Do you need to use a pitch deck for your presentation?
Pitch decks have exploded in use alongside the startup boom in recent years. You'll most often find pitch decks from startups and small businesses seeking to gain support from investors. If you're starting a company or business and need support from others, this format is commonly expected in meetings.
In this tutorial, I'm going to teach you to use PowerPoint templates to rapidly build a winning pitch deck. You'll learn more about the right deck format for a pitch presentation PPT and use a pre-built theme to speed up the process. We'll start by answering the question: what is a pitch deck?
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Now, let's look at how to make winning pitch decks:
What Is a Pitch Deck?
The term "pitch deck" can mean a variety of things. Most often, the idea is that the pitch will lead to investment in your company in exchange for a piece of it. But, that's not the only time that you can use the pitch deck format.
In general, think of a pitch deck as inspiring action for your business. You could be pitching for new business, investment in your company, or even new employees to come on board. The point is that you share the vision you've got for what you do with the audience and inspire them to join you.
Learn more about presentation pitch PPTs and slide decks:
How to Structure Your Pitch Deck (Make it Awesome)
Sequence and structure matter. Tell the punchline for a joke at the beginning of the tale, and you're bound to lose your audience's attention.
The same is true for a pitch deck. If you show data too soon, your audience might not understand the "why" for your new concept. Learning how to make a pitch presentation is easier when you spend time on the presentation's structure.
Here's a tried-and-true structure to remember as you learn how to make a pitch presentation PowerPoint:
- Grab your audience's attention. It's not always easy, but you've got to find a way to establish attention and excitement. Tell the story of an existing customer and the problem you solved, for example. This sets the tone for all future points.
- Describe the problem. What problem does your company solve? Pitching PowerPoint presentations are all about showing that you've found a problem that needs your help.
- Explain the market. How widespread is the problem you seek to solve? Investors need to understand the "total addressable market," or the potential number of customers you might seek to serve.
- Describe the solution. Whether it's an app, storefront, or new product, the bulk of your presentation should focus on your solution. That helps investors imagine throwing support at your company and being a part of the growth story.
- Make an ask. Whether that's funding or a recruiting pitch for new teammates, most pitch presentations result in asking for the support you need to grow.
Each of these key steps might include multiple slides to drive the point home. But it's crucial to follow these principles so that your pitch doesn't wander through multiple ideas and steps.
5 Visual Design Tips (For Better Pitch Decks)
Building your next business pitch PowerPoint doesn't have to be so daunting! With a few key tips, you can remove the anxiety from designing slides and refocus your energy on the pitch deck's content. Cut down on the design work and get prepared for your big pitch.
Let's look at five of my favorite tips that'll help you build great-looking pitch decks in less time than ever before:
1. Outsource the Design Work
If there's only one tip you remember from this article, make it this one: use a business pitch template to skip far ahead in the design process.
There's nothing wrong with turning over the design work to others. Using a pre-built business pitch PowerPoint template doesn't exclude you from adding customization and design elements that bring your idea to life.
The round-up below has options (free and premium) to take great pitch decks and make them your own:
2. Use Infographics to Illustrate Key Processes
An infographic is a visual that helps you show off processes or key data. It breaks from traditional charts like line graphs or bar charts with more custom visuals that explain a concept.
Take, for example, the slide below. You could just as easily show market sizes with bullets on a slide. But with these overlapping circles, you have room to explain the size of a market in an intuitive format.
Use an infographic to explain the steps in your business or how the parts of your company fit together. Check out infographic elements and chain them together to jazz up a presentation.
3. Add a SWOT Slide for Visual Strategies
One of my favorite visuals for a pitch deck is a SWOT slide. This type of analysis includes highlighting your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Use pitching PowerPoint slides to show all four.
When you're giving a pitch, you want the potential employer or investor to know that you've considered the challenges that lie ahead. It's also important that they know that you understand your strengths. That's why including a SWOT is a great visual for your next presentation.
Learn how to build an excellent SWOT slide that you can include in your presentation in the tutorial below:
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make SWOT Analysis PowerPoint Slides With PPT TemplatesAndrew Childress
4. Fewer Elements Lead to More Attention
I love PowerPoint as a tool to build exciting pitch decks. But the key to making them noticeable to an audience is to strip out the elements that aren't the focus of your slide.
