Someone you know has a really good idea for a new business. That person – the founder – is excited. This idea is the thing they spend all their time thinking about, working on, and believing in. They love the idea. Maybe their friends like it too. There’s only one problem: launching this kind of business requires money – more money, perhaps, than the founder has on hand. They make the decision to recruit some investors, but figuring out where to start, or how to explain the business, is immediately overwhelming.
Ultimately, and with more than a few starts and stops, a pitch deck is created. That’s what start-up founders do, right? They make decks and rehearse pitches. This pitch gets practiced in the shower and while stuck in traffic. Any family member sitting still for a few minutes is likely to get pitched until – finally – that first official investor meeting is set. It’s game time now. Let’s go.
Ten minutes after getting in front of their investor, and with what feels like everything on the line, it’s game over. The meeting ends without a deal, and the founder is left wondering what went wrong, who to blame, and how to fix it.
That kind of story might be too familiar – maybe painfully so. Here’s the truth about start-up pitch success: it can be a hard thing to achieve, and it’s likely to include more than a few similar stories. Believe it or not, it’s the pitch decks themselves that account for many of the mistakes.
Where Start-Up Pitches Fail
Your pitch deck is probably failing for more than just one reason, and we’re about to tell you why. In the meantime, take a deep breath and know this: you are not on your own here. We’re going to get through this together, and with some help, your next pitch meeting is going to be infinitely better than your last. Right now, though, we have work to do.
Dealing with a problem begins with an acknowledgment that something – possibly several things – is wrong. In this situation, it’s your pitch deck. In a broader sense, it’s nearly every pitch deck. Over the next few sections, we’re going to help you understand where pitch decks fail, why failure is all but guaranteed, and what steps you can take to avoid it. Here we go.
You Have an Idea, Not a Business
Yes, we know that some well-meaning mentor or podcast host told you to think like a business. That’s not necessarily bad advice – as long as you remember that having a great idea or thinking a certain way aren’t the only things required to start a successful company.
Don’t miss the point, here. Ideas are great and we love them. The idea is the inception; the moment it all begins. Without great ideas, there would be no great businesses. There’s only one issue: no matter how interesting your idea is, and regardless of how much time you spent describing it in your pitch deck, it still isn’t a business. Mistaking your start-up idea for a full-fledged company is a guaranteed way for your pitch deck to fail.
Businesses have financials like P&L statements and balance sheets. When someone invests in an established business, these pieces of information clarify the financial picture and inform their decision. This is a luxury that start-ups don’t have, but the story doesn’t have to end there.
Projections can be made and estimates should be provided. But don’t forget that no matter how certain your future business success seems to you, a good investor lacks the same strong emotions.
You Didn’t Participate in Pitching Competitions
We’re going to cut to the chase here. Sometimes pitch decks fail because not enough time was spent in preparation or practice. Bad news for people trying to wing it: when this happens, it shows. A lot of investors meet with start-up founders regularly. When you show up with a sloppy presentation or a thrown-together pitch, they have something to compare you to. You want to set the bar here, not struggle to reach it. Thankfully, you have options.
While it may feel like Shark Tank, you don’t have to go on television to get practice pitching your idea. Competitions exist, and virtual as well as in-person platforms are available. In both settings, you’ll have the chance to get comfortable sharing your idea with strangers. Don’t get frustrated if it feels like people are poking holes in your idea. Even if you’re just getting up in front of friends and family to work out your rhythm and flow, allow them to ask questions and let those guide your approach and tighten your pitch. More often than not, investors appreciate – and even look for – founders who can handle feedback and criticism. The expression that “people invest in people” is true. Investors want to know why are you the right individual or team to bring them success once they make their investment.
Getting this right, and with the help of some much-needed give and take, you’ll be better prepared for your next one-on-one.
Why Failure is All But Guaranteed
As technology goes, a pitch deck is certainly more evolved than an easel and some markers – and when PowerPoint first came onto the scene, it was revolutionary. Originally only available on Mac, Microsoft released its popular version three years later…in 1990. Even as other software has joined the market, and despite having better graphics, animation options, and fonts, the antiquated technology used to create a pitch deck is largely the same as it was more than 30 years ago.
Relying exclusively on your pitch deck to do the work of attracting investors and converting them from prospects to shareholders is difficult. It’s a bit like asking your dog to wash the dishes. Your plates may get licked clean, but you’re probably not going to want to eat off of them afterward. With that visual in mind, here are two key points to consider:
One Size Fits All (or Barely Anyone)
Even some of the better decks we’ve come across all suffered from a similar problem: they were either too broad in their pitch or incredibly narrow. Both impulses make sense, but neither will help you accomplish your goal of finding funding.
Some founders cast a wide net in an effort to appeal to as many people as possible. That’s understandable, but it has the effect of watering down the pitch to the point of being underwhelming. If the opportunity to invest in your start-up is “perfect for everyone,” then it’s not good for anyone.
In a reflexive move to avoid that, other founders have a hard time letting go of who they believe their ideal investor is. Whether it’s someone who shares their background or understands the intricacies of their industry, it may be hard to imagine that someone who doesn’t fit this persona would be interested.
The same struggle exists for founders who fall into either of these categories: pitch decks aren’t designed to craft your company story or present it in an engaging or compelling format. A deck is just a deck, and it’s only as good as what it includes and how it’s delivered.
The Need to Follow Up With Investors
The second reason pitch decks are all but guaranteed to fail is because they don’t provide an easy way to follow up with the people you shared your pitch with. Again, they aren’t designed to, and you’ll need to create some other workflow to list, sort, and transition your prospects through each stage of the investment process.
