How to Build a Killer Pitch Deck for Investors

Venture capitalists and angel investors love great business ideas and investment opportunities.

In fact, some industries are seeing investments rise by nearly 170%, according to reports from Statista*.

If you’re solving a key problem and have a mission that aligns with investor interests, all that’s left is sweetening the deal for them.

That’s why you need a killer pitch deck.

Whether you’re about to launch your startup or grow your existing company, the right pitch deck can help you nurture aligned investors to conversion.

Let’s look at how to build an impactful pitch deck that helps you reach your investment goals.

Create Target Investor Personas

You may feel tempted to passionately reveal your elevator pitch to any investor you come across, but doing so can harm your credibility.

It can also drain your time and resources.

Why?

Not every investor is a good fit for your mission or growth plan. Some may not have experience in your industry — and others may have reservations about your vision.

Instead of speaking to everyone, create investor personas to help you focus your outreach approach.

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When considering prospective investors, start with your end goal.

Why do you need an investor?

For instance, is Walmart interested in sending you major orders — but you don’t have the funds to invest in proper equipment or inventory?

Do you want to expand your online wellness products to in-person, retail, or worldwide?

What kind of support do you need?

Solely financial support?

Or do you need someone to play an advisory role, too? What about marketing and process help?

Answering these questions can help you pinpoint the right prospective investors.

For instance, if you want to expand from domestic to global, you may need seasoned investors to provide substantial capital and expertise to help you reach your goals.

In this case, you’d need to create an investor persona targeting venture capital and private equity firms.

If you’re opening a brand new company, have decent growth goals, and need mentorship from successful entrepreneurs, consider creating an angel investor persona.

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If you need a whole team to support your end goal — consider creating an investment house persona. This option provides funding, advice, and in-house talent to help you reach your goals.

For instance, the team can help you market, create sales funnels, code, and anything else you may need.

It’s also crucial to consider your industry.

If you’re starting an eco-friendly business, working with oil investors doesn’t align.

If you’re expanding a real estate business, working with a QVC sales expert doesn’t align, either.

Next, summarize what a “key partnership” means to you. Include your objective and target market. Keep this short and sweet so you can easily remember it and mention it during pitch meetings.

Follow this prompt:

  • “An ideal partner for (your company name) is ____________”
  • “Our end goal: ____________”
  • “Our target customer: ____________”

For instance:

An ideal partner for Lighthause.io is someone passionate about helping people with disabilities succeed in the business world. The right partner would provide capital, expert advice, and in-house resources.”

Our end goal: Book 20% more annual subscriptions for our enterprise-level plan to our EdTech solutions.”

Our target customer: Enterprises that hire employees with disabilities.”

After understanding your target investor, conduct research in line with your personas. Work with a sales outreach expert to help you land meetings with aligned people and teams.

Consider applying for grants, too, if you meet the qualifications.

Have the outreach specialist provide summaries that outline each investor you’re meeting with so you can tailor your pitch approach.

While most of your pitch will remain the same, consider adjusting specific details in your presentation per meeting, such as:

  • Listing specific reasons why the investor in front of you should care and invest
  • Drawing on any previous businesses that the investor supported
  • Addressing the investor by their name or company

Finally, it’s time to create a compelling pitch deck.

Here’s how.

Create a Captivating Brand Story

Immediately captivate potential investors by telling your brand story.

How did you get here? What motivated you to create your business? What did your business journey look like?

Keep investors interested by drawing on emotion.

For instance:

 Sparking anger can foster intrinsic motivation and urgency to help your cause.

Sharing a devastating experience can bring out deep empathy and understanding.

And breaking down your official “aha” moment can intrigue investors to help you solve problems with your unique solution.

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Whatever you do, don’t tell inspirational stories just to get a rise out of someone.

The objective is sharing your authentic truth — the passion and zeal that brought you to where you are today.

So think about it: what stirred you up inside? What kept you up at night? What consistently propelled you to bring your vision to life?

That’s where your storytelling magic lies.

Outline Your Purpose and Impact

Your potential investor knows how you got here. Now, they need to know where you’re going.

Use clear and simple language to describe your business mission, long-term vision, and initial objective.

For instance, your mission may be to solve the mental health crisis in the US.

Your long-term vision could be to create a mental fitness program for nationwide schools and organizations. Your initial objective could be to invest in EdTech solutions to create a robust mental health curriculum.

Use this time to drill down on the impact you hope to make.

In this case, you want to help individuals have sound mental health. By sharing your program with schools, you’re hoping youth in the US will have the tools they need to grow into healthy adults.

By sharing your curriculum with organizations, you’re hoping employees and business leaders will have the tools they need to feel mentally well at work and home.

To convey how important your solution is, use data to reflect the mental health crisis you’re looking to solve. Research mental health stats, such as suicide, drop-out, and employee burnout rates. Try to include insights reflecting how mental fitness programs improve these rates.

Next …

Nail Your Competitive Edge

Present your competitive landscape — and how your business model stands out.

