04 – PITCH DECK SOLUTION SLIDE – 10 SLIDES TO VC FUNDING SUCCESS
4: Pitch Deck Solution Slide – 10 Slides to VC Funding Success
❏ Today in Part 4 of my series on 10 Slides to VC Funding Success, I’ll speak on 4: Pitch Deck Solution Slide – 10 Slides to VC Funding Success.
The Solution Slide is the fourth page of every successful VC Pitch Deck. After having discussed the Market slide, you should immediately launch into describing your Awesome Killer Solution. Your Solution is your key reason for being in front of an investor. If you don’t have a killer Solution, your company is never going to get funding.
What is the Solution? You will learn in this article the answer to this question and what is essential to show on your Pitch Deck Solution Slide.
One of my responsibilities as an Executive Coach is helping company founders with the creation of their Investor Pitch Deck. Throughout my career, I have created and reviewed many Investor Pitch Decks. Some of our team’s Investor Pitch decks, especially early in my startup career, upon reflection, were “horrible.”
Sometimes our teams were successful in raising monies from investors. Many times they were not.
I never thought that the content and presentation style of the investor pitch deck might be hurting us. Boy, was I ever wrong! By working with many investors, I’ve learned what they want in an Investor Pitch Deck. In my last company, we raised $87M over rounds A, B, and C.
So in this series and an upcoming book, I look to share my hard-learned lessons from 20+ years of being an Entrepreneur.
The Investor Pitch Deck Series:
In this series you will learn the order and the importance of each of the following Pitch Deck Slides:
This 10-part series covers the ideal content, order, and flow of the ten Investor Pitch Deck Slides. You’ll have learned how to craft your story into a successful ten-page Investor Pitch Deck that can get you funded!
When an Entrepreneur is putting together their Investor Pitch Deck, they usually assemble a hoard of information. Sadly, often what they construct is a “book” that is 20, 30, even as much as 80 pages in length! Most of us humans have a very short attention span. Even ad networks know that most ads longer than 30 seconds in length don’t work with consumers. For Investors, the successful length of an Investor Pitch Deck is about ten pages and 7-15 minutes in presentation length.
Pitch Deck Solution Slide – Why Important?
Last week in 3: Pitch Deck Market Slide – 10 Slides to VC Funding Success, I spoke about the Market slide and its importance. This week I’m speaking to the Pitch Deck Solution Slide, the fourth page of every presentation and its importance. After having discussed the Market slide, you should immediately launch into describing your Awesome Killer Solution.
Why? First, you’ve whetted your audience’s appetite with the size of the Market for the Problem you are going after. Their brain is now poised to hear your Solution. It’s time to spring it upon them!
If you’ve followed this series, and your investor’s in your Market space, they’ll be on the edge of their seats!
Pitch Deck Solution Slide – Content
What you present here will depend on whether what you have is a “Soft” or “Hard” good! By “soft” good, I’m referring to a “service” that you are providing. By “hard” good I’m referring to a physical “product” that you will be selling. If you’re selling a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solution, this is a “Soft” good. If you’re selling a machine that converts $2 wine into $20 tasting wine, that is a “Hard” good product. A “Hard” good ideally has a “SaaS “soft” good service associated with it, but more on that later.
Your Solution Slide should convey to your audience a clear image or your “soft” goods service or “hard” goods product. For “soft” goods, like SaaS, a key screenshot of your app or web page will work. For “hard” products, like the $2 wine to $20 wine example, a high-resolution, full-color image must be used. If you used a Kick Starter program to build it, used an image from that package that you created.
The text you should add to this killer image is simple. It should be bullets, stating the Big Solution’s advantages (NO SENTENCES!). That’s it! See the picture associated with this article to see a great example.
Pitch Deck Solution Slide – What’s Your Story?
So, what do you say while your Solution Slide is visible? Think back to the Problem slide. Your “Solution” slide verbal points should address every Problem point. If your investor audience asked you a question again on your Problem slide, you must answer this question also.
You should target to spend about twice the amount of time on this slide as compared to previous slides. If a “hard” good, the “Look” will be key to the “sell.” Do you have an Apple-like look? Does it have an Apple-like price? If you have a “hard” good, now is when you “unveil” it. If small enough to sit on the table, have a high-quality cloth material covering it. I like royal blue, but if an “eco-theme” product, you might want a forest green. “Do Not” pass the product around at this time. If you do, you’ve lost your audience. Once you’ve unveiled, a pregnant pause, followed by pointing out the key problems that your “Solution” has solved.
If your Solution is a “Soft” good, such as a SaaS, your words will have to tell the story. Point out how elegantly you SaaS solution solves the Problem that your Competitor does not. Ideally, the background or embedded image on the page helps you tell this part of your story. “Do Not” fire up a web browser in an attempt to give a “short demo.” Doing so is a sure recipe for failure. Networks fail. Doing this will blow your time budget. A delay of even a few seconds for a page load will allow your investor’s mind to wander. You’ve lost all your momentum! After slide 10, you can always give a demo if the investor is interested and conditions allow.
Presentation: We Can Read or Listen – Not Both!
Most of us humans can either “Read” or “Listen,” but cannot do both at the same time. Your Pitch Deck slide presentation exists to support “the story” you are going to be telling your audience. Does your Investor Pitch Deck has a lot of words, charts with numbers, or distracting images? Then your audience is going to switch their brain into “reading mode” and out of “listening mode.” As soon as that happens, you’ve lost your audience and will struggle to get them back to listening to YOU! To avoid this, use mostly images and as few words as possible, usually in bullet form. So absolutely, positively NO SENTENCES!
So, I suspect many of you were surprised concerning the importance of the Solution Slide. If you’re starting you create your first investor presentation, congratulations! You’re going to be starting off on the right foot if you follow my recommendations above. Go back and look at your Solution slide and apply what you’ve learned above. If possible, you should wait to read the remainder of the series before you present again. I can almost promise you a better reaction from your audience.
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“Angel Investors to Venture Capital –
10 Slides to Startup Funding Success –
Entrepreneurs Guide to Startup Fundraising”
Learn the 10 slides you need to create in order to have a great shot at raising venture capital from venture capitalists!
I’ll walk you, slide by slide, how to create content that will attract top venture capitalists to fund your idea, just like I raised over $100M dollars in Silicon Valley for my startups.
I cover every slide in great detail, including not just the words and content, but even font colors, fonts, font sizes, images – all the details to give you the best shot possible!