Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make In A Pitch Deck
Pitch decks are a way for entrepreneurs to get investors to fund their business. A pitch deck is a quick overview of your business plan. But is it easy to check all the boxes with a 20-minute presentation and avoid common pitch deck mistakes?
What are the mistakes entrepreneurs make in a pitch deck? From having too many slides to failing to communicate their message to the right investors, entrepreneurs can make a range of mistakes in pitching.
There is always room to make your investment pitch deck better. Identifying mistakes and working toward making your presentation more compelling will only increase your chances of getting funded.
7 Common Pitch Deck Mistakes
Here are seven common pitch deck mistakes that ultimately create ground for an overall bad pitch back. Some things are quite obvious, such as ugly visuals and not getting straight to the point. Others, however, are mistakes that entrepreneurs with experience still make, including talking about deal terms during an investment pitch deck and misusing the collected data.
Learn from these mistakes so that you don’t have to look back at a bad pitch.
1. Making It Too Long and Complicated
If you have figured out the ideal length of your presentation and the amount of information you will include in it, kudos to you. But as this is one of the most widespread pitch deck mistakes, let’s start from making the presentation too long and too complicated.
No one has got the time and the nerves for a long pitch deck. Keep the number of your slides around 12 to increase your chances of keeping the potential investors involved from start to finish.
But cutting down the number of slides doesn’t mean you should pack every slide of your investment pitch deck with a ton of information. Complicated slides are certainly a turnoff and a sign of a bad pitch deck.
2. Not Being Able to Tell Your Story
Investment pitch decks are not the place to read your presentation. What you are going to tell the investors should be different from what you have included in your slides. If you have a well-structured presentation, they can read it themselves.
Instead, focus on your speech. Tell your story. Identify the problem and swiftly move on to the solution you are suggesting.
An investment pitch deck suggests that you will be asked questions about your business plan. And if you limit yourself to texts that you will be saying by heart, you will make a major pitch deck mistake. Instead, you should be prepared to answer all sorts of questions and in a way that will keep the potential investors engaged.
3. Not Putting Effort on the Visuals
The visual aspect of your presentation, i.e. the design of your pitch deck template should be of key importance for you. A sequence of slides with a poor design is one of the most common pitch deck mistakes. You may think that it is the bad content of the slides that makes a bad pitch. This isn’t true. The visuals are as important as the design of your presentation and how you are presenting your business plan overview.
Choose the right colors. Don’t overcrowd your slides with colors, icons, or texts. Make everything cohesive and pay attention to every detail.
Your audience should notice that you have put a lot of effort into making your presentation as polished and as pleasant to the eyes as possible.
4. Failing to Define the RTB
Reason to Believe (RTB) is a comparatively new term used instead of USP (unique selling proposition).
Whether you choose to refer to it as USP or RTB, avoid the popular pitch deck mistake of not mentioning why your claims are credible and what makes your idea investment-worthy. This is as important for investors as it is for your target market.
And to define the RTB, be clear and precise. Show a deep understanding of the problem and bring forth the solutions while listing the distinctive features that make your product or service unique. Otherwise, your presentation will be remembered as a classic example of a bad pitch.
5. Making Deal Terms a Part of Your Pitch Deck
Offering deal terms in your presentation might be one of the biggest pitch deck mistakes you can make. You should understand that you have the unique opportunity to present your business to potential investors, or possibly your dream investors. So, there is no need to spend those precious minutes talking about deal terms instead of convincing your audience that your product is worth investing in.
Additionally, there may be different deal terms with different investors. The best strategy is to have an ideal pitch deck template and present your business in the best light, with intentions to get feedback. The goal here is not to make it seem like your only objective is to get money.
6. Going into Too Much Detail
What you should be covering in your investment pitch deck is your team, the problem and the solution, the advantages of your product or service, the product or the service itself, traction, market, your competitors, and your business model, i.e. how you are going to make money.
Don’t forget about a good introduction and how much money you need. And of course, don’t make the pitch deck mistake of not leaving contact details and finishing without a call to action.
We know sometimes you need to go into a lot of detail to explain things. But for a successful pitch deck, condense everything you have gathered into clear convincing statements.
Let’s get one thing straight. Statements backed with well-researched data are good. Similarly, compiling lots of data is good too. But you don’t need to include all of it in your pitch deck. Include the data that is necessary for telling your story.
7. Not Doing Enough Research
Do research, a lot of research. This statement is true for many aspects of pitch decks. Most importantly, it will help you avoid many pitch deck mistakes.
First and foremost, do research on your competitors. You can’t just stand in front of investors telling them that you are the best. On the contrary, make sure to tell them about your competitors and that you are aware of their weaknesses and strengths. And highlight what makes you stand out.
Second, do research on investors too. Make sure the investor you are pitching your business to is interested in the field. For instance, you can’t pitch a delivery app to an investor that is interested in the agritech industry.