Who are your top competitors? What are they selling? How successful are they?

Why are your products or solutions better than theirs? Why is your plan more promising?

To help crystalize your market advantage, include a value proposition and a competitive edge declaration.

Follow these prompts:

  • Value proposition prompt: “We help X do Y by/with Z.”
  • Competitive edge declaration prompt: “We’re the only A that does B by C. ”

For instance:

  • Value proposition: “We help project managers save 20 hours a week with our workflow automation tools.”
  • Competitive edge declaration: “We’re the only organization that includes free workflow automation support in all our subscription plans. We’re the only app that guarantees productivity success with our support services.”

Go the extra mile by preparing a competitive intelligence report.

With competitive intelligence software, you can create a visual overview that outlines competitor marketing strategies, predicts market trends, and uncovers potential obstacles and opportunities.

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You can also use competitive intelligence tools to dig deep into what’s working for your competitors and where they fall short.

Use these insights to create a competitor gap analysis and show your target investors how you plan on filling in the gaps.

Sell Your Business Plan and Growth Strategy

What’s your business plan and growth strategy? Why do they matter? How can you prove their potential success?

Use a professional startup business plan template to summarize your market size, business model, and target market. You can also use the template to generate comprehensive 5-year financial projections instantly.

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These include your:

  • Cash flow statement
  • Income statement
  • Balance sheet

Don’t forget to include your specific growth strategies and any previous sales metrics proving a positive trajectory.

Outline Your Processes and Systems

Investors crave certainty. While risk preferences vary, many investors are skeptical about insecure business environments.

A poor investment choice would put their capital and reputation on the line if your business fails or faces a cyber attack.

Outline your tech stack, data backup framework, and business operations to give them the security they’re looking for.

What processes and systems run your business? What data backup and recovery solutions protect your organization from potential breaches and data loss?

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These details are pivotal to warming potential leads and proving your commitment to data safety and organizational efficiency.

Investors want to trust that you have a stable company, a sustainable business framework, and safeguard potential liabilities.

With an inside look into your tools and operations, they can better understand your company’s overall health and risk potential.

Present the Investment Opportunity — What’s in It for Them?

While your business success is crucial, your investor’s direct success matters, too.

As you succeed, they succeed, but they still need to ensure their cut is worth the investment. This is even more crucial if they plan to mentor you, share their network, or provide in-house support.

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Here’s a helpful template to use when preparing this section in your investor pitch deck:

<Outline exactly what you want + why (how it’ll help your end goal) + what’s in it for them>

Be sure to cover the following points:

Why you? What makes your business idea or growth plan worth investing in?

  • How can they benefit?
  • How can you prove the benefits they’ll receive?

Opt for real-time data storytelling with Reverse ETL. Instead of generic promises, paint a vivid picture showing what’s to come with dynamic dashboards that showcase how their investment will translate into tangible results.

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Use Reverse ETL to demonstrate:

  • Proof that previous investors have seen sales/benefits (if you’ve previously worked with any)
  • Potential return on investment (ROI) they can expect with your plan
  • Potential wins they’ll see by investing in your business
  • Growth trajectory predictions
  • Financial projections

Ask for the Investment and Arrange a Follow-up Meeting

After presenting hard data, humanize your approach by telling another story. 

Work with a sales copywriter with subject-matter expertise in your industry to draw up a script for you. You should memorize and practice this to sound as authentic as possible. 

Before choosing your writer, have them show you previous portfolio work and results they’ve helped clients get with their sales scripts.

Tell them to include the following in the script:

  • A compelling hook
  • An investment pitch summary using the pain point-agitate-solution framework (in conversational language)
  • An inspiring and intriguing future the partnership can look forward to
  • A call to action (CTA) that lines up with the investor’s interests

The CTA is the most important bit — it’s where you’ll officially ask for the investment.

Have the copywriter use authentic storytelling with proven investment pitch approaches when scripting this part. They also need to focus the CTA on the investor in front of you.

If you’re lucky, you’ll end the meeting with a sale.

If the investor needs more time, always present a few follow-up dates.

Never end a presentation without attempting to schedule a follow-up meeting. That’s an easy way to lose a warm lead who just needed some more time and nurturing to get on board.

End your presentation with your contact details or your virtual business card.

Wrapping Up

Working with aligned investors opens doors to more opportunities for you and your business.

But funding doesn’t just drop into your lap. It’s something you need to pursue with careful intention and strategy.

That means knowing your target investor — and how to pitch them your idea in a way that sells.

After you’ve booked meetings with potential investors, remember to tailor your pitch deck to each prospect.

A simple way to do so is to add a new cover page to the pitch deck per meeting.

In the cover page text, address the investor and their company. Then, summarize key points that align with their specific interests.

The rest of the pitch deck will remain the same until the final slide. In the final section, refine the CTA to match their needs. You might also vary your final script to align with each investor’s background and interests.

That’s it for now.

Best of luck with your presentations!

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*Resource: Statista Report: https://www.statista.com/statistics/882609/growth-startup-funding-by-industry/