At this stage of your start-up, pitching to prospective investors is only one aspect of your job. Whether you’re still working for someone else until you secure funding or nearly all of your available hours are being spent on product research and development, you need a simple process for keeping up with who you’ve reached out to, what the outcome was, and how to get back in touch.
As a founder, you also want to present a professional image when you communicate with your audience of prospective investors. When you’ve made a pitch and promised to follow up with some bit of requested information, nothing looks as unorganized as missing a deadline or worse, forgetting altogether.
If pitching was the only thing on your calendar, then maybe this wouldn’t be so challenging. Instead, it seems to sink more meetings than it doesn’t. Pitch decks have plenty of limitations, but this one might hurt the most.
What You Can Do to Avoid It
That’s the goal, right? After learning why your pitch deck is failing, as well as why a pitch deck’s own limitations pretty much guarantee that outcome, wanting to know how you can avoid a similar fate is fair – and smart. Here are three easy steps to help put your pitch and your start-up on the right track:
It’s Starts With a Story
Here’s a hard truth: as much as you love your idea, investors are far more interested in the story you tell them about your idea. Because of that, your pitch should be designed to engage investors around your company story – and determining what that is can be hard to do by yourself. As serial entrepreneurs, the founders of The Main Stage experienced this dilemma time over time and knew there had to be a way to bring the fundraising process into the digital and virtual era.
At The Main Stage, our Story Vault™ software helps founders bring their stories to life. From visually appealing content to video highlights, you’ll be able to create dynamic, highly engaging, content that allows investors to understand what you do, get excited about the opportunity, and make the decision to get on board. Raising money for your start-up has never been easier or more exciting – and this is true for founders and prospective investors alike.
It Grows Through a Workflow
Unless you’re committed to building and maintaining your own database, having an easy way to keep up with your growing network of investors is quickly going to become a full-time job. Can you go it alone? Of course, but the risk outweighs the reward and it’s not even close.
That’s one of the reasons why our proprietary CRM system is such a powerhouse. With advanced analytics, you’ll know who’s reviewed your pitch, whether or not they were interested, and how you can follow up with them personally. When you need to maintain compliance, deliver tailored communication, and cultivate credibility, our CRM software has you covered.
It Thrives Over Time
Although you’re sure to have some one-time interest, the start-ups that succeed are the ones who partner with investors for the long term. To build those relationships, you’re going to need a trustworthy system that goes the distance.
The Main Stage’s Data Vault is an investor dashboard and secure document storage central location rolled into one. Once an investment is made, your shareholders will have access to their mutually executed documents and you’ll have everything you need to thrive. It’s that easy.
Brian A. Smith is a highly experienced investor, Founder of The Main Stage, and Co-Founder and CEO of RedCrow™ Inc., a direct investment and marketing platform that specializes in cutting-edge healthcare startups. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Entrepreneurs and people belonging to the world of startups are well aware of the term pitch deck. And they know how difficult it can be sometimes to create the perfect presentation that has all the information necessary for securing funds.
You have to carefully decide on the content of the pitch deck and then arrange it all to tell a compelling story. The purpose of creating this presentation is to invite investors and VCs to invest in your business.
If you don’t have experience with fundraising and creating a business pitch deck then this process can seem daunting, because there is a lot at stake.
The good news is that there are plenty of great tools out there that can help you create pitch decks, even if you have no experience in designing. Technology has revolutionized the way we create pitch decks.
But we believe that a basic investor presentation can only get you so far. So like other inventions, The Main Stage was created out of necessity.
Our primary investor facing dashboard – The Story Vault was created to tell your company’s story but in a much more interactive and holistic way than any other pitch deck currently available.
We’re not saying there is anything wrong with a traditional pitch deck, but in the modern investing world, you need more. In fact, one of the primary components of our Story Vault is a visual investor presentation such as a pitch deck.
In this article, we’ll review the top 10 sites that you can use to create a business pitch deck that can be easily integrated into your Main Stage dashboard. We’ll also discuss other information that should help you be more informed about creating stunning presentations.
What Is a Pitch Deck?
A pitch deck by definition is anything that gives your audience a quick overview of your business.
Its purpose in private equity fundraising is to wow the investors and present a business opportunity they simply can’t refuse. You can do that by presenting a compelling story of your business and showing your position in the market.
A perfect pitch has all the components that your potential investors need to make a well-informed decision about your business.
That could include the capital required for the investment, the customer’s needs, how your product is the perfect solution to a problem, business model, and a bit about the team behind the scenes.
In addition, your presentation should also include information on your competitor and the risks involved with an investment in your business.
When creating a pitch deck, numbers and data are your friends. But you’ve got to use them strategically by employing visuals and graphics. Use just a few key indicators and make sure that those are enough to get the message across.
What Is the Main Purpose of Developing a Business Pitch?
The flow of information in your pitch deck can either hook the investors or have them checking their watches until you’re finished speaking.
For that, you need to make your presentation look and sound unique while also including all the necessary information.
The primary purpose of developing a business pitch is to get VCs or angel investors on board. You can do that by piquing their interest and convincing them of the value of your startup.
Pitch deck tools can help entrepreneurs present the right information while canvassing investors. Not all business owners can be great at highlighting their key business features during fundraising. But tools can help you fix that by efficiently creating flawless presentations.
Reviewing the Top Pitch Deck Makers
Your startup concept or invention won’t matter much unless you can convince investors to, well, invest. And the way to do that is to show them your vision, product value, and long-term goals in the form of the best pitch deck you can create.
But the issue is that investors today are pressed for time. And frankly, so are you.
The old techniques used for fundraising don’t always work these days. You need to move with the times and meet the investors where they are.
That’s why entrepreneurs should use pitch deck tools. These offer different features, and you can select the one that solves the biggest challenges for you. Pitch Deck creators can save your time and improve the quality of your presentation.
