angels

My Top Three Pitch Deck Gripes

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Running an angel group, I get sent a pile of pitch decks – powerpoint presentations which are intended to introduce me to someone’s business, product or service. The vast majority of these end up giving me a sense that the entrepreneur doesn’t know their target audience – people like me. What are my most common gripes? Let’s look at the big three for me.

(1) Inadequate product explanations: I can’t tell you how often entrepreneurs just take the pitch deck from their latest presentation and blast it out. What’s missing? The audio! In that audio the entrepreneur told the person about how the product works and what it does. The powerpoint slides just showed the app or a picture of the product. Without the narrative, the slide is pointless. Having to sit through the audio is worse. Entrepreneurs, take the time to tweak your product slide to actually tell us what your product or service does. Don’t depend on a picture of a tiny smartphone screen to do the job.

(2) Comparisons masquerading as descriptions: Another problem is when instead of describing the product we get explanations of it in terms of what competitors are not doing. What grabs my attention is what your product or service can do, not what others can’t. These comparison approaches generally fail to give readers a holistic idea of your product or service.

(3) No real financials: This one goes 50-50. Some people do give abbreviated financials (which works better for me looking at a deck on my laptop than in a big meeting) – great. Some people don’t. I won’t decide yes without the numbers, and it is the first thing my angels ask me when I talk about a prospect.

There are other things worth complaining about, like how people say they’re giving a business model when it says little or nothing about how the business will make money, but those problems occur even in business plans. Avoiding the three major gripes mentioned here will do a lot to improve your pitch deck. 

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