Al Anany

The Perfect Pitch Deck

You’d think you need a 10 paged pitch deck. Truth is, a three slides deck is more than enough.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Al, a business consultant based in Zurich, Switzerland. I’ve been consulting and raising investments for more than 10 years now.

If you are in the process of creating a deck, you are probably looking at the whole process from your perspective. Think of the movie Shutter Island. You don’t need to wait till the end of the movie to realize that you’ve been looking from the wrong angle. This article aims to show you one of the viewpoints of a successful investor.

During one of my networking sessions, I’ve met and approached an Arab millionaire investor, one of the most brilliant in the middle east. We did a little bit of small talk, then serious talk. I conveyed how I believe that the education industry is one of the most prominent and one that deserves constant investment. Then I pitched my EdTech company working to bridge the educational gap between high school and college.

His response was very straightforward. “ Send me a deck with 3 slides”.
Then he told me what those three slides are.

Pitch Deck Slide One — Your product

This could be in the form of a problem with a solution. Because the truth is, most products are not that complicated to understand. For example, I’m a “software as a service in the insurance field”, I’m “the middleman between print shops and customers”, etc.

This slide should answer the simple question — What do you do?
Additionally, It should answer it in a brief and to-the-point answer. You don’t need to specify how complicated you’re doing what you’re doing.

Pitch Deck
An example of a product slide from my works.

Pitch Deck Slide Two – Your traction

A graph showing your sales in the previous months/years. What this kind of investor is looking for is growth. So your chart should typically look like this.

Pitch Deck
An example of a traction slide — Image from EarlyInvesting

This slide should convey that your product is being accepted more and more by your end consumers. You could say this is showcasing your product-market fit.

Pitch Deck Slide Three – Your projections

For most investors, ROI is what matters. Hence, you showcased your product and the fact that people are using it like crazy. Now showcase your future potential, and allow the investor to do quick maths in her/his mind and determine their profit from their investment.

Again, this slide should also be a graph or a table-based slide.

Pitch Deck
An example of a revenue projection slide from my works.

That’s a wrap. You’ve answered the following:-

  1. What do you do?
  2. How much attention have you gotten so far?
  3. What will your future look like?

To a good percentage of investors, especially the ones who constantly receive pitch decks, this is more than enough to get them interested. If they’re interested, which is what you want from a pitch deck, then they’ll ask for further specific details, possibly a larger pitch deck, a business plan, and/or a financial model.

My professional recommendation is that you’d have this deck as a short deck, especially if you have strong traction. It has the perfect amount of teasing to get the investor hooked and interested.

You have to realize that this structure highly depends on your traction, hence, it will not work out for pre-traction startups.

This would prove highly interesting to entrepreneurs creating pitch decks. Several recommendations from top-notch VCs would advise you to keep the slide number around 10 slides. That’s also fine, yet if your numbers are showing a good growth graph, then a three slides deck is all you need for an intro meeting.

Do you need a longer version?

Similarly, if you’ve obtained interest from the investor, and she/he asked for a longer version. I would highly advise trying out the 500 startups’ format:

  1. Your Logo & Elevator Pitch
  2. The Problem
  3. Your solution
  4. How it Works
  5. Traction
  6. Business Model
  7. Competition
  8. The Market Opportunity
  9. Progress to Date
  10. The Team

Finally, your deck should have a purpose. Some clients approach me needing decks tailored to a specifically interested investor. Others need a deck for generic investors outreach. Yet, what all sources agree on is that given that the entrepreneurship industry is growing over the years. The number of pitch decks is increasing.

Thereby, your odds are better by working out a short concise pitch deck that hits the point.