The corporate deck.

That thousandth-time revised document that you pass around the c-suite before every conference, adding comments, triple-checking the latest financials, and finally exporting in the eleventh hour. Chances are your corporate deck has been through so many revisions, no one remembers who made the original.

Don’t let your investor deck become a nightmare. Here are 7 tips to making your corporate deck stand out – and do its job – in attracting investors.

Include a “Highlights” Slide Early In Your Deck

Including a key summary, overview, or highlights page within the first 2-4 slides can quickly illustrate your value proposition for investors without forcing them to sit through and sort through the rest of your presentation.
This is one of the best and most efficient ways to engage investors from the start, and even let them decide if it’s worth their time to continue with your deck or presentation. If your company doesn’t fit their investment mandate, everyone might as well know early.

Be straightforward on this slide – say exactly why you think your business is so compelling as an investment, and give them the high-level details about your vertical, addressable market, recent growth, and upcoming events they should care about.

Someone should have a high-level understanding of your business from this slide alone!

We see many small companies bury a “summary” page at the end of their deck as a summary, but a bulleted, concise value proposition early in the deck – with the rest of the presentation serving as supportive information – is much more effective.

Keep It Concise

Don’t be verbose! Cut to the chase and make your deck super easy to scan. Use the 5/5/5 rule.

No more than five words per line of text (that’s a tough one, we know)

No more than five lines of text per slide

No more than five text-heavy slides in a row

A good presenter will be able to expound on each slide during an in-person presentation, and for online purposes, your audience is looking for a concise story.

Everyone knows it’s a pitch deck, and they expected to be pitched.

Keep Your Deck Short

Have you ever sat through a 40-slide pitch and spent the second half staring into space?

Or maybe you’re the person giving the 40-page pitch deck.

Either way, many of the best pitch decks are 10-15 slides in length. Short and to the point will keep investors engaged, show them what you care about most, and give them the basics they need to then learn more from a conversation with your executive team or through your other investor collateral, like SEC filings.

Use High-Quality and Original Images and Graphics

If you’re pulling clipart from Powerpoint – stop.

Having a professional designer in your corner who can help you build incredible graphics, charts, and icons for your slide deck can do wonders for your corporate or pitch deck.

You’ll look more professional, and you’ll save time and headache on design work that’s probably below your pay grade.

No Animations or Video Embeds (and Definitely No Sounds)

If there’s one thing that never lands well in presentations, it’s embedded videos or animations.

15 years ago, animations were a fun way to spice up a powerpoint. Today, they’re a significant (and dated) distraction.

Don’t Cut/Paste

Don’t paste your company’s 7-sentence summary description onto your first slide, and definitely don’t read this description as part of an in-person or webinar presentation.

In fact – and hopefully this isn’t new – you shouldn’t be reading directly from your slides no matter what.

IR Deck Navigation Should Be Intuitive

Visual cues can help your audience follow your presentation and navigate your slide deck intuitively.

For instance, a pharmaceutical company with both commercialized products on the market and development stage drugs in the pipeline might use different brand colors to organize their slide deck into these two “sections.” This can be in Heading colors, but it can also be highlighted through brand logos, or tablature along the sides of the slides that act as a unobtrusive table of contents.

Creative approaches to organization that lean on design elements can make your readers’ navigation seamless and help them more effectively understand the many facets of your business, particularly if you operate as multiple business segments.

The Last Word On Great Investor Decks

Great investor decks include professional design, are concise in their wording, and make navigation easy.

They should be highly skimmable and spell out your value proposition for even the most cursory reader who never gets beyond a few slides. Let the bulk of your slide deck support your initial claims, and make it easy for investors to understand why your business will grow – and your stock with it.

Ready to Attract and Impress Your Investors

Contact us today and rethink how you interact with your investors.

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