Anup Dutta, design consultant for startups of GPAccelerator, recently spoke at a session at GP House titled “How to design a winning pitch deck”. The event started with a short info session about the GPAccelerator program. The overall idea of the accelerator program was described and the application process was thoroughly talked through for the audience. After the info session, Anup, who calls himself a design entrepreneur, conducted a design session where he covered all there is to know about pitch deck design.
Anup started the session by describing what a pitch deck is. “Pitch deck is a fundraising tool and it’s a way to present your content (problems, industry, business model, traction, etc,) in a way that it becomes invest-able.”
Anup said, “Content is the king of your pitch and design is the queen. Your pitch deck will be about your content and the design should not overdo it, rather it should complement it.”
Throughout his session, he focused on the concept that- “Good design is as little design as possible”. By this, he meant keeping the slides very simple. Overdoing the slide will make it complex and hard to understand.
Must-haves for pitch deck
Next, he talked about the 10 must-haves that all investor pitch decks should have. Without the following 10 topics, your pitch deck will be incomplete. You will definitely be asked about them by the investors.
Three important concepts
- Who we are
- Market size
- Business model
- Value proposition
After interactively describing these 10 points, he started to talk about the three important concepts of designing. These include: fonts and typography, colour, and contrast.
Fonts are very important as it shows the aesthetics of the slide. Anup suggested selecting fonts very carefully. Fonts can tell how serious you are with your work. He recommended using Serif fonts for print media and Sans-Serif fonts for digital media. One easy choice could be using Helvetica if you can’t choose the font. Also, he suggested sticking to one or two fonts in the pitch deck.
In the case of colour, Anup said: “Three is a sweet spot.” He advised using around three colours in the layout. Also, one should use colour in the deck that is true to the brand’s story. Colour psychology plays an important role for the deck as each hue signifies and represents something definite. About 60% of the tech startups use blue colours for their pitch deck design because blue indicates intelligence.
Then he talked about contrast which is equally important for the layout. Without proper contrast, it will be hard to read what’s on the slide.
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Dos and Don’ts
- Make the slide readable
- The fonts should be large enough so that audience in the back can also read it clearly
- Don’t add too much text
- Using hyphenation is a big ‘No’ for slides
- Make it simple and cover only one idea per slide
- Do not use watermarks in the slides
- Do not use bullet points
- Use simple bar, line, pie charts and simple, relatable icons instead of bullet points
- Visualise the important data
Lastly, Anup said, “The goal of a pitch deck is to make the investor interested for a second meeting. So be concise and take pride in what you do.”