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How to Make Winning Pitch Decks (With PowerPoint Templates)

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This post is part of a series called How to Make Great Pitch Decks (Startup Presentation Guide).
20 Best Keynote Pitch Deck Templates (Business Plan Presentation Designs)
20 Best Startup Pitch Deck Examples: Famous in Tech (For 2019)

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. 

PowerPoint Pitch Startup Deck

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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Before you read on, be sure to grab our free eBook:  The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It will help you master the presentation process, from: initial idea, through to writing, design, and delivering with impact.

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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: 

5 Visual Design Tips (For Better Pitch Decks)

Building your next business pitch 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 take a 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 template doesn't exclude you from adding all of the 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 the 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.

Steart presentation
Use an infographic from a template like Steart to show off key ideas in audience-friendly formats.

An infographic could be used 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. 

When you're giving a pitch, you want the potential employeer 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:

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.

Fewer Elements Slide
A great example of a minimal slide is Pitch Werk, which eschews many bullets or visuals for a simple, impactful punchline.

5. Tell Stories with Data

Rounding out my selection of recommendations for pitch presentations, I think it's important to 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 ultimately drive the message to your audience and create an understanding.

Use the tutorial below to craft visual showcases of your data for your next pitch deck:

3 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. 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.

1. Airbnb

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."

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 worthy of investment.

2. Mint

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 accomplish.

3. Mixpanel

You might not have heard of Mixpanel, but it has 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. 

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. You can grab this PPT presentation design as part of a subscription to Envato Elements. It gives you a number of professional slide designs that will help you make your startup pitch PowerPoint presentation deck fast!

Pitch Werk PPT Template
In this tutorial, we're going to use the Pitch Work template from Elements to create a startup pitch deck.

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

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.

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.

19-Before sample pitch deck slide
The starting point for this pitch deck slide features six placeholder boxes to introduce a team.

In my sample pitch deck, I actually 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.

19 after sample pitch deck slide
I've added my own images and text to take the place of several boxes and introduce the team.

When you use a startup pitch PowerPoint presentation template like Pitch Werk, you've got to keep in mind that each starter slide can be easily customized. It doesn't matter if there's no "Team" slide built-in; simply 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.

14 before sample pitch deck slide
You can use pitch deck slide design 14 to size the problem that you're out to solve.

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 of these 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.

85 sample pitch deck slide
Pitch PPT Deck: Slide 85 allows you to include an image with your solution points.

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.

Finwiz Story So far
This app timeline shows the progress that my app and company are making, and that we've arrived 

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 multiple images as needed.

Slide 10 Before View
This clean and simple pitch deck slide includes placeholders for more than one image.

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, multiple investors will 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 pitch PowerPoint styles and trending presentation designs that would work great for practically any purpose.

6. Learn More With Our Presentation eBook

You can also find 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:

Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations

It will 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. You can 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, a comprehensive roundup of the best PowerPoint content we have.

Also, check out the following tutorials to learn more about how to create a presentation that you'll feel confident about:

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 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 of the ideas and blueprints you need to succeed with your big pitch.

Editorial Note: This post was originally published in January of 2018. It has been revised to make it current, accurate, and up to date by our staff.

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