There are plenty of tools you need to succeed as an entrepreneur, from a can-do attitude to the right team to an innovative approach to business, research, and development.
If you’re at the stage of your business where you’re thinking about bringing in outside investors, there’s one more indispensable tool you’re going to need: An impactful pitch deck.
The right pitch deck can act as a bridge between where you are and where you want to be, bringing in the capital you need to take your business to the next level.
In this article, we will explore the basics you need to create a pitch deck and how you need to present it to make an impact on your investors.
Pitch to the right audience
Not all investors are created equal. And if you want to walk out of your pitch meeting with a pocket full of investor cash, you need to make sure you’re pitching the right investors.
Do your research on potential investors. Does this VC or angel investor have an interest in your industry? Do they have a history of investing in businesses like yours? Do you have some common goal that will make them keen to invest?
For example, if you’re an environmentally-conscious brand committed to lowering the carbon footprint of your industry, target VCs with a reputation for investing in sustainable companies. If you’re developing a cutting-edge software that’s going to revolutionize the chatbot industry, go after investors with a history of funding AI projects.
The better fit you are for a potential investor, the more likely they are to invest—so make sure the investors you’re pitching are aligned with your brand, your goals, and your mission.
Targeting the right investors is important—but so is blowing them away with a well-designed pitch deck. Get started with one of Canva’s presentation templates, like the Green and Neon Green Typographic Presentation or the Blue and White Simple Pitch Deck Presentation.
Start with an elevator pitch
You need to tell your investors who you are and what you’re about from the get-go. You can do this with an elevator pitch.
Your first one to two slides should clearly identify the problem in the market and how your business is going to solve it. This problem/solution is what’s going to get them interested in the rest of your pitch—so you need to use it to grab their attention from the very beginning.
So, for example, let’s say you’re a Los Angeles-based transportation startup aimed at changing the way people commute. Your first slide might say something along the lines of
“The average Angeleno spends 47 minutes on their morning commute. With our technology, we’re going to cut that time in half by completely revolutionizing the ride share system in LA—and give the commuters of our city back their time.”
The elevator pitch should be short, to the point, and—most importantly—leave your investors intrigued and wanting to know more.
Need to brainstorm your elevator pitch? Keep your ideas organized with one of Canva’s graphic organizer templates, like the Blue White and Orange Simple Brainstorming Graphic Organizer or the Red and Yellow Brainstorming Organizer Graphic Organizer.
Show investors your plans to earn revenue
When you pitch investors, you’re asking them to give you money. So the single most important thing you can show them in your pitch deck? How you’re going to make that money back.
Your pitch deck should clearly illustrate how your business is going to make money—and how quickly you expect to generate income. The more secure your investors feel in your business’ viability and ability to drive profit, the more confident they’ll be in investing.
If you want to show investors how your business is making (and will continue to make) money, it can be helpful to include your financial report. Get started with one of Canva’s report templates, like the Orange Navy Modern Photo Company Financial Report or White & Green Vintage Business Annual Report.
Add emotion to your pitch deck
Engaging your investors’ business sense is important, but so is the emotional sense.
The best pitch decks pack a serious emotional punch. They make your investors care about you, your business, and what you’re going to bring to the market.
To do this, you can include details about your brand story, your customers, and how you plan to revolutionize your industry. Figure out how to emotionally connect with your audience and why they should care about you and your business—and then infuse that into every slide and bullet point of your pitch.
In order to pack an emotional punch with your pitch deck, you need to really know your customers. And the best place to get to know them? Social media. Design social media graphics that help you connect with your audience with one of Canva’s templates, like the Beige Vintage Flower Instagram Post or the All-Day Breakfast Instagram Post.
Transform your numbers and data into a visual story
Your investors are going to want to see plenty of data. But without beautiful, eye-catching graphics, data can become boring, quickly.
That’s why you need to transform your numbers and data into a story.
When thinking about the story behind your data, it’s important to consider the following:
- What message do I want these numbers to convey?
- Why is it important to my overall pitch?
- How does it impact investment potential?
Then, take that information and turn it into a visual story. Use impactful imagery (like charts, photos, etc.) to drive the point home.
People tend to have a hard time connecting with numbers and data. But if you can transform that data into a captivating story, forging that connection is going to be a whole lot easier.
One of the best ways to transform numbers and data into a story? Infographics. Transform your data into a story investors will connect to with one of Canva’s infographic templates, like the Retro Colors Costing Business Infographic or the Blue Minimalist Branding Infographic.
Use your branding throughout your pitch deck
Your pitch deck is your first opportunity to show off your brand to potential investors—so the entire presentation should be on-brand.
Use your brand color palette, fonts, logo, to create a unique, branded, one-of-a-kind pitch experience.
The more on-brand your presentation feels, the better sense your investors will get of who you are as a brand—and, if they connect to that, the more likely they are to invest.
If you want your pitch deck to feel on brand, you need to have all of your branding assets in place—including your logo. Get started with one of Canva’s logo templates, like the Beige Bear Children & Kids Logo or the Blue Square Icon Abstract Logo.
Instill a sense of urgency
A sense of urgency is a key part of the pitch process. At the end of your pitch deck, you need your investors to feel like they need to get in on your business idea, quickly.
Make sure that you’re instilling a sense of urgency (aka investor FOMO) on every slide and in every bullet point.
A well-designed pitch deck will help you inspire a serious case of FOMO in your investors. Get started with one of Canva’s presentation templates, like the Turquoise Photo Advertising Pitch Deck Presentation or the Green Round Hot Neons Gradients Pitch Deck Presentation.
Practice, practice, practice
If you want your pitch to bring in investor support, it needs to be well-thought-out and presented. And the way to get it on point? Practice.
The more you practice your pitch, the more clear the message will be. And the more likely it will be to connect with investors.
You need to schedule plenty of time to practice your presentation before pitching potential investors. And in order to make sure you stay on that schedule, you need a calendar. Get started with one of Canva’s calendar templates, like the Yellow and Gray Undated Weekly Calendar or the Colorful Quote Calendar.
Keep it short and simple
When you’re putting together your pitch deck, you might be tempted to include anything and everything you can about you, your company, and your business model. The more information you give investors, the more likely they’ll be to invest...right?
However, information overload is a surefire way to talk yourself out of investor dollars—so if you want your pitch deck to make a real impact, you need to keep it short, simple, and focus on the information that matters.
Your content plays a huge part in creating impactful pitch deck—but so does your design. Make sure your pitch makes an impact (and gets your business funded) with one of Canva’s presentation templates, like the Gold Grayscale Bigger Bolder Better Pitch Deck Presentation or the Red Pitch Deck Presentation.
Find your unique selling point
Most VCs and investors get lots of pitches. So, if you want your pitch to result in investment, you need to make sure you leave them with at least one thing they won’t forget.
Think about ways you can set yourself apart and make a real impact on investors:
- What sets you apart from your competitors?
- What unique features does your company offer?
- Why are customers more likely to choose what you’re offering?
From there, you can structure your talking points around these unique selling propositions.
You always want to leave potential investors with something to remember you by—and that includes a business card. Get started with one of Canva’s business card templates, like the Blue Orange Corporate Company Business Card or the Light Brown Furniture Interior Design Business Card.
You know your business has the potential to be a complete gamechanger—and the time has come to show that potential to investors. And now that you have these tips for presenting a persuasive pitch deck, you have everything you need to walk into that pitch meeting, show your investors what you’re made of, and walk out with the funding you need to take your business to the next level. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get pitching!