Designing the Perfect Pitch Deck

If you are looking to start a mortgage fund and decided it’s time to begin raising capital, a good pitch deck is critical for introducing your business to potential investors. 

Some pitch deck preparers like to go heavy on the details, but this approach may overwhelm potential investors with too much of the minutia.  It’s better to strike a more balanced approach, between just enough information to get potential funders interested, without bombarding them with operational details.

Here, we provide some pointers on how to design a pitch deck that pops yet is focused on delivering only concise and succinct answers to a fund manager’s most critical questions.

1.    Choose a Visually Appealing Template or Theme

You can design your pitch deck from scratch or utilize a template, but keep in mind that you’ll want to use colors and designs which are appealing to the eye and consistent with your brand.  Your slides should be uniform in color and layout, while taking a modest approach with the use of images.  Headers and footers should match on each page to project an overall consistent appearance.

In most cases, you can use a simple PowerPoint template to start with and improve upon some of the elements to fit your tastes or brand.  The best option is to use darker text on a light-colored background.

2.    Incorporate Your Branding

Not all startups have an established brand, however, you should at least have a simple brand conceptualized with which you can build around.  Before you start your pitch deck, make sure to have a ready-made logo or wordmark and a color scheme that you can use to represent your company.  Also, create a list of keywords that best describes or promotes your business.

Keep your color scheme and branding consistent throughout your pitch deck.  A consistent style guide will help keep your business and branding consistent as you grow and expand. These design elements could leave a lasting impression on the viewers of your deck and stick with people during future conversations.

3.    Use Professional Images

As you’re putting your deck together, spend some time creating a portfolio of professional images of your team members, funded deals, or products and services.  Images resonate with readers, and prospective investors want to see real photos of your business rather than stock photos downloaded from the Internet.  The right image will stay fresh in a person’s memory long after they’ve forgotten about the text they may have read.

4.    Include Charts and Graphs

Many times, business owners feel the urge to provide a bevy of numbers in their pitch decks.  However, providing too much data can result in the reader being turned off by having to calculate your business performance.

Instead of drowning your readers with statistics, offer visually appealing charts and graphs that simplify the data and provide prospective investors with an easy way to see and digest the information you’re presenting.

5.    Picking Icon Sets

Using small icon illustrations is an excellent way to organize complex ideas and provide flow throughout your entire presentation.  Choose an icon set that matches your theme and palette, use them to create groups of data, or break up copy to give your slide a more detailed appearance.

6.    Use Tiled Layouts

When you have large chunks of complex information to include, break it down with tiled layouts.  Tiled layouts can help organize the information and minimize to be easy to read portions. They can also be categorized by color blocks, which separate them into different locations within the slide.  

7.    Use Professional Headshots

When including photos of your team members, use professional headshots wherever possible.  Investing the extra time and expense to obtain professional photographs will help you remain consistent throughout your pitch deck and represent your brand well.

Some companies choose to use cameo-style shots instead of the “mugshot” variety to add a little personality to their presentation.  Before creating these headshots, think about the type of investor you are pursuing. Tailor the photographs around those you believe would appeal to that group of investors.

8.    Choose Consistent Typeface

It is essential to choose your typeface hierarchy and establish it throughout your pitch deck.  Different components such as titles, headings, subheadings, body text, and header and footer text should be set within your document and remain consistent throughout.

9.    Use Contrasting Elements

While remaining consistent is recommended, use contrast against a variety of backgrounds or other elements.  This technique will make it easier for the reader to view when printed or projected.  You should always balance your design between readability and functionality.

10.    Get Creative

There will be some slides that will need to be content heavy, which may include an abundance of information or text.  Some of these heavy-data slides can become somewhat overwhelming for the reader to comprehend.  Instead of just dumping significant chunks of data onto a slide, consider using graphics or timetable formatting to break it up into more easily discernable information.

As you create your pitch deck, place yourself in the shoes of the investors you hope to reach.  Remember to keep your business goals in mind, while directing potential investor’s attention to the essential aspects of your company and business model that add the most value to the investment.

A professionally designed, well packaged, and easy-to-understand presentation will ensure that your deck reads well, is visually appealing, and focuses the potential investor’s interest in the opportunity and not on the appearance of the presentation. If you are looking for help creating or redesigning your pitch deck, Geraci Media would love to be a resource for you.

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