Key Criteria to Compare Business Pitch Deck Tools
Here are some of the factors that you should be looking at when choosing a pitch deck tool for your business:
Range of Customizable Templates
A primary reason for choosing to use a pitch deck tool is to prepare a professional-looking presentation quickly. So the range of templates a tool offers you is an important factor to consider.
Here, you need to check how many designs they offer, if there are any industry-specific templates available, whether or not you can apply filters, do they offer images by default, and how customizable the themes are.
Data Dashboard Interface
Let’s face it – data can be boring. And if you’re an investor looking at numbers and charts all day, it can be exhausting as well. So for your company to stand out, you need a unique and interactive data dashboard for your investors.
Pay close attention to the dashboard features that various tools offer. The best pitch decks almost always have amazing data dashboards.
You need to examine how eye-catching yet straightforward and user-friendly the data dashboard interface is for the pitch deck tool you want to select.
Ease of Use
Technology is supposed to make your life easier. So check the ease of use of the various business pitch deck tools in your list before finalizing one.
You’ll be using the tool quite often while fundraising. Sometimes you’ll have to revise the information on the spot and so you should be able to navigate the site easily.
Support and Digital Requirements
Different tools offer varying levels of customer support. You might even receive different levels of support based on the plan you’re on. But remember that the best pitch deck tools come with great support for all users.
You also need to check what digital infrastructure you need to run the tools. Can you use them on a mobile device? Do these work offline? Can you easily download and present the pitch deck?
All these questions need to be answered before you select a pitch deck maker for your business.
Compare the plans and details of different business pitch deck tools before making your decision. And choose the one best suited for your requirements.
You don’t always have to go for the most expensive one, although there is no harm in choosing the pricy options if your budget allows it. But sometimes, simpler tools can offer you all you need for creating your pitch deck.
The important thing is that you should be able to justify the price you’re paying.
Business Pitch Deck Creators Review
Here’s our review of the top 10 pitch deck makers:
Keynote is Apple’s presentation tool that you can use to create amazing pitch decks. It has over 30 customizable themes and people from almost every industry can find a template that works for them.
We say it’s a great tool because it offers users great collaboration tools, compatibility with PowerPoint, remote presentation, multiple device access, and the feature to integrate stunning animations or live videos in your pitch deck slides.
Some of the templates are amazing as data dashboards. You can simplify complex charts and make it easy for investors to digest the information. Plus, it’s free to download!
Keynote is not the easiest to use though. It has a steep learning curve for new users which makes it unsuitable if you’re looking to create a pitch deck quickly.
The downside of this tool is that you can’t make a video pitch deck here. Also, an obvious limitation is that you need an Apple device to work on this even though it offers some level of cross-over with other operating systems.
Visme is an excellent tool for making business pitchdecks. It contains a massive library of 1000+ customizable templates. It also has various images, vector graphics and animations that you can use to add your logo and charts to the presentation.
You don’t need to download any additional software or use specific devices for Visme. It has both mobile and desktop apps for creating pitch decks and infographics, but you can’t present the slideshow on a mobile device.
The dashboard interface is also pretty amazing, but you don’t have the option to collaborate with the team, at least not in the free or basic paid options.
You can make data charts and tables in a single slide and create an interactive dashboard for your investors.
Visme’s interface is user friendly and it’s easy to use. It also offers charts and data widgets in the paid plans. Paid users also get 24/7 customer support.
The key drawbacks of Visme are the limited storage even in the paid options and the high price for the business plan compared to the features you get.
It has one free andthree paid plans – basic ($15/ month), business ($29/ month), and enterprise (custom pricing). But the basic one has such limited features that it’s not worth the price they ask for.
Canva is a multi-purpose tool that you can use to create logos, social media posts, ads, investor deck designs and presentations.
It’s mainly a graphic design platform but has a lot more to offer than just that. You can use it to create a stunning presentation within a few hours.
It has multiple industry-specific templates that are 100% customizable. So you can adjust the background color or image, upload a brand logo or create one on the spot, and add charts or data.
Canva is easy to use. You can pick it up quickly and start using it right away to make your presentation.
Its mobile app deserves a special mention. You can use it to create a pitch deck from scratch or make quick edits. It has the option of uploading images directly from the phone gallery which saves time.
After testing it for some time, we believe that Canva has everything you need to create a simple pitch deck quickly and effortlessly. You can add collaborators even in the free versions and present the pitch deck directly from the platform.
The downsides are the limited storage with the free version and that the mobile app doesn’t have all the features of the desktop version.
Also, while you’re working on a design it’s only stored in the platform’s own storage and not in your local file storage. That means you could lose access to your designs if the website goes down or you suddenly lose internet connection.
This could be terrible if you’re editing a design right before a meeting and then it doesn’t load when it’s time to present.
Piktochart is a great pitch deck creator tool for rookie designers. You have access to several customizable templates to make your presentation along with graphics and animations to make it visually appealing.
The platform also gives you tips on how to proceed and make your business pitch deck unique.
Its range of data charts and maps is also an admirable feature. You can use it to translate your data and growth figures into stunning charts for your investors.
By linking it to your excel sheet, Piktochart will automatically update the charts in the presentation thus saving your time.
You can use this pitch deck tool on Windows, Chromebook and Mac desktops but it doesn’t support mobile devices. They offer customer support through email, live desk and chat or you can read the FAQ section which offers detailed answers to common problems users face.
All in all, this was a great platform to use and we created a few different mock pitch decks with amazing visuals. It’s easy to use and offers more storage in the free and paid plans than Canva or Visme.
The cons are that there are limited features for collaboration. You have to pay per user which can get expensive if you’ve got more than one founder and you need to buy memberships for each of them.
