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  • Magdalena Reith

Read Deck: Self-explanatory & detailed

Updated: Sep 1, 2022

With our series of articles about documents that support you in your search for investors, we would like to show you everything you need to know about the essential documents you need to get funded, namely the One Pager, Teaser, Read Deck, and Pitch Deck. This article is primarily about the Read Deck. For information on the other documents, simply click on the following links:

A Read Deck is one of those documents you can hardly do without when looking for investors. The essence of a Read Deck is that the presentation must speak for itself. The clue is in the name – because you are not there when potential financiers or investors look at this document, it must be read by them. This is in comparison to the Pitch Deck, which benefits from your presence and elaboration during the meeting or video call. Basically, though, the Read Deck is the same presentation as the Pitch Deck, but the information is presented differently. With the Read Deck you go into detail, while you get by with the most important key statements in the Pitch Deck and present more in-depth information and details yourself.

A Read Deck that convinces

In addition to the One Pager and Teaser, the Read Deck is the third "stand-alone" presentation of business documents that support you in your search for investors. Even though the Read Deck gives you a lot more space, i.e. slides, than the other two presentations, there is no room for rambling explanations, meaningless content, or gap fillers. On the contrary, with content that offers no added value, you will quickly lose out with financiers. So instead of creating an extensive read deck by all means and with brute force, concentrate on the essentials and keep it as short and detailed as possible.

These details belong in the read deck

A Read Deck consists of an average of 15 to 18 slides and serves to convince potential investors of your business idea. The goal is to provide your future business partners with enough information to form a well-founded picture of your company and your business idea. This also includes a look at the market and the competitive situation.

To ensure that your Read Deck is well received by potential investors and capital providers, the following content must be included:

  • Company name, logo & your name: This is the best way to start your read deck. This way, everyone knows immediately who they are dealing with.

  • Vision & Mission: With the vision you show the higher goal that you are pursuing with your business idea, the mission is about the implementation and what benefits you bring to potential customers with your idea.

  • Investment Summary: This is a summary of the investment you are aiming for, combined with a concise statement about the company or your business idea, you can also show the highlights of the investment here.

  • Team: Details about the team behind the idea, their responsibilities and professional qualifications, as well as details about the advisory board, if one exists.

  • Opportunity: This is about showing why now is a good time to enter the market with your business idea, you can round off the picture with industry statistics.

  • Problem & Opportunity: The problem that currently exists is also the opportunity that your business idea brings with it, describe the problem in detail with regard to your idea.

  • Solution: Present the solution to the previously stated problem, feel free to list individual features.

  • Product & Functionality: Show in detail how the product is designed, what technology is behind it, and what software you work with or how the platform is designed. You want to give interested parties a good insight here. To score even higher with potential sponsors, you are welcome to provide a step-by-step description in detail.

  • Use Case: With a use case, you take the readers of the Read Deck on the customer journey, i.e. the path that customers take from problem to solution and the benefits that your idea brings.

  • Target audience, Market & Added Value: Explain who your target group is, you can use the categories TAM (Total Available Market), SAM (Serviceable Available Market) and SOM (Serviceable Obtainable Market) to describe the market potential.

  • Customer Acquisition: By citing how you will acquire customers, you demonstrate entrepreneurial thinking and action.

  • Competition & USP: Don't be afraid to name your main competitors and highlight your unique selling proposition to show what you do better.

  • Business Model: Here you address income and revenue streams, additional revenue through modification, enhancements or expansion and expansion.

  • Financials: This is the slide you use to present the financial flow of your business, including revenue targets, profit projections, and growth projections.

  • Traction & Roadmap: This is the slide you use to provide insight into the business strategy and use the roadmap to show the key stages in your company's development over time.

  • Investment & Use of Funds: On this slide, you show how much capital you need and what you will use it for.

  • Contact details: The contact details and a concrete Call To Action form the conclusion of your Read Deck.

Details that can be included in the read deck…

... but only if they are really crucial. If not, you're usually better off keeping the Read Deck short. Info that you can include if it adds value includes:

Organizational Structure: It can be quite useful to list other people and positions and the expertise and experience they bring to the company.

