You have perfected your pitch and are feeling confident. But before you step into that big meeting, there are a few common stumbling blocks you should be aware of.
We asked eight YEC what you should never, ever include on those slides (no matter how tempting).
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Their best answers are below:
1. Bells and Whistles
Including too much information in your pitch deck is counterproductive. Hit the major points in a clear way.
Keep your deck clean and simple: no more than 10-20 slides. Too many bells, whistles, graphics and diagrams will look like overcompensation to the investor.
2. Contact Information
If you didn’t already have a warm introduction to this investor via email or phone, then why are you in front of them? Remove your contact information, as well as your corporate lawyer’s contact info. If they need to know where to send a term sheet, they will ask.
3. A Point They Can Object To
You should thoroughly review your deck to make sure there aren’t any points that they can raise objections about. They say in investing, if you can remove all objections, then there is no reason not to invest.
If you have just one point that receives an objection with no clear answer to that objection, you will likely lose the pitch. It’s better just to remove that point.
4. Fund Allocation
While this will most likely come up at some point (if the investors show enough interest), don’t include budget allocation in the deck. They will pose way too many questions/opinions about their money, and it will completely break up the flow of your pitch.
Investors love confidence, but they know when they’re being taken for a ride. Never suggest something that’s not supported by data.
A guesstimate offers angels and venture capitalists little to work with and opens you up to a world of ridicule. Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to defend a guesstimate. Instead, offer information confirmed by various sources. You’ll be best prepared for the presentation.
6. Exaggerated Predictions for Success
You need to show that you have a good handle on the market and have set achievable benchmarks and goals. You should be optimistic and excited about the potential of your idea, but you don’t want to come off as a dreamer without focus.
7. No Mention of Competition
A rookie error in a startup pitch deck is to omit a slide about competition or to claim that you have no competitors. Investors want to see a healthy competitive landscape for the companies they invest in. It guarantees that there is a robust market for the startup.
Also, an in-depth competitive analysis shows that the startup team understands the market and the competitive advantages that will be required to win in the industry.