As an entrepreneur, David Rose has raised millions for his own companies. As an investor, he has funded millions more. According to the “The Pitch Coach,” the single most important thing that the VC is going to be investing is YOU. “Therefore, the entire purpose of the VC pitch is to convince them that you are the entrepreneur in whom they are going to invest their money and make a lot of money in return.” In order to accomplish this you need to convey several characteristics that will convince the room that you are this person. The most important characteristics are integrity, passion, experience, knowledge, skill, leadership, commitment, vision, realism and coachability.
Your pitch deck presentation is simply a visual tool to help you deliver this message. It is paramount that the audience is solely drawn to you, and that your deck merely contains short bullet points, headlines and images that evoke an emotional connection or act as a summary of your presentation. You will want to develop a separate pitch deck that you will provide as a handout that includes much more information about the pitch. However, during the presentation itself, the deck needs to be bare bones and the information needs to come from you.
David Rose outlines all of this in his TED Talk in addition to a compelling description of how your pitch deck presentation should be developed:
- The first slide should contain the company logo. At this point, you’ll provide a brief (1-2 sentence) overview of what the company does , how it does it and why it is important.
- Next, introduce the management team and key players. Explain how their experience and skill-sets align with the company and where it is going.
- The very next slide needs to clearly introduce who the market is and what the size of the market is. First and foremost, you target market needs to be focused. Second, it is important that you use outside validators to convince the audience that what you are telling them is true. Outside validators can include successful beta runs, size of companies in the same or a similar space, credible research firms, etc.
- Once your audience has an overview of the company and understand who the market is, present the product or service. A simple image on the slide will do. It is up to you to explain the product in simple and succinct terminology that does not confuse or patronize the investor.
- The next slide is about the business model. Explain how the company makes money and why this model was chosen if necessary.
- Follow the business model slide with an overview of the competition. Investors want to see who the competitors are, their strengths and weaknesses, how you are positioned among them, and most importantly, how are you special. Be sure to include outside validators here as well, such as strategic relationships.
- Discuss any barriers to entry that exist in the industry and how your company has or will overcome them. You may also want to mention any barriers that your company has or will put in place to deter any new entrants or copy-cats.
- Provide a simple P&L on the next slide and discuss the key financial takeaways in your projections. Be sure that when you present the upside potential that you are not too low in your assessment but that what you present is believable as well.
- Dedicate the following slide(s) to the capital amount that you are requesting, the use of proceeds and lastly, your valuation.
- Conclude with your logo on the screen and wrap up the key points made above as quickly as possible.
You want your presentation to be like a rocket, building speed and momentum throughout its trajectory until it reaches its destination and ends with a climactic explosion. So to your presentation needs to continually build momentum, getting stronger and stronger throughout the presentation and ending on an extremely high note.