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  • Yasmin Asghari

Feedback for Pitch Decks: 5 common pitfalls to avoid

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

When pitching a business idea to investors, a well-structured and compelling pitch deck is crucial for success. However, it's essential to be aware of common pitfalls that can hinder investor engagement. In this blog post, we will explore five key issues often observed in pitch decks and offer guidance on how to avoid them. By addressing these pitfalls, entrepreneurs can maximize their chances of captivating investors and effectively conveying the value and potential of their ventures.

successful pitch deck
Successful Pitch Deck Sample

Issue 1: Starting with a Question

One common mistake in pitch decks is starting with a broad, open-ended question. While entrepreneurs may intend to grab the audience's attention, this approach can backfire. Such questions may fail to represent a genuine business opportunity or resonate with the audience. Instead of exciting investors, starting with a question can actually annoy them. It is crucial to establish a strong and clear value proposition from the beginning, highlighting the problem your venture solves and its unique solution. By avoiding the question-based opening and directly presenting the core value, entrepreneurs can set a solid foundation for their pitch and engage investors effectively.

Issue 2: Logo Slide with Unknown Companies

Including logos of small, local companies in your pitch deck can have unintended consequences. While it may be tempting to showcase a customer list, unfamiliar logos can create skepticism among investors.

They may question whether your customer base relies solely on personal connections or local relationships, raising doubts about scalability. On the other hand, highlighting recognizable logos from well-established companies, especially Fortune 500 firms, can impress investors and lend credibility to your venture. When selecting logos to display, be mindful of their significance and the message they convey. Focus on showcasing influential partnerships and clients that demonstrate the potential for growth and scalability.

Issue 3: Unusual Titles for Founding Team

In the pursuit of being perceived as cool and edgy, some startups assign unconventional titles to their founding team members. While this may seem creative, it can raise concerns among investors. Investors value clarity in job roles and responsibilities, as well as a well-defined organizational structure. Unusual titles may indicate a lack of agreement within the team regarding roles and responsibilities, potentially leading to internal conflicts. To establish investor confidence, stick to recognizable job titles such as CEO, CFO, CTO, and COO. Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of team members demonstrates professionalism, accountability, and a solid foundation for growth and success.

Issue 4: Excessive Video Demo

While it is important to demonstrate your product's capabilities during a pitch, spending excessive time on a video demo can be counterproductive. Investors attend pitches to evaluate the viability of your business, not solely to be dazzled by your product's features. Instead of relying heavily on a lengthy video, focus on discussing your customer acquisition strategy and market traction. Explain how your product meets market demand, outline your competitive advantage, and share key milestones achieved. By emphasizing your business strategy and traction, you provide investors with a deeper understanding of your venture's potential, while saving valuable pitch time for more meaningful interactions.

Issue 5: "Soft Commitments"

While it is beneficial to mention existing term sheets or investments during a pitch, be cautious about misleading investors with "soft commitments." Claiming commitments that are not concrete can waste investors' time and erode trust. Honesty is crucial in building strong investor relationships. If you have secured firm commitments or partially closed a funding round, be transparent and share the progress. However, avoid creating false impressions by inflating the significance of commitments that are not yet solidified. Investors value authenticity and reliability, so it is essential to provide accurate and realistic information regarding your current fundraising status.

In conclusion, a well-crafted pitch deck is essential for effectively conveying your venture's value and attracting investor interest.

By addressing these issues, you can focus on building a solid narrative, demonstrating scalability and market traction, and establishing trust with potential investors. Remember, an engaging and well-structured pitch deck significantly increases your chances of securing the investments necessary to propel your business forward.

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