Top Eight Tips for your next Pitch Deck w/ Thomas Richards

Design-led Pitch Decks to Appeal to Investors

“A picture is worth a thousand words,” so the saying goes. And it certainly goes a long way when it comes to pitch decks. We spoke to Desk Space member Thomas Richards about the importance of easy-to-read, easy-to-understand pitch decks for attracting potential investors.

“A pitch deck is an overview of the business and demonstrates market fit and business potential. Its purpose is to get the attention of investors and to entice them to take a meeting,” Thom says. “Most sophisticated investors won’t make a funding decision based solely on a pitch deck, but rather based on their reading of the person seeking funding – in which case you need to get the investor in a meeting.”

Pitch decks however can often be overwhelming and time-consuming to read, packed with facts and figures and too much text. So, what should you include? “I keep information to a minimum and highlight the most relevant and important numbers and keywords to hit home stats, figures and messages,” Thom says. “I don’t waffle on too much about the services of the business as that can be elaborated once you’ve got the meeting. Give enough data and information to demonstrate you have done your homework and encourage them to come speak with you or the founder.”

Thom places great emphasis on the value of design in all elements of a business. “Design is very important for getting your message across – in conceptual thinking, presentation and user experience. A drab pitch deck with minimal information and unconsidered design sends the message that this is how someone approaches all parts of their business. Whereas, more considered design and presentation may demonstrate that someone can think more creatively in operations,” Thom explains.

He therefore takes a design-led approach to his pitch decks, using visuals to accentuate and draw attention to key information. Here are Thom’s top eight tips:

  1. Keep the brand simple for now

If you don’t yet have the funding to invest in a fully developed brand, then keep it simple with a colour palette and font that conveys the personality of the business

  1. Highlight information with charts and graphs

Readers don’t want to wade through paragraphs and pages in search of relevant and pivotal information. Do it for them with charts and graphs that highlight features, percentages and potential.

  1. Reduce and simplify text with icons

Icons can convey information quickly without words and allow readers to skim content for key points.

  1. Compare competitors with an XY graph

Competitor analysis is an important way to communicate how a business offering fits in a unique space. Set up the X and Y axes with different attributes to represent your business in the best light.

  1. Break down information with tiled layouts

Tiled layouts can break large sections of text into smaller sections, making the content more digestible. Divide a slide into six to ten sections with a brief summary and icon in each.

  1. Chart milestones on a timeline

Demonstrate project progress, milestones, spending and rollouts visually with a timeline. “They essentially map out what a business will do over the next 12 months and are an easy way to read what can be quite dense content otherwise,” says Thom.

  1. Represent market trends with a word cloud

A word cloud or tag cloud can be used to visually represent market trends, quickly conveying the most prominent.

  1. Differentiate sections with compelling images

Make your pitch deck more visually compelling with images that reflect the brand and personality of the business. They can also be used to differentiate sections and give your audience a break from text.

When you’re ready to send, save your pitch desk as a PDF so that formatting, fonts and imagery remain in tact.

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