Some other limitations include a small gallery of charts and graphics. You can also not edit small sections of text and have to redo the entire block if you need to make a change. These small limitations add up when you’re trying to edit a presentation quickly.
The dashboard interface can be tricky to navigate for some users. It’s great for infographics but has limitations for creating sophisticated pitch decks.
Slidebean is designed to help small business owners and other professionals create amazing investor decks designs with zero background experience in designing.
It has many customizable templates for creating business pitch decks and a massive media library. You can create data dashboards in Slidebean and then manually import your data from the source.
A great feature it offers is presentation analytics. You can use it to check how many views your presentation got, how many slides are viewed on average, and how long it takes investors to complete the slideshow.
You can also use Slidebean to present the pitch deck offline and share the screen for virtual webinars. It offers collaboration features to edit with your team and share updates.
The cons are that the interface is not user-friendly. For instance, clicking once during the presentation of your business pitch deck will move only one element instead of one slide. This drags the slideshow and wastes time if you’ve got a few different elements in the slide such as a table, graph and text box.
Plus, the paid versions are much more expensive than other pitch deck tools, especially for non-frequent users. The customer support can be slow sometimes and it doesn’t have a lot of storage or mobile access.
There are several limitations to uploading your brand images and videos as well. For instance, you have to upload the video to either Vimeo or YouTube before you can add it to your pitch deck. That makes the UI a bit less impressive than what other tools offer.
OnePager gives you a platform to create business pitch decks that are much more than simple PDFs or presentations.
It’s a place to store all your fundraising information. Here, you can add links to your website, social media channels or other platforms that you’re on so that investors can conveniently look them over.
This pitch deck creator tool is easy to use and has an excellent UI. On OnePager, you’re not restricted by any format or template. You can arrange your business plan, founder profiles and financial information charts in whatever way you want.
There is a dedicated section to show your fundraising progress as well. You can update your pitch deck anytime and the updated pages will show for your investors with whom you’ve shared the link. That saves you from having to resend the link again if some information changes.
Another great feature is that you control who has access to your pitch deck. The tool also offers analytics like most of the other tools on this list. You can know how people are interacting with your pitch deck, what links they’re visiting and how much time they spend on your pitch deck.
All things considered, this is a great platform to use if you’re looking for a unique pitch deck. The only downside in our opinion is the lack of a CRM.
This pitch deck creator offers 75+ slide templates to make presentations. So you can use it to create unique investor deck designs. These are customizable and the slides automatically adjust as you add charts and text boxes.
While that’s a great feature if you have limited elements in the slide, it can also be a downside because the content will keep rearranging automatically as you add animations or bullet lists.
Beautiful.ai is easy to pick up since the templates are ready to go and you just need to add specific information. However, it doesn’t offer CRM access so you have to copy and paste or drag & drop the data in your presentation.
You can add collaborators and edit together in real-time. Beautiful.ai also offers analytics tools so you can determine how many views your business pitch deck is getting.
Another great feature is that you can present your pitch deck directly on Zoom.
The biggest drawbacks of Beautiful.ai in our opinion are the limitations in offline features. And the fact that it only works on the web – not on Android or iOS.
You can’t add videos or audio in offline mode. Also, some of the graphics can get misplaced when you export the presentation to PowerPoint.
This platform is not suitable if you want to present a lot of data in your pitch deck. That’s because none of the templates has a good enough dashboard to showcase data.
Plus adding data into the tables can be time-consuming since it currently only has the copy-paste option.
Google Slides is a user-friendly presentation tool, but a bit basic. It offers 23 customizable themes – one of the smallest ranges as compared to the other tools in this list.
So although you have plenty of options to create a business pitchdeck, chances are that you’ll still need to add several animations and graphics from outside sources to make your presentation unique.
Google Slides has excellent collaboration tools and offers cloud storage. You can access it on the web, Android app or iOS app so it’s great for editing and reviewing your pitch deck on the go.
It has an incredible user interface which makes it easy to use. If you’ve used PowerPoint or any other presentation tool before, then you won’t have any trouble working on Google Slides. In case you need user support, you can reach the Google Slides team through chat.
There are a few different built-in options to create an automated data dashboard in Google Slides. Or you can get unique dashboards styles from third parties and add them to your Google Slides presentation.
You can also use it as a fundraising CRM. That way you can compile, review and track investors’ data. But since Google Slides isn’t intended to be used as a CRM, there are limitations.
There are restrictions on editing images. For instance, you can’t change the resolution of the images in Slides. Also, the fonts are limited to what Google offers and adding your brand animations can be a time-consuming task.
Prezi is a great pitch deck creator tool with over 200 unique customizable templates – several of which are designed specifically as data dashboards. This is a great feature if your presentation has lots of figures and numbers and you need to make them look visually stunning.
The presentation transition style in Prezi is unique. It feels like you’re zooming in and out to focus on the different slides, which can make your pitch deck stand out.
It offers a free trial with limited features but no free plan. You get a range of collaboration and presentation options in the paid versions that start from $14/month. Prezi can run on the web and has apps for both Android and iOS devices.
Prezi analytics gives you data on who viewed your presentation based on the links you send to potential investors. It also tells you how long they viewed it and how many times it was reopened by the same person.
Despite all the great features, this tool crashes a lot. It resizes images and text. Its instability is a risk so you need to have a backup in PPT or PDF.
Some of its features are hard to figure out so it’s not the easiest to use. But you can get customer support through email, phone, chat and the FAQ section.
The bottom line is that Prezi is a great pitch deck creator – but only if you have the time to learn its features. You also need a stable internet connection to present your pitch deck with this tool.
SketchDeck is a pitch deck creator that is different from all the other sites mentioned in our list. Here, a professional team creates the presentation for you.
You provide the content and discuss your goals. Then SketchDeck delivers a customized pitch deck in one or two days.
They have several pre-designed templates that are 100% customizable to fit your exact needs. The best feature of SketchDeck templates is that they are developed by expert designers.
The company has a long history of working with big and small businesses. So these templates are designed by keeping in mind what founders need in their pitch decks.
Because these are made by designers and for businesses, SketchDeck templates have excellent data dashboard slides. You can present as much information as you need to and the team will create a stunning dashboard.
The user interface is great as well. There are tools to collaborate with the design team and other members at your startup. This pitch deck tool is ideal for you if you have zero experience in creating a pitch deck and don’t have the time to test a new tool.
By using this site to create your business pitch deck, you can be certain that it’ll be unique and on-brand, that the graphics will be of high resolution and you won’t have to do any formatting or resizing.
The price of creating a pitch deck with SketchDeck is significantly higher than all other tools we’ve covered above. It starts from $3,500 and can go higher if you ask for additional designs or services.
All the sites we’ve reviewed above have great features and are widely used by business owners. But you need to decide which one is the best pitch deck tool for you based on your requirements and priorities.
Here are our top picks of sites to create business pitch decks. We’ve divided them into six categories to help you choose:
Best Pitch Deck Creator for Customizable Templates
Canva is the best pitch deck tool in terms of the range of customizable templates. Here, you have access to thousands of industry-specific templates even in the free version.
You can select the best pitch deck template according to your needs. Then customize it with imported brand images and fonts or with the graphics offered by Canva.
Top Data Dashboard Interface
SketchDeck has the best data dashboard in all the pitch deck creator tools. It gives you a great interface to add figures to your slides without overwhelming the investors or cramming too much information.
Since you have access to experienced designers here, you can ask them to modify the dashboard template to be exactly how you need it to be.
Easiest to Use
Google Slides is by far the easiest to use. That’s because it has a user-friendly interface and it’s a lot like PowerPoint. Google also gives you a quick tutorial of its features when you first use Slides.
Options for collaboration, presentation, downloading or editing the file are built-in and super convenient to use. You can quickly create captivating business pitch decks with this tool.
Ultimate Support and Range of Digital Requirements
Prezi takes the lead in the ultimate support category. It offers multiple channels for users to ask for support. These include email, FAQs, phone support and live chat features.
You can use this pitch deck tool on Mac or Windows desktop. It also has Android and iOS apps for editing and viewing your presentation.
Best Value for Your Money
Apple Keynote offers you the best value for your money. That’s because you get unique features such as live video integration in the presentation and stunning animations.
There are many advanced features such as extensive collaboration tools, presentation options and offline access. All users have the same set of features since it’s free and doesn’t restrict features behind a paywall. These features make it one of the best pitch deck tools.
Comparing Top 10 Site for Creating Business Pitch Decks
Business owners and startup founders often have a bunch of questions when they first set out to create a pitch deck. If you’re one of them, then this section will help clarify a few points for you.
1- How much does a pitch deck cost?
The cost of developing a pitch deck varies widely. The key factor that affects the cost is whether you’re making the presentation yourself or outsourcing it to professional designers.
If you’re making it yourself then you can do that for as little as $8/mo membership of a business pitch deck creator tool. Or you could pay over $5000 to hire designers and strategists to develop your pitch deck.
2- Investor deck vs pitch deck – what’s the difference?
For one, an investor deck is not a pitch. You send it to a potential investor to secure a meeting or to give a teaser of your pitch deck ahead of the presentation.
The investor deck is a document that resembles the pitch deck because it outlines your company’s vision, revenue sources, market opportunities and business plan. But it generally includes more words than visuals.
It’s designed to be read by the investors without you having to present or translate the information for them.
3- What is a business pitch?
A business pitch is a presentation that founders of a business give to potential investors. It could be in the form of an email, elevator pitch or a pitch deck presentation. The term is mostly associated with startups.
It’s essentially a summary of your business plan, market opportunity and how your product solves a problem for the users.
The purpose of a pitch is usually to get funding for the business. It can also be used for increasing brand awareness and selling products.
4- What should an investor pitch deck include?
It should include everything that a potential investor should know to get excited about investing in your business.
That could mean your mission and vision, background on the founders and the team, the problem and how your product/service can solve it, the target audience and your current numbers such as sales and projected revenue.
5- What is a one-pager pitch deck?
A one-pager pitch deck is exactly what the name indicates. It’s the most concise form of a business pitch that you can put in front of investors. It includes your unique business plan and strategy.
Condensing your business pitch in one page doesn’t mean that you should fill it with information. This page should only include the most critical data and statements that can pique the investor’s interest to learn more about your business.
You’ll find many one-pager ideas in the various pitch deck site’s templates.
6- How do you maintain your pitch deck with updated data?
You can maintain your business pitch deck by regularly going back to it and updating the data. PowerPoint offers a great feature where your charts in the slides are updated with one click if you’ve linked them to an excel sheet.
If you’re not using PowerPoint then you can manually update the charts and tables with updated data.
Maintaining your pitch deck should be a priority for all startup founders even when they’re not actively fundraising. It keeps you on top of your game and you can immediately present your pitch if an opportunity pops up.
7- What are investors looking for to evaluate a pitch deck?
Here’re the top five things investors look for in your presentation. Most of the best pitch decks include these points:
Introduction to the problem.
The product/service idea and how it solves the problem.
The founders’ background
Your business strategy
Financial data and projections.
8- How does a pitch deck creator help me tell the story?
