21 May 2021

How to structure a pitch deck that gets the attention of investors


You obviously love your business and you know everything about it so naturally, you pour everything into that pitch deck, but an angel doesn't want to read paragraphs and paragraphs of text. They want a pitch deck to be skimmable.

Meet Nick Telson, Exited Founder DesignMyNight 2020 , Founder Horseplay Ventures, Angel Investor, host of the top 10 Global Business Podcast - Pitch Deck ??? and one of our very own Home Grown Ambassadors!

As a top 35 Angel Investor in the UK (according to Stride VC) Nick knows a thing or two about what makes a pitch deck irresistibly ‘investable'. We learnt a lot from Nick during his master class for out members which you can watch here but today we thought it would be best to give you Nicks top tips on how to structure your pitch deck.

Make it Skimmable!

Your pitch deck needs to pique the excitement and the interest of an investor VC or angel so they will then deep dive with you on a phone call or a meeting. The big trap a lot of people fall into is putting everything into a pitch deck.

At Horseplay Ventures, Nick and his team receive around 50 decks per month, to capture his attention, it's best not to create a deck that is almost 40 pages long.

I just don't read them all, you skim a deck, and you're looking to see, is this an idea, what's the team like, and that's all you really need is skimmable…an angel does not want to read paragraphs and paragraphs of text so that's the first thing to know.

Is your pitch deck 15 - 20 pages long? if you're over that, it's probably too long.

What's the problem?

The key to making your pitch deck flow is by following a very simple narrative of a problem.

  • What's the problem?
  • What's the solution?
  • What are we solving out there?
  • Why you?
  • Why our investment team?
  • Why now? (Why is this a good time for your business to receive investment?)

It all comes down to four things - Problem - Solution - Why us - Why now

Try to not forget to include your business proposal i.e how are you going to make money.

You'll be surprised to know how much that's missed out on pitch decks! I personally like to see a forecast

The who's who.

You need to include who you are as a founder/s of your business and properly introduce your team. Nick says to be “..very self aware of the holes you need to plug. I think that's extremely important when you're speaking to an investor”An example of this could be ‘We're going to need a growth marketing strategist and that's something we're going to be hiring after this round' or ‘I want to hire a CTO because I want to bring our tech in house'.

Graphics / Presentation

First and foremost, take the time to design it nicely.

If I see a deck that is just white backgrounds with bullet points, if it looks like GCSE level computer science, I think ‘if they don't have the know-how to make their pitch deck look good' that would worry me.

Have you heard of Canva? It's a free tool with tonnes of decks or templates already that you can then just adapt to your brand colours, so take the time to make it look good.

If your deck doesn't have that ‘pzazz' I would think, do they have the prowess to make their brand sing as well.

Imagery brings your pitch deck to life, you can use free tools such as Unsplash or Getty or to find images that work for your brand.Without imagery, investors may think your business is bland and boring.

Honestly, I see so many pitch decks that I open up and it's just an empty sort of PowerPoint on the slide, I just don't know if I can be bothered to read this.

Impressing Angels and VCs to get your funding really isn't rocket science but can become a lengthy process which takes you as the entrepreneur away from your business for a substantial period of time.

We hope this break down has helped you and for even more tips you can watch the hour long masterclass here

Nick Telson
Home Grown