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How to build a pitch deck that will ACTUALLY raise money

This piece is derived from David S. Rose speech at this TED TalkDavid Rose a serial entrepreneur turned serial investor is also the CEO of Gust. You’ve got to let me know that there are touchstones (during your pitch). You want to tie in to the rest of the world out there. So, for example, if you reference companies I’ve heard of, or basic items in your business, I want to know about them. Things that I can relate to: validators, or anything that tells me somebody else has approved this, or there’s outside validation. It can be sales; it can be you’ve got an award for something;it can be, people have done it before; it can be your beta tests are going great. Whatever. I want to know validation, that you’re telling me not just what you’re telling me, but that somebody else — or something else out there — says this makes sense. And then, because I’m looking for the upside here, I’ve got to have believable upside. And that’s two parts. It’s got to be upside, and it’s got to be believable. The upside means that if you’re telling me that you’re going to be out there, five years out, making a million dollars a year — hmm. That’s not really upside. Telling me you’re going to be out there making a billion dollars a year — that’s not believable. So it’s got to be both sides. On the other hand, there are a lot of things that drive me down, take the emotional level down, and you’ve got to recover from those. And those, for example, are anything you tell me that I know is not true.”We have no competition. There’s nobody else who’s ever made a widget like this.” Odds are I probably know somebody who has made a widget. And the minute you tell me that — boom! You know, I discount half of what you’re saying from then on. Anything that makes me think. Anything that I don’t understand,where I have to make the leap myself, in my own head, is going to stop the flow of the presentation. So, you’ve got to take me through like a sixth grader — dub, dub, dub, dub, dub — but without patronizing me. And it’s a very tricky path to do it. But if you can do it, it works really, really well. Anything that’s inconsistent within the concept of your thing. If you tell me sales of X, Y or Z are 10 million dollars, and the next slide, or five slides later, they’re five million dollars. Well, one may have been gross sales, one may have been net sales, but I want to know that all the numbers make sense together. And then finally, anything that’s an error, or a typo, or a stupid mistake, or a line that’s in the wrong place. That shows me that — if you can’t even do a presentation, how the heck can you run a company? So this all feeds in together. Startup Turkey also hosted David S. Rose and below is his talk at the conference. https://vimeo.com/121111560    ]]>

─ January 21, 2016