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Pitch decks are short, clear, and to the point. Yet the probability of receiving the requested investment depends on your ability to show investors that the words you use to convey your company are powerful (and, well, that you know how to create a presentation without using premade PowerPoint templates).

Everyone knows that first impressions are important. You wouldn’t dare think to show up to your meeting in old wrinkled jeans. Investors are not only looking at you, but also your presentation design and the keywords used. The window for creating a good first impression is actually seven seconds, meaning that the first two slides of your pitch deck need to be of substance.

 

Because the first slide of your pitch deck is gone in 4 seconds (Hi, I’m John, and this is a fancy logo that I have on the slide to showcase my company), this leaves you with two slides presented in the first ten seconds. Use your time wisely:

  • Do: Tell the audience what problem you are solving, not what problem you invested for your solution to solve
  • Do: Tell the audience what your vision is and why your company is unique
  • Do: Let the audience know that you are confident and well-rehearsed

 

Visual, easy to understand slides with less text are ideal to make your point.

  • Don’t: Start with a slide about the team or CEO — that can come towards the end once you the audience hooked on the idea.  The team helps provide credibility to the company as a whole.
  • Don’t: Try and explain the whole business in one, overly cluttered, slide with lots of small text that is difficult to read or skim through.

 

Keep in mind that you only have one chance to make a positive first impression.  Make sure that you:

  • Practice your pitch.  You’d be surprised at how many people don’t rehearse and end up stuttering and contradicting themselves during their presentation.
  • Have the facts ready.  Know the backup information and have it ready in your backup slides. ‘What if” scenarios are something to consider.
  • Know who the competition is.  This is a slide which will be included in the presentation, but you should be able to talk about your competitors and their strengths without having to look at the slide.