How To Create A Successful Pitch Deck In 5 Steps

By Nathan Beckord

Raj Nathan needs you to have a voice. In actual fact, he needs everybody to have a voice. And he helps startups use their voices to inform their tales—and to pitch traders.

Primarily based in Chicago, Raj is a pitch and presentation coach, serving to startups get up and stand out in a crowded subject. His small workforce at Startup Hypeman works with 5 to 10 organizations per week to hone their elevator pitches and pitch decks. “Startup Hypeman is intently targeted on being a hype man for startups, by serving to them not suck at how they pitch themselves,” he says. “And most frequently, that’s for the aim of fundraising.”

The issue with most pitch decks, in line with Raj, is that they both don’t inform a compelling story or they fail to inform a narrative in any respect. That’s true even when an organization has an unimaginable product.

On this article, Raj walks us by the steps he makes use of with entrepreneurs to show run-of-the-mill pitch decks into ones that do the heavy lifting for you.

A profitable pitch in 5 steps

Step #1: Make your elevator pitch the muse

The very first thing Startup Hypeman works on with any consumer is the elevator pitch. Raj says many entrepreneurs fall into the entice of attempting to cram an excessive amount of data—or not sufficient—into their elevator pitches. “By the tip, you are simply extremely confused as to what they do. There’s this push from a whole lot of founders to be like, I gotta use all of the jargon phrases doable to make this sound attention-grabbing,” he explains.

As an alternative, he has what he calls a “Que PASA” framework: Downside, Strategy, Answer, Motion. We’ve all seen (or maybe made) the pitch deck that begins with “X is a $50 billion trade.” Whereas numbers will be useful elsewhere, Raj needs founders to consider deeply defining the issue, as a result of as his dad used to inform him rising up, “A well-defined drawback is already half solved.”

Step #2: Arrange the emotion

Raj talks concerning the distinction between what he calls “Cinderella storytelling” and “superior storytelling.” An instance of Cinderella storytelling may be, “Jimmy has an issue. Jimmy is pissed off. Jimmy finds an answer and lives fortunately ever after.” Extra complicated storytelling leads from emotion slightly than drawback/resolution. Right here’s how he approaches an issue from emotion slightly than mechanics: “We construct up this story throughout a couple of slides about how the world is changing into extra genuine,” Raj says.

He provides the instance of celebrities who make genuine connections with their followers on social media. The hashtag “#nofilter” is extra standard than utilizing filters on Instagram. Then he ties that again to the (hypothetical) product: Regardless of authenticity being on the rise, courting nonetheless stays inauthentic. Right here’s an app to extend authenticity in courting.

Step #3: Element the go-to-market technique

That is the place to be express. You may have an awesome product, however in the event you don’t present the way it will earn cash, it’s value nothing to traders.

“I’ll ask entrepreneurs a query about their traction technique. They usually’ll simply be like, ‘ Oh, social media. Okay, what about social media?’ After which it is a deer-in-the-headlights look in response,” Raj says.

Whether or not it’s advertisements, social media, or partnerships, make sure to suppose by the way you’ll earn cash and make that the main focus of your go-to-market technique. And with advertisements, contemplate how rapidly you possibly can appeal to promoting {dollars}. He says, “You are standing right here and also you’re telling me that on day 5, whenever you’ve obtained 9 customers, you are going to appeal to advertisers? Why would they purchase from you? What worth may you probably carry them? I get animated about that.”

Step #4: Specify what success appears like

Metrics will be tough. Whereas some industries have commonplace metrics, they aren’t at all times one of the best for displaying how your startup works. So, present traders how you can measure your success from the start by telling them which metrics imply probably the most.

Together with that, don’t use impartial headers in your slides. As an alternative of labeling a slide “Buyer acquisition,” begin with “We’re wonderful at buying clients—right here’s how.”

Step #5: Rethink the competitors

Reasonably than utilizing the traditional four-quadrant competitors grid that’s been seen repeatedly, Raj likes to create exclusivity. He explains that by carving out a class all your personal, you get to set the tempo and create extra hype round what you’re doing. It’s not at all times doable, however with some artistic considering, you possibly can set your self other than the pack.

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Raj’s do’s and don’ts for pitching traders

Listed here are some closing ideas of the commerce for a pitch that traders received’t neglect:

Zoom in

For a lot of traders, watching pitches on Zoom is right here to remain. Raj recommends investing in a couple of items of apparatus to verify your image is skilled. Meaning spending a couple of hundred bucks on a superb lighting setup and an exterior digicam with increased decision than no matter your pc’s built-in webcam affords.

Don’t neglect that your background helps inform your story, too. Let it replicate your persona and your model. Lastly, take a tip from newscasters the world over: Arise! Reconfigure your desk if it’s a must to. The power enhance from standing whereas speaking will repay.

Begin early

Don’t craft your pitch the evening earlier than it is advisable give it. Ideally, Raj recommends beginning your deck at the very least a month earlier than you propose to begin pitching traders. That leaves loads of time for observe and revisions.

Recover from the hump

In the case of really placing the slides collectively for a deck, Raj begins in Phrase slightly than PowerPoint.

“We begin in a Phrase doc,” he says. “For those who define it first … it is a means simpler train. It makes then placing it on to slides rather a lot simpler since you’re desirous about not simply the uncooked data, but in addition [asking yourself], What’s my perception? Or — What do I wish to say about this factor?”

Generally the toughest a part of making a pitch deck is getting over your self and getting began.

Article relies on an interview between Nathan Beckord and Raj Nathan on an episode of Foundersuite’s How I Raised It podcast.

In regards to the Creator

Nathan Beckord is the CEO of, which makes software program for startups elevating capital. Nathan can also be the CEO of, which is a brand new platform for VCs and funding bankers to each increase capital and help shoppers and portfolio firms. Customers of those platforms have raised over $9.7 billion since 2016.

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