How to Build an Effective Pitch Deck

Sep 4, 2019

A good elevator pitch hits the most important points, is very short, feels simple/devoid of jargon, and doesn’t contain extraneous information.

This pie chart reflects a very basic model of points I like to hear and the relative amount of time you might want to spend on each.

— Dalton Caldwell (@daltonc) August 22, 2019

You have an idea. You may even have a product. But now you need a larger chunk of capital to really get started. It is time to pull together everything you have worked so hard to convince investors that your idea is as great as you think it is. (How VCs Analyze Startups)

It can be intimidating, stressful, and down right nauseating to say the least, but we have a set of tricks for your arsenal that will let you feel all that much more confident walking into that room. (5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Investor) One of the most important being your pitch deck.

Your pitch deck is the first impression investors will have of your company. So it is important to get it right.

As one of the most active VC funds in the US, we see a lot of pitch decks. Overtime, we have concluded what the most important aspects are to an effective pitch deck. Below are our tips that will get you noticed by even the most competitive investors… and spoiler alert: download our pitch deck template below.

Tips for Building an Effective Pitch Deck



The stage of your company is going to determine who you will most likely be pitching your company to.

If you are seeking seed funding, you may be pitching to a group of angel investors or a venture capital group that takes on a handful of early-stage companies. At this stage you are selling your audience on your vision and you. Your deck should articulate your idea and why you are the person to get there.

If you are looking for a Series A or B, your audience, and what they expect to hear, is going to change dramatically. You have moved past selling a dream to displaying proof that your dream exists. You just need the capital to take it to the next level. Your audience has shifted from visionaries and risk-takers to those who are interested in becoming strategic partners and will most likely be more risk-averse. These people want proof and a plan.


Most successful decks follow a typical formula: The Problem, Market Opportunity, The Solution (a.k.a. your idea or product), The Strategy, and The Ask. Investors are going to look for each of these steps when you go to present to them, so make sure you are covering all of the bases.

By following this formula it allows you to start off by immediately getting your audience emotionally invested with The Problem and Solution. Once they are emotionally hooked, you can play to their logical side by jumping into The Strategy and The Ask. By following this flow, you can clearly lay out a convincing story of why someone should invest in your company.


Whether you are pre-product and pitching an idea or you have found product/market fit and are ready to turn on the jets, investors want to see the cold hard facts of why they should invest in your company.

As noted earlier, early stage companies sell the dream and themselves. So give them the reasons why they should be investing in you. What makes you the most qualified person to make this a booming success? What milestones have you hit? Where have you gained significant traction?

Later stage companies better have some figures to back up what they claim their company can and will do. Do you have a proven revenue model? What does your market adoption look like? Numbers are your friend. And the bigger the better – but keep in mind, they must be true.


The phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” unfortunately does not apply to your pitch deck. How your deck is presented can change an investor’s opinion of your company at first glance.

It is not only what you are saying but how you say it that will ultimately lead to the confidence an investor needs to invest in your company. Design is symbolic of attention to detail.

If you’re unsure how to design your deck, use a pre-installed template or hire a graphic designer.



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