It feels like a bit of a shortcut but try removing any element on your slide that isn't crucial to understanding. Convert a few visuals to speaking points and ease the visual burden of your slide.
Learning how to make a pitch deck sometimes means doing less. You don't have to explain all the details of every part of your business. Slim down your slides, focus on the big picture, and pitching in PowerPoint is easier.
5. Tell Stories with Data
Here's another recommendation for pitch presentation PowerPoints. Use data to tell stories about your business. Big tables of data or statistics will quickly cause most audience members to glaze over!
Luckily, many sets of data convert beautifully to charts. Taking numbers and statistics and putting them in a chart or graph will drive the message to your audience and create an understanding.
If you want to know how to make a pitch presentation that wins support, remember the importance of data. Use the tutorial below to craft visual showcases of your data for your next pitch deck:
5 Pitch Decks (Example PPTs) in Action
There are plenty of successful investor-ready pitch decks that have helped launch companies by making a strong impression. As you learn how to make a pitch presentation PowerPoint, follow great examples!
Let's see some of the top pitch decks (example PowerPoint PPT presentations) used by companies for a pivotal round of fundraising and investor support. These sample pitch deck PPTs show you the way to create one of your own:
Known as AirBed&Breakfast at the time, this pitch deck is an early look at how Airbnb became one of the leading ways to book accommodations. Let's take a look at the Airbnb pitch deck:
One thing I love about this deck is that the idea is summed up in one sentence on the opening slide: "Book rooms with locals, rather than hotels." The simplicity of this pitch deck sample PPT shows why minimalism wins.
This deck does a great job sizing the opportunity that exists in the rental market by showing how many trips are booked. It also shows the competitive advantages that exist for Airbnb, illustrating why they're worth and investment.
Mint is one of the most popular personal finance and budgeting tools, and it's easy to see that the vision was crafted early on in this pitch deck. Here's Mint's pitch deck:
The strongest part of this deck is illustrating how Mint differs from other tools (slide 6.) Compared to other tools, Mint offered a unique feature set that no other single tool could offer.
You might not have heard of Mixpanel, but it's carved a cornerstone in the analytics race like few other companies. Let's examine the slide deck from Mixpanel:
Not only does this pitch presentation PPT deck show past accomplishments, it also has a very clear goal for where the company is going. Investors can easily see how their capital will be deployed to grow Mixpanel.
Canvas (now called GoCanvas) really nails one of the key principles for creating a pitch presentation: showing the total market. This company's purpose is to help other companies transition to a paperless workplace.
Here are the top slides that Canvas has used in a pitch deck sample PPT to raise over $9 million.
Everyone can relate to having too many printed documents. Investors are sure to salivate when they see the market size that exists for a company.
Learning how to navigate search engine optimization (SEO) is a multi-billion opportunity. Truly, where a website ranks has a major impact on the success of a business.
That's why SEOMoz has such a compelling business case. With the help of the slides you see below, they frame themselves as an authoritative voice. That helps build credibility in not only the market size but in this specific solution.
See even more examples of startup pitch decks below:
Now that we've look at some great pitch deck examples PPTs, it's time to walk through how to create your own.
How to Build a Great Pitch Deck (Quickly)
In this tutorial, we're going to use the impressive Pitch Werk theme to build out a pitch deck. Grab this PPT presentation design as part of a subscription to Envato Elements. It gives you many professional slide designs that'll help you make your startup business pitch PowerPoint presentation deck fast!
When you subscribe to Elements, you get access to over 400,000 creative assets as part of one low cost subscription. This includes over 750 different PowerPoint templates that you can use as a major head start over designing from scratch. Discover more great PowerPoint pitch deck template designs:
- Microsoft PowerPoint30 Best Pitch Deck Templates: For Business Plan PowerPoint PresentationsSean Hodge
A pre-built theme offers many advantages. If you're a startup preparing for an upcoming pitch, it's likely that time is in short supply. Using a theme allows you to start with a basic template and swap in your own content.
Using the startup PowerPoint template Pitch Werk, we're going to build out a sample pitch presentation PPT deck for a fictitious business. Let's create a classic pitch deck style presentation to ask for funding from potential investors. We'll take existing slides and rework them for our own purposes.
