Pitch decks are exactly what they sound like—prepared presentations that showcase your idea or startup in a positive light.
You should have at least two kinds of decks on standby, which can ultimately be edited and modified for almost any purpose and presentation that comes your way.
1. A "demo deck” for demo days. Demo decks are all about your product and how it works, why should the audience use it, and how exactly does it work.
2. An "investor deck” for those all-important meetings with founder. Your investor deck has to tell a compelling story and pitch your company in the best light. These typically encompass a lot from the demo deck, but are a lot more oriented toward getting funding through storytelling and potential.
Decks are an essential part of your fundraising and traction process. Having a deck doesn’t mean as much in the long run once you’ve gained enough traction and cash flow to continue growing, but in the beginning, your pitch decks can make or break the success of your company.
Having well-done and thoroughly practiced decks is useful in both in gaining users and pitching to potential investors—key points if you want to succeed in business.
The one thing we’ve found most difficult in deck building has been keeping our presentation visually appealing and concise. It’s hard to distill your months and years working on a project into 10 simple slides that convey both your company’s value and captivate your audience. If your deck is text-heavy, the people who are reading it will probably be distracted or bored.
Don’t spend too much time though making your deck perfect. If you’re making progress and growing as a business, your deck will always be changing.
As far as technology goes, have your decks online, on your computer, and on a flash drive. It’s also really helpful to have backups of your files in PDF format—this ensures you have something to work off of when technology doesn’t side with you for the day. Personally we’ve found using Keynote easier and more intuitive than PowerPoint, but go with what you’re most comfortable using.