CHAPTER 4 of 10

How to Design a Unique Pitch Deck for Investors

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like, design is how it works.

— Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Apple Inc.
A good pitch deck design enhances your story, emphasizes the critical points of your presentation, and communicates your story clearly and effectively.

Investors will judge your pitch deck within seconds after you started pitching.

This is a natural process and happens subconsciously. Choosing the right colors, shapes, and font styles consequently have a significant impact on the outcome of your pitch.

Investors see hundreds of pitch decks every year, and design is one of the easiest ways to ensure they remember yours.
Illustration to pitch deck template guide does pitch deck design really matter

Pitch Deck Design Tips

Investors need to understand your slides within seconds of looking at them. The amount of written content they see on a slide is critical.

Always choose images, charts, and figures over written content. If you do have to include written material, use as few words as possible.

Every deck slide should have the same style: margins, color scheme, font size, and visual assets.

These small details make your presentation look smart, professional, and well designed.
icon page margins pitch deck guide design
Page Margins
Avoid large or small page margins, as this makes your slides look crowded. We recommend a margin between 1.5cm and 3cm.
icon color scheme pitch deck guide design
Color Scheme
Your color scheme should enhance your deck and complement your logo. Pick two or three primary colors for your deck and use shades of the same color for variation. A highlighter color to showcase relevant content is also a great idea.
icon font size pitch deck guide design
Font Size
Choose no more than two font sizes, one for headings and another for everything else. Make sure all fonts can be seen from across a room (we recommend at least 50px) but are not so large that words are split between one line and the next.
icon visual assets pitch deck guide design
Visual Assets
Make sure you use high-resolution images and avoid any that would not occur naturally. Charts, graphs, and diagrams must compliment your color scheme and fit neatly onto the slide. Avoid 3D images, which can be challenging to interpret.
icon slide transitions and animations pitch deck guide design
Slide Transitions and Animations
Avoid using transitions and animations, unless you have slides showing a complex process or data, in which case is introducing elements one at a time can be helpful.
Quick Dos and Dont's
One headline per slide
Exceed 20 words per slide
One headline-complement sentence
Use simple bulletpoints
One image per slide
Write full sentences

Deck Formats

There are two types of pitch decks: presentation decks and reading decks.
Presentation Deck
A presentation deck contains very little information. It is designed to accompany a verbal pitch and should be used to highlight key facts.
Reading Deck
A reading deck is not presented to investors in person. It includes enough information to give readers a detailed overview of your business model, team, and solution.
As you would expect, some design tips work best for pitch presentations, others for reading decks. Here we share some of the best design tips for both.

Presentation Deck

When it comes to pitch decks, there is one point every successful founder should know – use as few words as possible.

Your deck slides are there to introduce an idea; it is your verbal pitch that will provide the majority of the information.

Always use images and charts instead of words and limit yourself to 10 words per slide.
Top Tip

Once you have written your presentation deck, delete any word that dos not belong to the header of the slide.

Can you rephrase the header so that you can still understand the slide?

How to create a reading deck

A reading deck has a lot of information to convey. Investors should be able to glance at your deck and understand within minutes what your venture is about.

The slides have to say everything you would have said in person in the shortest time possible.

Each slide has two purposes; to make a point, and to back it up with data. The most effective slides make one point and one point only. Using the same slide to deliver multiple ideas makes it harder to read and understand.
Select the words carefully. Each word has to add value.

Avoid the excessive use of adjectives – investors don't need them. They have seen thousands of pitch decks. Do not bore them with the same overexaggerated style everybody else does.

Icon no pitch deck guide template
NO:
Our comprehensive customer acquisition strategy delivers effective cross channel returns.
Icon yes pitch deck guide template
YES:
Average spend per sales lead. Social Media: $0.70, Location-based: $1.60, Print: $2.60.
Top Tip

Divide your reading deck slides into three parts. A title at the top, a 'mission statement' in the middle, and a more detailed explanation (no more than 50 words) at the bottom.

Useful Resources

At BaseTemplates, we use a number of resources to help create the best pitch decks. Here are a few of our favorites. Most of them are free, and all are really helpful. Enjoy!
Summary
Your pitch deck design will have a significant impact on how investors view your venture. Whether you are creating a pitch presentation or a reading deck, your slides should be clear, consistent, and well structured if you want to impress investors.
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Action Plan