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What is the Optimal Number of Slides in a Pitch Deck?

What is the Optimal Number of Slides in a Pitch Deck? 45

If you are searching for the best ways to develop a pitch deck, it probably means you are working towards winning over investors for that much-needed capital. A compelling pitch deck to get investors excited about what is a safe note will get you there. 

A well-designed pitch deck will engage investor’s’ emotions while building a story of the villain and hero. The villain being the problem buyers experience, and the hero being your amazing product that will come into the market and save the day.

What is a pitch deck?

A pitch deck is a short presentation that provides an overview of your company, with each slide expressing an idea. Your products, traction, business plan, financials, and the team all get highlighted in your pitch deck. 

Think of your pitch deck as a long-form elevator pitch. Instead of 30 seconds, you get 3 to 20 minutes to convince investors why you are the next best thing to enter the market. While it is tempting to dump all the information you can think of about your company in the pitch, it is not practical. Value every second with the investors.

How much information should be included in a pitch deck? Over time, people have been struggling to find the right balance between too little or too much content inside this type of presentation because including everything from facts about product development milestones over company history until competitors’ analysis doesn’t seem efficient.

What is the optimum number of slides in a pitch deck?

A pitch deck can have anywhere from 10 to 20 slides, and they average around 4 minutes or less when investors are viewing them for themselves. Pre-revenue startups can make perfect pitch decks with 10 slides, and those later stage ventures with more detailed finances and business plans can have up to 20 slides.

The following are the main 10 slides in a pitch deck:

  1. Introduction
  2. The problem
  3. The solution
  4. Market opportunity
  5. Traction
  6. Marketing strategy
  7. Competition
  8. Business model
  9. Financial projections
  10. Team

The order of the last 4 slides can be changed according to the flow of your pitch. Some slides, such as the business model and financials, can be 3 slides long, depending on how much information needs to be included. 

A shorter pitch deck is essential because it allows entrepreneurs to communicate key points about their startup’s value proposition. You can get the point through much faster than longer ones that usually contain unnecessary information that won’t help them close deals fast enough during the fundraising period. When preparing your presentation, make sure you’re clear why you’re pitching this particular product at this point in time instead of guessing what they want to hear from you.

  • Introduction

The introduction slide will contain your contact information, company name, logo, and value proposition. Keep it short and engaging because you only have 20-30 seconds to do so.

  • The problem

Introduce the problem, the villain, that the consumer is experiencing. For example, if your company isn’t doing something to save the world, it’ll be an uphill battle to gain capital. Talk about the consumer and the problem you’re solving through a relatable story that investors can feel part of so they can better understand your goals.

  • The solution

How will your product solve the consumer’s problem, and how can they use it? Your product is the solution, the hero, of this story. So make sure this slide is focused on the product AND the consumer. It helps with your development of the story and uses images to increase engagement.

  • Market opportunity

Who are your consumers? What is the market size? Describe how you plan to position yourself in the market using data. Investors need to know how much people in the market spend to get a close estimate of the market size. If investors deem the market size too small, they may believe the return of investment too low for it to be worth their time. 

Create a graph, divide them into the various market segments, and explain past, current, and future market growth to get your audience excited about your company’s potential. Ensure that you are realistic by showing attainable market and market trends. 

  • Traction

The traction slide is all about showing the growth of the business. Use graphs and provide exact numbers of the sales you have made thus far, what milestones you’ve achieved, customer acquisitions, and what is next for your company. In addition, investors use the traction slide to gauge risk and determine if your business concept will be profitable. Therefore, the traction slide must be a roadmap indicating all key milestones.

  • Marketing strategy

What are your current marketing strategies? You have already determined who your consumers are, but how will you reach them, and what is the sales strategy? The marketing strategy slide will outline the key components of the sales plan and how you intend on getting the product to the potential customers.

Finding customers is only the first step in this process. Winning them over is the biggest challenge for any startup. Next, you will have to explain to investors that you know your target audience and have a solid grasp of the process.

  • Competition

Who are your competitors, and how are you different from them? What makes you stand out from similar companies, and why will the consumer choose you over them? An appealing graphic is an excellent way to display your position compared to your competitors. Even if you have a groundbreaking product and opening up a whole new market, consumers have been using another solution to solve their problem. 

  • Business model

While you have elaborated on a good story of the consumer, their need, and how amazing your product is, the business model, financials, and team slides are going to make or break your pitch deck. The business model slide will describe all your income streams, pricing models, and how you plan to generate income. 

  • Financials

Provide accurate information on your sales to date, expenses, and 3 and 5-year projections. The financial slides can be up to 3 slides long and convince investors that you have a lucrative business. 

  • Team slide 

Who are the team members that are the driving force behind the company? Investors are investing in you and your team – not just a product. So list the main players with their highest accomplishments and skills to show what they bring to the table, so investors can have full confidence that everyone is qualified to make the company a success.


Author Bio

What is the Optimal Number of Slides in a Pitch Deck? 46

Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur and the author of The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran, and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs. The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs. 

Most recently, Alejandro built and exited CoFoundersLab which is one of the largest communities of founders online. 

Prior to CoFoundersLab, Alejandro worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding where he was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake). 

Alejandro is an active speaker and has given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and NYU Stern School of Business. 

Alejandro has been involved with the JOBS Act since inception and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide his stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.

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