Since we launched investor introductions for members at YENA, we’ve seen a large amount of pitch decks in our inboxes.
Many have been fantastic but some… not so much.
I wanted to take the time to outline what the problem with them is, specifically, visually.
There are tonnes of articles on what content makes for a killer pitch deck, such as this one on Forbes, so I wanted to come at it from a different angle for you all.
It’s also worth noting that these tips can also be used for client pitch decks, one-pagers, reports, press releases & more.
1. White space is (insanely) important
For something that isn’t actually there, white space is incredibly important. It helps to emphasise areas where the content actually is, and it keeps the eye drawn to important features. It also helps with practising effective & efficient content over that which includes every tiny detail that investors just won’t have time to read.
A good example here from airbnb.
2. Consistent & simple colour palette
Set a set amount of colours you’ll use for your deck and use them in blocks. This isn’t a painting. They are slides. Think of them as bold posters, combined to make a book. White on coloured backgrounds, dark or colours on white backgrounds. Simplicity is key. Unless you’re pitching Skittles, perhaps.
3. Screen colours are different from print colours
RGB and CMYK are different. RGB relates to the colours you see on your screen whilst CMYK is for print. That’s not necessarily what you need to know here. What you need to know is that if you have a designer on your team and they create a CMYK document that you’re then sending to investors via email then the colours will be different than in real life and you’ll need to adjust accordingly. Good designers should know this already but we’ve seen some with differing colours from their actual logo before, so it’s worth mentioning.
4. Less is more
In your revenue or profit/EBITDA slide, showing a graph with an upward curve (the vertical axis being £s), is always a good sign, investors will want to see that. You could explain ever little part of how you’re going to make that money happen, what it’s going to cost, etc etc etc, but that’s what your meeting is for. This document is designed to get you the meeting or the call. Yes it’s there to be informative too, but if you write an essay, no one is going to ready that – not even us before we send it on!
5. Get better stock imagery
Business people shaking hands, chess pieces being moved, fake laughing. We’ve seen them all. So have you. So please don’t continue to use them. Use images you wouldn’t find anywhere else. I’ll let you in on a few secret places to get good images for free as long as you promise not to overuse them too:
6. Icons & Infographics FTW
People love a good icon. It portrays a service, emotion, result in a simple image, saving you potentially lots of words and lots of valuable (white) space. Check out The Noun Project for some awesome icons from hundreds of designers.
7. Uniform text styles & sizes
There can be nothing more distracting than having multiple typefaces in different sizes, strewn across a page. Also making font too small can be annoying for people to read and subconsciously make it feel like there’s more to read. Pick a couple of nicely sized fonts, maybe 1 or 2 pts about what you’d usually write with and stick to them. Get the weighting consistent and pick a style in turn with your branding.
Hopefully now you have some of what to do to make sure you have a killer pitch deck, ever single time. Visually appealing and ready to change the game for you every time you use it.
Let us know if you have any feedback or thoughts below!