Pitch deck creators have ready-made customizable templates that outline how you should tell your story to investors. This can help you in case you don’t know what you should be including in the pitch deck or how you can create excitement around the business idea.
Some pitch deck creators also have experts who are great storytellers. They can help you shape your pitch deck in the most compelling way to hook the investors.
9- What mistakes do I need to look out for?
The biggest mistakes founders make are either filling the pitch deck with too much information or too little.
If you’re giving the presentation in person, then don’t make your investors read the slides and listen to you. For that, you should use graphics and images in the slides and use your words to tell them the story.
But if you’re sending the investor deck via email then you should include paragraphs for the context of the images and charts.
10- How much training do I need before I use these tools?
You don’t really need any training for using pitch deck creator tools. These operate much like MS Word and PowerPoint combined.
So you can simply drag and drop animations, images and graphics where you need to. Then add the data in charts from your excel sheets and click save to see it all come together.
The tools that offer unique features might require some training. But these are generally quite straightforward and you can pick them up in a few minutes or an hour or so.
11- How do I include my own charts and infographics?
You can either copy-paste or drag and drop your own charts and infographics in your pitch deck. You might face an issue if the format is incompatible with the tool you’re using. So you’ll have to convert it before adding the charts or graphics to your slides.
12- What media format is best? Should I include a video in a pitch deck?
The best media format for your pitch deck depends on how you’re pitching. Presentations with pictures and graphics are suitable for an in-person business pitch where you can complement the slides with your words.
Whereas a more paragraph style presentation is suitable for an email.
You can also include a video in your pitch deck. Investors find it much easier to watch a video than to read a presentation. So a video pitch deck can set you apart and show your passion more clearly.
The Main Stage offers a variety of areas for video and an enhanced media experience. These features are easy to use so you can make amazing videos even with no experience in designing or filming.
That can improve the quality of your pitch and help you leave a great first impression on potential investors.
13- How do I then connect with investors once I have a pitch deck?
Networking is the best way to connect with angel investors and VCs.
You can send investors an email with your elevator or investor pitch and a compelling introduction. Or you can participate in startup events and conferences and approach investors there.
Once an investor shows an interest in your business, you can then share your pitch deck with them. You can also implement your pitch deck into an investor communication platform such as The Main Stage. And then invite investors to view it there. Such platforms allow you to communicate with investors and share updates in a simplified and efficient way.
14- Should I be using social media to share the pitch deck?
Preferably not. It is actually illegal to solicit investments on social media unless your investment is registered under a specific regulation. The reason behind this is that social media provides opportunities to fraudsters.
15- Why are business pitches important?
Business pitches are important because these help investors’ understand the potential in your business. And thus help you in securing more investments.
It also helps you find long-term partners, recruit employees and gives you a bird’s eye view of your business plans and trajectory.
The Main Stage – Much More Than A Traditional Pitch Deck
The Main Stage is more than just a tool for creating pitch decks. It’s a platform where you can create video presentations and invite investors to view your pitch at their own time.
Once there, the potential investors can look over all your documents and related information for investing in your business.
Not only that but our Data Vault, CRM and the Story Vault features add value to the pitch deck and increase investor engagement tenfold. We guide new users on how to use our video tools to shoot amazing videos that can engage investors in the business plan.
The data dashboard on the site is an amazing feature you won’t find in other tools. And the interface is easy to use as well. Founders can upload the business financial documents in the dashboard that investors can view.
There is another dashboard for storing investors’ data after the investment. This data includes communications, details of the investment, progress reports and much more.
A unique feature of The Main Stage is the advanced CRM (customer relationship management) system. You can store investors’ information here, get analytics on your pitch deck and maintain communication with potential investors through this software.
The pricing is another thing that’s great about our tool. The sites’ starter plan costs $49/month – which is a steal considering all the amazing features you get.
Our Vision for the Future of Business Pitch Decks
At The Main Stage, we intend to revolutionize the way founders interact with investors during fundraising.
We believe that impressing the investors with a great story is only the first step of fundraising. You need to keep them engaged with your business even after they’ve invested.
That’s why we offer The Investor Dashboard where investors can log in to see updates, communicate with the founders and track progress. Our invite-only story vault lets your investors hear your pitch in a much more interactive way than what a traditional presentation can offer.
Check out our home page to learn more about how all of our amazing features come together to give you one of the best platforms for bringing your company’s story in front of investors.
Storytelling is an age-old tradition that has been used for thousands of years to engage audiences.
Many say it’s even the oldest form of communication, which makes sense when you examine how stories have evolved over time.
Yet today, there are so many different forms and styles available to marketers who want their brands to stand out.
The question is, which one will work best for your story?
In this blog post, I discuss the different types of storytelling methods available, and how to choose which works best for your brand.
6 Types of Stories to Captivate Your Audience
There are many different types of stories that you can use to help frame your business and build a relationship with your potential investor.
A story framework will provide a structure to follow and clarify your direction with your words and your vision for the future.
The frameworks below will make sure you captivate not only your potential investors but also the target audience you’re trying to reach.
The Hero’s Journey
One of the oldest tales told in time is the Hero’s Journey. It is used in countless movies, video games, and books.
With confidence, I can say that we have all seen or heard stories that follow this framework.
The hero of this story has to overcome various obstacles to save someone or something from the catastrophe that is luring ahead.
While the consequences of failure may not be as disastrous as back in the day where your village would be plundered and set ablaze if you as the protagonist did not fulfill your hero journey, failure can still have an enormous impact on the future.
Just imagine an ordinary everyday person who suddenly aspires to become a young entrepreneur who will disrupt the tech space.
He comes up with a brilliant idea for an app and starts coding in his parent’s house’s bedroom.