1. Introduce the Team
It's often said that investors don't invest in ideas, they invest in teams. Reviewing the credentials and accolades of your team will build confidence in your abilities. So put your best foot forward by using one of the free team PowerPoint templates from Envato Elements.
Many investors believe that if you put the right team around an idea, creative solutions will arise. It makes sense to start off by introducing the team that you've put together to work on your product.
For this slide, I really like slide 19. Each one of these boxes could be used to list a team member and their role at the company.
In my sample pitch deck, I decided to use the top boxes for employee photos and the bottom box to share more about them. In the screenshot below, check out how I simply removed the image placeholders and used those spaces for team descriptions.
When you use a startup pitch PowerPoint presentation template like Pitch Werk, remember that you can customize each starter slide. It doesn't matter if there's no "Team" slide built in. Find something with the placeholder boxes you need and drop in your own content.
Another pitch deck template PowerPoint slide choice: slide 30 has a more traditional approach to listing team members.
2. Describe the Problem That Exists
Even the savviest investors don't know every market opportunity that may exist for a new business. Part of a well-constructed pitch deck consists of making the audience aware of the problem at hand.
If you've got data and statistics about the size of the market that your business will be in, feel free to share those statistics. When companies are valued and opportunities are scoped, it helps investors to understand what size market that this potentially services.
Slide 14 is a great choice for this purpose. With concentric (overlapping) circles, you can describe the various markets or niches for the problem at hand. Use the circles to describe the size of the market (potential revenue) that you may be able to garner.
More important than describing the problem: shape it as an opportunity. Opportunities are how you create new businesses. When investors or potential advisers see that there's a legitimate need for what your company will offer, they'll be more inclined to get on board.
Another slide choice: slide 15 is a similar "opportunity sizing" approach, but with a different presentation.
3. Offer a Solution
So, you've set the stage for the problem that currently exists that your team is working on. By now, the potential investors should have an idea of both the problem that exists, and why it's a compelling area for a company to solve.
Now, it's time to offer up a solution. For your idea to be a compelling business, you've got to find the intersection of opportunity and possible tools to bridge the opportunity.
When you propose a solution, there are really two key parts that people need to see:
- How you're different. Solutions have been attempted for practically every problem, but that doesn't mean they worked. Why will your solution to the problem work if others have failed?
- Why you're the right team to do it. What makes your team different? If those teams have already failed at solving a problem, why is the team that you've assembled more fit to solve it than those in the past?
Both points are key reasons when investors or potential employees are deciding to back your mission and vision. When it comes to slide design, we really could use many of the slides that are built into Pitch Werk.
Let's use slide 85 for this purpose, since we're showing off an app that provides a solution. I'll simply drop in a preview image and update the points to match the goal.
Another slide choice: slide 90 is a more minimalist choice for showcasing your product.
4. Offer the How
If you're raising funds, investors are betting on your solution to a problem. If you've defined the problem and the solution, they're likely interested in the mechanics of how you'll accomplish the solution.
In this slide, it's time to pull back the curtain a bit and share at least some of the upcoming plans for how you'll accomplish the goal.
For slides like this, I recommend slide 24 in Pitch Werk as the best way to show the path that your company is taking. Each of the steps could describe a milestone that you've already accomplished. You could also use several of the points on the timeline to show potential future objectives you have.
In my case, I'm going to show several key milestones in my product development. Each of these provides a clear vision of how the problem is solved through your product.
Another slide choice: slide 25 is similar but a more minimalist choice to presenting a timeline. It's one of the quick slides to use from this startup pitch deck template PPT.
5. Ask for Action
Why give a pitch if you aren't asking for action from the attendees? At the end of the presentation, it's time to ask for what you need to succeed.
Whether this is funding, advisory services, or a potential partner in the business, you need a slide that makes your intentions clear. Your audience can't possibly help you meet your goals if they don't know what they are.
For this pitch presentation PPT deck, let's use slide 10 as the starting point for our action slide. It's a simple and clean slide that includes placeholders for images as needed.
You could use this slide and list the details of the status of your current fundraising round. In many pitch decks, this is ultimately the goal. Asking for funding in exchange for a share of the company. In most startup fundraising events, investors pool money to fund the company. So, it may help to show other investors that are already on board.
