Over the past six months, I’ve written up 25 Pitch Deck Teardowns — the favored collection of articles the place I overview a pitch deck intimately, celebrating the wins and gently (and typically not-so-gently) suggesting enhancements. We’ve seen 74-slide decks (sure, actually), decks which are riddled with spelling mistakes and slowed down by hideous design (however nonetheless work extremely effectively), and decks the place the founders don’t fully seem to understand what market they are in.
For each deck I reviewed for my TechCrunch collection, I noticed dozens of different decks as effectively. Don’t inform my bosses, however I’ve a aspect hustle as a pitch coach, and thru that, I see plenty of decks. I additionally am associates with a bunch of beautiful VCs and accelerators who typically ahead decks for me to check out. I’ve a folder with lots of and lots of of pitch decks, starting from $10,000 angel rounds to multibillion-dollar offers in progress. Individuals every now and then ship me screenshots of slides, too (I like to consider these as “unsolicited deck pics.” Ahem.)
In any case, I’ve lengthy since misplaced rely, however I’ve in all probability seen a couple of thousand pitch decks over the previous few years. Suffice it to say: I’ve opinions about ’em.
On this submit, I wish to break down the highest 11 (sure, it needed to be 11) commonest errors I see in pitch decks, together with a bunch of examples of how these errors present up.
Oh, and if you wish to submit your personal deck for a possible pitch deck teardown, you’re in luck: Instructions are here.
Not realizing your viewers
A pitch is a narrative, and tales have audiences. You wouldn’t put a toddler in entrance of Arnold Schwarzenegger hacking and slashing his method by means of numerous components of the Predator. Equally, the story you employ to promote to your prospects will not be the identical story that it is advisable get throughout to your would-be investor viewers.
You must perceive how VC works; that’s non-negotiable. For those who don’t, it implies that you don’t have any method of realizing methods to inform your story, and also you don’t actually perceive what they’re shopping for. Get that resolved for your self!
Examples of decks that get this proper:
Examples of decks that get this unsuitable:
Not absolutely understanding your market sizing
It’s painful to learn a pitch deck and notice that the founders don’t know methods to dimension their very own market. On the earliest stage, your organization must show precisely two issues:
- Are you able to construct a venture-scale enterprise on this market?
- Is that this the best group to construct that enterprise?
The best way you reply the primary query is by having smart issues to say in regards to the market you use in, and the way you see the dimensions and trajectory of that market. For those who fail to try this, guess what — you’re proving that you simply’re not a great founder, and also you’re in all probability not the best group to construct the enterprise.
Sure, calculating the TAM, SAM and SOM to your market might be actually arduous, and typically it entails assumptions and guesswork, however that’s OK — you’re not getting graded on how correct your numbers are however on the way you view and take into consideration the market you might be in. If the numbers are “unsuitable,” however you’ll be able to defend why you considered them this manner, it tells your potential buyers quite a bit about your high quality as a founder.