After years of lack of sleep, countless nights of coding, and consuming disturbing amounts of instant noodles, he finished his product.
He has given birth to a genius product, but he has no idea how to market it.
He’s not a “people’s person,” and he has no clue how to convey the necessity of his product to wealthy investors able to bring his product to the masses.
After having inefficiently spent thousands of dollars borrowed from his relatives and countless failed investor pitches, he is now in a dark tunnel with no visible end in sight.
His family thinks he is a fool forever having thought this could work. He does not know where to go from here. His life’s mission seems over…
Magically he stumbles upon a platform that could be a potential solution to his problems.
A platform that can help him convey his company’s story in a compelling interactive digital way that captivates the hearts of investors.
He picks himself up, pitches to an investor one more time, and manages to raise some funds.
All of a sudden, he sees the light at the end of the tunnel.
With his newfound tool and reborn passion, he’s able to raise the funds he needs and can get the necessary expertise to bring his product to market successfully.
All of a sudden, he is no longer the ordinary kid that started in his bedroom.
Now he is considered a tech genius that changed thousands of consumer lives in a meaningful way and made a significant impact.
This is considered a typical hero’s journey in the competitive landscape of the tech market.
The hero’s journey is easy to follow, and it provides a clear direction for the story. It’s a straightforward story for investors to identify and empathize with.
For these reasons, The Hero’s Journey is one of the most used stories, and I would definitely recommend trying it out for your pitch!
The Underdog Story
The underdog story is a classic.
Maybe you as the protagonist are an unknown, a nobody that no one has ever heard of that has managed to disrupt the current status quo in your industry.
You have no idea how it happened, but suddenly, there are so many people using and loving your product.
Your business just hit its billionth user, or you just managed to get your product on shelves in Walmart.
The point is this: You’re the underdog that has risen out of nothing and has now become a success story.
This type of story is seen as incredibly inspiring and motivating for investors.
Out of nothing, you created something.
You took a risk, and now you are reaping the benefits of your hard work.
The investor may not precisely know how this story will end, but they can feel confident that if they invest in this company, it might just take off like crazy too!
This type of story is all about making an emotional connection with the investor. The underdog story is a unique and dynamic type of narrative that successfully conveys the necessity for funding.
It’s all about having people rooting for you as the protagonist on your journey from nothing to someone who beat the big dogs!
A quest is a journey or adventure that you, as the protagonist, are on.
Whatever the end goal of this story might be, it should have clear and definable steps that need to happen to achieve said goal.
This type of story can be seen as very classical in nature and works well when raising capital.
The investor knows the protagonist has a clear goal that they are trying to achieve by investing, which makes them so powerful.
As investors, we like seeing our money put towards something tangible because then we know we’re making an impact.
The Quest story can be a powerful motivator because they can see how this money will go towards something tangible and not just into nothingness as so many other companies do nowadays.
The Cautionary Tale
The cautionary tale is a story that has a lesson at the end.
It’s supposed to warn people of what might happen if they do something or don’t take some sort of precaution on their journey through life.
There are many types of warnings in this type of story: It could be about how hard work doesn’t necessarily pay off and how you could end up broke, or it could be about how ignorance can sometimes lead to death.
The cautionary tale is meant for the audience to take a lesson from this story and apply that knowledge in their own life so they don’t have negative consequences like those in the story.
This type of warning is often used when raising capital because it is needed to have a cautionary tale.
The investor needs to know they are investing in something that could cause them harm if they don’t do their due diligence and research the company before committing any money- otherwise, what will happen?
This type of story is used to raise capital effectively because it warns about the consequences of bad investments.
It’s not just trying to create an emotional connection with investors but also letting them know that they need to be careful and cautious when investing in new companies.
The Clarity Tale
The clarity tale is a story that has an important lesson.
It’s teaching the audience the lessons of life in general, ranging from having faith and patience while waiting for what you want or need to happen up to having courage when facing fear…
With this type of story, there is often one major, overarching lesson to teach.
The clarity tale is the perfect type of story for raising capital because it has a powerful, life-changing lesson that can be applied in so many different ways!
It can create a connection between investors and entrepreneurs through this one big theme they have in common: Life lessons learned from their own experiences or someone else’s.
Many brands and entrepreneurs use comedy as a way to raise capital.
It’s often used to create an emotional connection with the company and try to make people laugh while learning more about what this brand has to offer!
While the business of making or losing money is no laughing matter, his type of story uses humor, laughter, or puns for comedic relief not to become boring or too serious. Remember the difference between getting an investment or not is not life or death.
This type of story is perfect for raising capital because it can make investors laugh and enjoy themselves– which can be a great way to lighten the mood and keep their attention!
Don’t forget that many investors often see multiple pitches per day, so you will often need something special to grab their full attention.
The rebirth story is a classic tale that’s been told and retold over the years.
It tells of how someone has turned their life around, or how something new is born now since they’ve changed themselves for the better.
This type of story can be used to raise capital because it could also help investors see their money as being put into something new and fresh, which could be more appealing for them.
The rebirth story is used to help show a company’s potential by showing how it can turn itself around or change its business model to succeed.
It’s also able to use this type of story as an effective way of raising capital because people appreciate it when someone has shown the ability to change for the better. Some of the best companies are born out of personal experiences. Use these to showcase the journey you’re on.
Let The Main Stage Help You Rock The Show!
Now that you know all there is to know about the types of stories you can use in your pitch, it’s time for you to put them into practice and get ready!
Our platform will help you support the story you’re trying to tell both visually, and with key data, your investors will want to know.
Try our platform out today. It’s free to try, and there is no credit card required for signing up.
If you wanted to raise capital for your company in the old days, it was all about convincing investors that your idea would be profitable.
