call to action: The pitch deck concludes with a compelling call to action, explicitly stating the desired response from the audience, whether it pertains to investment, partnership or support.

Types of Pitch Decks

Both types of pitch decks fulfill distinct purposes. It is crucial to adapt the content and format to the specific presentation context—whether it is a brief email introduction or a thorough, interactive in-person meeting. Here are descriptions of two types of pitch decks for different presentation contexts:

Email

The email marketing deck is for digital communication. It is when individuals or businesses need to introduce their concepts, products or ventures to potential investors, partners or stakeholders via email.

It should maintain a concise and visually appealing format, as the primary objective is to capture the recipient’s attention swiftly. Engaging visuals and a compelling narrative are essential to present key information effectively.

This type of pitch deck should encompass an attention-grabbing subject line, a concise introduction within the email body and a well-structured PDF attachment containing the complete pitch deck. Typically, the best times to send an email are around 2 pm, 5 pm and 8 pm. The email is a teaser, while the attached marketing deck provides a more in-depth explanation.

In-Person Presentation 

The in-person presentation pitch deck is for face-to-face meetings with potential investors, partners or stakeholders. It is the preferred format where individuals can present and discuss their business or idea in real-time.

This investor deck should be more comprehensive, housing detailed information and visuals. It serves as the primary tool for presenting the case effectively and for responding to questions during the live interaction.

Include elements such as a title slide, a well-structured agenda, engaging visuals and comprehensive information about the business, problem-solution, market analysis, team financials and the call to action. This investor deck is purpose-built for a dynamic and interactive live presentation.

Tips on How to Do an In-Person Presentation

The key to a successful in-person presentation is not the content on the slides but also the ability to engage, inspire and connect with your audience. Here are some tips for creating and delivering an effective in-person marketing deck presentation.

  • Know your audience: Tailor your pitch deck to the specific interests and needs of your audience. Research the backgrounds and preferences of the people you’ll be presenting to.
  • Engaging visuals: Use visuals like images, charts and graphs to convey information. Visuals are more memorable and engaging than text-heavy slides.
  • Clear and concise messaging: Keep your slides simple and to the point. Each slide should have a clear message. Avoid information overload.
  • Tell a compelling story: Your marketing deck should tell a narrative that flows logically from the problem to the solution and the potential impact of your venture. Engage your audience emotionally.
  • Practice your delivery: Rehearse your presentation multiple times. Familiarity with the content will boost your confidence and ensure a smooth delivery.
  • Engage the audience: Encourage questions and interaction during your presentation. This makes it more of a conversation and less of a one-sided pitch.

Visual Storytelling

A marketing deck is not just a presentation but a dynamic, visual storytelling tool that can determine the fate of an idea. In entrepreneurship, where every moment counts, a compelling pitch deck can be an entrepreneur’s most valuable asset. Clarity, engagement and charisma in an investor deck can pave the way for success, making the audience believe in the idea.

About The Author

Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and dog in their RV, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or curled up with a good book with her cats Gem and Cali.

You can find more of Eleanor's work at www.eleanorhecks.com.

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