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  • Magdalena Reith

The worst mistakes in your pitch deck

Updated: Jul 8


You know the saying "less is more?” That's exactly where the secret to a good pitch deck lies. Keep it as short as possible while making sure to provide a fitting company overview. After all, you only have a short time to catch the interest of investors, business partners or customers and give them a holistic overview of your business plan. However, there are some mistakes you should avoid if you want your presentation to be a really good pitch. Here are six common mistakes and how to avoid them.


Mistake #1: Your team gets lost on the way to the pitch deck.

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We see this pitch deck mistake time and time again, and we can't stress it enough: Presenting your team in a pitch deck is essential. Are you a solo founder or already leading a team of 16? What makes you a good startup founder and entrepreneur? For investors, this info is extremely important. Why? Because you're not only showing the human side of the project but also highlighting the soft and hard skills within the team at the same time. By introducing the team in the presentation, you show the skills, qualifications and development stage of your project. Don't miss this opportunity!


Mistake #2: Words and data as far as the eye can see...


Granted, this is an exaggeration, but slides with text and data with no real end is a no-go. If you can only read what you have written on your laptop with narrowed eyes, and the numbers and data are only visible with a magnifying glass, there is only one thing that helps: drastic clean-up! Or even better, start with a new draft and concentrate on the essentials. Think in advance about what the potential investor or future business partner should take away from your presentation. Your business plan is a good starting point for this.


Mistake #3: One pitch deck for all


This brings us right to mistake #3: A pitch deck for everyone. This strategy usually misses the mark. Whether it's an angel investor, venture capital firm, series A or B, or large industrial company, they all have a specific investment strategy. Make it your homework to figure out exactly what your ideal investor is looking for and build your presentation accordingly. Where some investors see risk, others see opportunity. If you can clearly explain why your company has good prospects in the market, your chances of receiving funding will increase immensely. Therefore, our practical tip is: Know your ideal investor!


Mistake #4: SOS, lost USP!


The more text you include, the higher the risk that your USP will get lost in the shuffle. But it's exactly the unique selling proposition that can attract the interest of potential stakeholders. What is your idea and why is it so great that people are willing to spend money on your product or service? Use this feature as the basis for the pitch deck and upon which everything else is built. For each slide, think about how the content supports the USP.


Mistake #5: Not every picture is worth 1,000 words.


Photos of a cat, a beach, and a laptop with a coffee cup can be quite meaningful. At least if you want to sell fur, sand, and coffee-resistant laptops. If your business idea does not fall into this category, then please keep your hands off such photos. What you do need are images that support your startup and content: Sketches of your product, before-and-after photos, distribution or sales graphics, and pictograms that add value to potential stakeholders. They also can lighten up your presentation and increase the impact of the written text.


Mistake #6: DIY Design - or who is doing the tinkering?

DIY Pitchdeck

Your startup pitch deck is the business card of your business idea! The slides must match the style of the company - a consistent design is crucial. If the presentation looks like the slides were tinkered with in ten minutes, it makes a bad impression and calls into question the legitimacy of the entire project. The rule here is that form follows function. If the brand design is minimalist, your pitch deck should also have a clean, pared-down style. The most important thing is that you maintain consistency and a clear structure. Give yourself enough time to create an excellent startup pitch deck or get help from professionals!


Bottom line: Pitch deck space is precious!


As you can see, there are a few stumbling blocks with a startup pitch deck that can cost you your successful funding round. Hardly anyone has the time to go through long presentations anymore, and in many cases, you only have one chance to convince a potential investor about you and your company. By focusing the pitch deck on the essentials, you increase the chances that stakeholders or important board members will actually read your presentation, not just scan it superficially. Get your team on board and support your core message with short, concise sentences. With a consistent design and well-chosen images, you'll show potential investors, business partners and customers your professionalism and be able to convince them with your pitch deck!


Do you want to give your pitch deck, business plan, or one-pager a professional polish and optimize the result? We are happy to help you. Send us an email and we will get in touch with you!


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