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This article was published on September 21, 2014

    8 things you should never, ever include in a pitch deck

    8 things you should never, ever include in a pitch deck
    Scott Gerber
    Story by

    Scott Gerber

    Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

    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).

    Their best answers are below:

    Jason Grill1. 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.

    – Jason GrillJGrill Media | Sock 101 

    Jeff Mcgregor2. 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.

    – Jeff McGregorDash

    Andy Karuza3. 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.

    – Andy KaruzaBrandbuddee

    Wilson Owens4. 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.

    – Wilson Owens,Royalty Exchange

    Firas Kittaneh5. Guesstimations

    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.

    – Firas KittanehAmerisleep

    John Berkowtiz6. 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.

    – John BerkowitzYodle

    doreen-bloch7. 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.

    – Doreen BlochPoshly Inc.

    josh weiss8. “The End” Slide

    This just screams amateur all over it. – Josh WeissBluegala