Making the pitch

I’ve seen a lot of deal pitches with a lot of hair on them. I’ve also put a lot of pitches together, and fought the battle to make them clear and concise. To make my life easier, I’ve put together this simple and straightforward model for building a pitch deck:

  1. Vision: what’s your big idea, why are you doing it and why is it significant.The “Wow!” of what you’re doing should immediately come across. Get me right away for why I should be paying attention. If you don’t have this, you don’t have a pitch.
  2. Market: how big is the market and what is the pain point which you’re addressing?
  3. Product or service: what are you selling and why is it different?
  4. Go to market: who are you going to sell to, and how?
  5. Business model: how do you make money?
  6. Competition: including closest replacements or alternatives, and barriers to entry
  7. Team: who are the founders? Be open about any key missing elements of the team
  8. Timeline: where are you at, and what are your plans?
  9. Fund raising: how much do you want to raise and to accomplish what?
  10. Exit: who are you going to sell to, and why? Please don’t tell me you’re going to do an IPO.

Ten slides. That’s it. Short bullet points. If I can read everything I need to know in the deck, then I don’t need you.

After three or four pitches, you’ll know the common objections to your idea. Address the consistent ones, but don’t be tempted to answer every question in the deck, creating a monstrosity. Your audience (me) wants to feel smart by coming up with objections, and you’ll look smart by being able to respond.