In reality, many of the famous startups from the past two decades or so have had great success by building focused, concise and simple pitchdecks. In this post we will break down one such example, Airbnb.
As a general rule, your presentation should follow the following ratios: 10/20/30.
The amount of slides you should aim to cap your deck to. Any more than ten will most likely result in a lack of clarity and focus. There’s a reason that Jeff Bezos banned Powerpoint presentations - they aren’t the most efficient way to convey information. (Bonus points if you send a more engaging, pre-recorded accompanying version of the presentation using mmhmm or Loom).
The amount of minutes your presentation should last (or less). Most VC or Investor meetings will be around 30-60 minutes in length. You should definitely try to leave good time for engaging discussion and Q&A’s. From my experience, anything over 15 minutes is generally too long.
The smallest font you should use in your deck. Anything smaller than this, and you will distract the reader - most likely resulting in them getting bogged down in information and unengaged with your content. They need to understand who you are, what the problem you are solving is and why your solution is best.
With these core rules in mind, you should also look to include the following elements in your pre-seed and seed pitch deck.
10 things every pitch deck should include (and AirBnb’s example):
Why are you raising this round of funding, and how will you use the capital to grow/achieve your goals?
Each of these points should take no more than 1 slide, and be sent over to an investor prior to your meeting.
You can include additional items in an Appendix, but aim to present the first 10. Present enough to get them excited, but leave enough information off the table so that the investors will engage and ask you questions to find out more.