Collaborations & Partnerships: This allows you to show how far your company has already grown or how strong the networking is with other companies.

Industry Deals: These details should be included in the read deck if you have already made deals or are targeting major deals in the near future.

Advanced Analysis Tools: In certain circumstances, it may also be useful to cite the results of analysis tools such as SWOT analysis.

Listing the information that must or may be included in a Read Deck is simply a guideline. Since every good business idea is unique, so is the presentation design. In addition to best practices, there is some info that absolutely must find a place, but also some that may only be specific to your business idea. When in doubt, seek the advice of experts to ensure that you prepare your read deck in the best possible way.

This is what a Read Deck looks like

As already mentioned, the action of the Read Deck takes place on about 15-18 slides. It's important that the content is logical and has a clear structure that allows the reader to keep track of what's going on at all times. You want a storyline that runs through the presentation like a long red piece of thread. Ideally, you pick up the prospect at their current level of knowledge and skillfully introduce them to the problem, then present the solution - your business idea - highlighting the advantages in relation to the market situation until you land at your investment ask.

It is also important that the read deck can be understood without your direct input, so it must provide enough information without simultaneously preparing a veritable flood of details. Of course, the choice of images and graphics also plays an important role. In the best case, these not only support the text, but also offer added value.

Although it is the inner values, i.e. the words, that count, the layout should not be neglected. A consistent slide design is one of the basics, as is error-free text. If you already have a corporate design, it is recommended to use it for the read deck. If not, it should at least be a design that fits your idea. This way you can create a well-rounded image that radiates professionalism and competence.

Advantages and benefits of a Read Deck

With a Read Deck you have the opportunity to present your business idea in detail to potential investors. In addition, you can go into more detail about the current problem and the solution you are offering, as well as highlight the USP. With an overview of the market situation and your competitors, you bring out the potential behind your idea. Of course, the investment and how you plan to use it are also important.

There is no other presentation where you can go into as much detail as with a read deck. Don't let this opportunity pass you by. Create a professional Read Deck that speaks for itself and convinces stakeholders of your idea!

Even though designing a Read Deck is time-consuming, it usually pays off twofold, because this presentation is the optimal starting point for all other documents you need. Whether it's a pitch deck, teaser, or one-pager, if you have a well-crafted read deck, you can create the rest with little effort.

Therefore, taking the time to create your read deck will pay off twice for you:

On the one hand, your professionally designed Read Deck will hopefully help you get the investment you want, On the other hand, it gives you a perfect basis for other presentations such as one pagers, teasers or pitch decks. However, despite the length of around 17 slides, a Read Deck also has some limitations, which we would like to mention here.

Challenges in designing a professional read deck.

Due to constraints on length, it is important to think about what to put in the deck and what can be left out. While you can present only the most important things in a short and compact way in a one-pager or teaser, the question with a read deck is rather what should be included and what should not. Experience has shown that there is a tendency to want to put too much information and details on the slides. This stretches the time investors need to engage with the document, and also the patience of many interested parties. At the same time, the read deck needs to be detailed enough to be self-explanatory and provide a good overview of your company and the business idea. This balancing act can be difficult if you don’t have lots of experience with creating Read Decks!

The Read Deck is the perfect basis for finding investors

The great art is to bring the essence of all the information of your business idea, which you may have already worked out in the business plan, into a vivid presentation. This needs to be self-explanatory as you send the read deck to prospective investors. Just as with the one pager and teaser, the recipients have no way to ask you directly and immediately if they are unclear.

So we can't stress enough how important it is that you take your time and prepare a really good presentation. Sure, you are the expert when it comes to your idea, but not every detail is as important to potential investors as it is to you. Make a good distinction between important and relevant info and those that involve too much detail.

Since we know how time-consuming the creation of a read deck can be, we are happy to take this work off your hands. We have a team of project managers, copywriters, and designers who will work closely with you to professionally create and design your Read Deck.

If you'd like assistance, let us know and we'll contact you with no obligation!

For information on the other documents, simply click on the following links:

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