If you're asking for advice or board members for your company, tweak the design accordingly. You could offer bulleted reasons of why your company is worth helping and what you offer in return.
Another excellent slide choice: slide 57 has a circle chart. It's great if you want a more data-driven close to your pitch presentation PPT.
In the example slide decks I shared earlier; you can see that there are plenty of other slides you can include a pitch deck. There's nothing stopping you from building in more detail, but these five slides are crucial to success.
If Pitch Werk isn't your style, don't hesitate to spend time checking out some other PowerPoint templates on Envato Elements. Or browse through trending PPT themes available on Envato Market. There are a variety of startup business pitch PowerPoint styles and trending presentation designs that would work great for practically any purpose.
- Microsoft PowerPoint30 Best Pitch Deck Templates: For Business Plan PowerPoint PresentationsSean Hodge
- Microsoft PowerPoint34 Best PowerPoint PPT Template Designs (For 2021 Presentations)Sean Hodge
6. Learn More With Our Presentation eBook
Find out more information about creating a presentation in our new eBook on making great presentations. Grab this PDF Download now for FREE with your subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter:
It'll help you master the presentation process, from initial creative ideas, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.
Learn More About Making Great Pitch Decks & Using PowerPoint
A successful pitch deck builds confidence and increases your chance of getting backed. Using the tips and themes I shared in this tutorial, follow the simple framework for creating a professional startup pitch deck in PowerPoint. Here are two more ways to learn more about creating pitch decks in PowerPoint:
1. Complete Course: How to Make a Winning Pitch Deck With Microsoft PowerPoint
Recently, we launched a feature-length course that'll walk you through the process of building a winning pitch deck. This course has a complete case study that takes you through the process of creating a PowerPoint pitch deck.
This course is included as a part of Envato Elements, the all-you-can-download subscription service for creatives. Use this service to grab a template for your pitch deck, then take the course for a single flat rate.
Check out the How to Make a Winning Pitch Deck with Microsoft PowerPoint course below:
2. Learn More About PPT Presentations With Other Tuts+ Resources
Want to learn more general tips for building a presentation? At Tuts+, we've been building up a library of PowerPoint tools that can help you conquer your fears of giving a presentation. One resource you should definitely check out is the Ultimate Guide to the Best PPT. It's a comprehensive roundup of the best PowerPoint content we have.
For an even more tailored resource to learn how to make a pitch presentation PowerPoint, we have you covered. Check out How to Make Great Pitch Decks (Startup Presentation Guide.) It's totally comprehensive.
Also, check out the following tutorials to learn more about how to create a presentation that you'll feel confident about:
- FinanceHow to Craft a VC-Ready Pitch DeckEddie Earnest
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to End Your PowerPoint Presentation With a Strong Close (In 2020)Andrew Childress
- Microsoft PowerPoint25 PowerPoint Presentation Tips To Make Good PPT Slides in 2021 (+ Expert Tips)Andrew Childress
Discover More Great PowerPoint Template Designs
In this tutorial, we tackled how to make a pitch deck presentation in PowerPoint. It's a skill that every aspiring entrepreneur needs as they prepare to launch their company to success.
Luckily, there are many more pitch deck sample PPT templates on the horizon! Check out our articles that show you pitching PowerPoint skills below:
- Microsoft PowerPoint30 Best Pitch Deck Templates: For Business Plan PowerPoint PresentationsSean Hodge
- Presentations29 Creative PowerPoint Templates: PPT Slides to Present Innovative Ideas (2020)Sean Hodge
- Pitching22 Best Free PowerPoint Pitch Deck Templates (Startup PPT Downloads 2020)Andrew Childress
Build a PowerPoint Pitch Deck Today With Templates
As we wrap up this article, I hope you've found the confidence you need to launch your next venture. Packaging it together in a business pitch PowerPoint template is the way that you can find funding and support to get your idea off the ground.
Remember, you can use a business pitch template to save hours of design work. Jump over to Envato Elements now to start building your pitch deck. You'll find that these templates have all the ideas and blueprints you need to succeed with your big pitch.
Editorial Note: This post was originally published in January of 2018. It's been revised to make it current, accurate, and up to date by our staff.
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