You would get your pitch deck ready with all sorts of boring, and often irrelevant, numbers and statistics and then spend hours pitching your company to investors.
But now, in an era where people are inundated with information and starved for time, it’s all about telling a story that will resonate with the investor and capture their attention.
We believe storytelling should be the centerpiece of your business plans when raising capital.
That’s why we help companies connect to the ideal investors and partnerships through an elevated and interactive digital experience that focuses on your brand’s story.
What does this all mean?
It means that in order to convince a potential investor, they have to hear the “why” behind your idea.
You have to make them feel something and engage them with your story, or they’ll just forget about you and move on.
The old way of telling investors about how profitable your business would become has now become secondary in your pitch–you need a compelling, dramatic narrative that captures their attention from the get-go.
Deliver a captivating story that investors can visualize and believe in!
This blog post will outline some of the critical points you need to know about how storytelling is the key to successfully raising capital.
Using Storytelling to Bring Your Idea To Life
The key to making an idea come alive is storytelling.
You need to grab your audience’s attention from the very beginning and keep them on board with you.
And if you don’t tell this story correctly, investors will pass right by because they’re busy people who can’t afford to listen to every story.
So you need to be able to capture their attention from the get-go and keep them engaged with your story, or they’ll forget about it.
The key is delivering a captivating, compelling narrative that investors can visualize and believe in!
Why, Who, What
In the current day and age, storytelling is the key to getting investors behind your mission as a company.
You need a powerful, compelling story about why your company is even necessary for the current day and age and what makes it unique from all of the other companies out there.
One of the best ways to do this is to follow Simon Sinek, his famous “The Golden Circle” framework. Most famously described in his book “Start With Why.”
Below I will explain why it is crucial to dive into your companies, Why Who and What.
And why should you always…
…Start with the Why
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers all started with WHY.
They realized that people wouldn’t truly buy into a product, service, or idea until they understand its purpose.
They were clearly communicating their why, which is why these three individuals were able to impact society – not only because of their work ethic and passion but also because they influenced people with their big-picture ideas.
A why gives people a deeper fundamental reason to stand behind the bigger idea of why your company even exists.
If you can’t answer a fundamental “why,” then why is it even necessary that your company exists?
You may as well get back in line with all the other companies that don’t provide value to the world.
Who… Are You Creating This For?
If you don’t know who you are trying to reach, how do you know what they need?
For your investors to believe in your company, they need to understand the target audience you are trying to sell to.
What are their deepest wants and needs?
What are their pains?
How does your company provide a solution?
Successful companies focus on providing something that is of value to their target audience.
And this all starts with defining who your ideal customer is.
Tip: A great way to start with this is using something called a “Value Proposition Canvas.” This tool will guide you through the processes of defining who your ideal customer is and if your product has the potential to reach a customer-market fit.
What… Solutions Does Your Company Offer?
Lastly, you would start looking at the what behind your company.
Often companies start creating products purely from a technical standpoint because they think their features make sense.
Only to later find out that there is no actual need for the product.
I believe this is the main reason why you should always focus on your Why and Who first before you begin creating a product.
People buy into solutions to their problems, not things with “cool” technical features that impress techies.
A company that offers a solution will do better than selling just a product or service for its features.
This means you should be sure your company’s problem aligns with a more profound way for the consumer to connect with them.
Why Storytelling: Old vs. New
Storytelling is as old as time. It is not new or fancy.
On the contrary…
For decades we as humans have shared information through telling stories.
Just look at the countless medieval stories you’ve heard in your lifetime or the religious scriptures that shaped our society to what it is now.
They are all based on elaborate captivating stories intended to pass on arguably some of the most valuable information ever written.
Storytelling isn’t going anywhere, and it will be a massive part of our lives for years to come.
Have you ever been drawn into the time and place of the story? A moment where you felt the emotions of those doing like it was yourself?
It doesn’t even matter if they’re your own feelings or someone else’s. You can feel everything that is there in each moment as though you are right where something happens.
This is what stories can do.
We can put ourselves in the shoes of others.
We can connect with their background and their feelings.
Examples of Companies Who Have Used Storytelling Successfully
To tie this together, I’ve listed two examples of companies, that you have definitely heard of, that have used storytelling to connect with people ultimately.
And they have succeeded in doing so because of the emotional connection that stories provide us as human beings.
One prime example of a company that knows how to tell its story is Apple.
Apple is currently valued at around 800 billion dollars.
This means they are many times more valuable than the next most successful company in their space.
And it’s not only because of what they’ve created but how they have portrayed themselves through storytelling to connect with people.
Apple has managed to create a strong emotional connection that makes us want to buy their products.
They are using the power of storytelling to create a massive following, an army, if you will, that would defend their products with everything they’ve got.
Not because it’s simply the best product for them but also because “we believe in this company and we want to be part of this.”
Another excellent example of storytelling comes from Starbucks.
By showing the people behind their products and connecting with their audience emotionally, they have created a brand that stands for something more than just another coffee shop.
Starbucks has shown that they are there to give people the feeling of home, even when you’re far away from your own.
It’s all about how to effectively tell stories and how they can connect with people.
Tell Your Story With An Interactive Digital Experience
Here at The Main Stage, we’ve completely revolutionized the fundraising process.
One of our main focuses being, you guessed it right, storytelling.
Raising capital for your company has never been more exciting!
Forget boring pitch decks that lull your potential investors into a dull haze. And forget about spending days or even weeks getting said pitch decks ready.
The Main Stage’s invite-only Story Vault will help you present your strategic business plan through storytelling, and it only takes 30 minutes to set up.
Let investors learn everything about the deal at their own pace through our platform with informative video and engaging content.
Explore our platform at your leisure by signing up for a free trial here: