Should a pitch have a professional presentation?


Related to "Things you need to have ready to pitch", is it necessary to have a whiz-bang all-singing all-dancing professionally produced PowerPoint deck for an investor pitch?

My feeling is that such "gloss" risks getting in the way of the message and suggests that the firm is all glitter and no depth. I'd rather be the amateur with a very compelling vision.

Thoughts? I'm especially interested in reactions from those that have made it through a first VC round as well as an angel round.


asked Nov 10 '09 at 06:20
Jeremy Mc Gee
371 points

2 Answers


The questions they ask are more important than your slides.

Gloss is ignored. They're not so shallow as to be affected by gloss, right? If they are, you don't want them as investors...

Cover the bare minimum in slides. Facts are more useful than projections. Title each slide with the take-home message you want them to have for that slide; it will also focus your idea about what goes on the rest of the slide, and often the right answer is "nothing."

Anything that shows the business is tangible is good and should be included. Customers using the product, actual revenues, a demo (prerecorded so you don't screw that up!), testimonials, write-ups -- these are never a waste of time.

Anything you made up, anything you project, anything you're hoping for, that's extremely uninteresting. Have as little as possible, probably none.

Finally, see this article and this follow-up article on exactly this topic.

answered Nov 12 '09 at 05:59
16,231 points


Having made it through investment rounds I can safely tell you that the simple straight forward presentation is the way to go. Investors are looking to create rapport with you rather than get wowed by transition effects between slides.

Your presentation deck should be a catalyst to start discussions within the group to get the investors to really find out more about you and your company.

answered Nov 10 '09 at 13:42
Usman Sheikh
1,728 points
  • Nice one, thanks. Putting it the other way - what's the minimum that one could get away with? A sketch on a napkin? – Jeremy Mc Gee 14 years ago
  • Unless you are Dan Roam I wouldn't go as far as a napkin. Just follow Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 rule and all should be good. Seth Godin has some good thoughts on this matter as well. – Usman Sheikh 14 years ago

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics: