Build a Pitch Deck: Engineer a Narrative

A strong deck tells a strong story. The story investors are interested in is how you plan to build a large, independent company.

So how do you engineer a narrative? The time tested, three act structure, of course.

There’s a lot of literature online about pitch decks and what sections to include. Here are some key components:

  • Vision: What does your company want to become?
  • Problem: What problem are you solving?
  • Solution: How does your company solve that problem? How are you differentiated?
  • Team: Founders, key Advisors, Board Members. Why is your team best suited for executing this idea?
  • Why now: What market forces are converging to make “now” the right time to start you company?
  • Market: Who is the customer? How big is the market?
  • Competition: Who are your competitors, directly and indirectly? What is your competitive advantage?
  • Product: What is your product? Show us your progress and roadmap moving forward.
  • Business model: How do you generate revenue? Pricing/CLV/etc.
  • Financials: What are your projected expenses and revenues? Burn rate? Forecasts?

Combine these elements to tell your story in a succinct and compelling manner. The order of said elements should be constructed for the best narrative. Each component should build on one another to come together at the high point of your presentation. And remember, we recommend the 10/20/30 rule by Guy Kawasaki for a first pitch. A good deck should be able to tell the story in 10 slides, using 20 minutes in 30 point font.

Both pitch decks and screenplays are exercises in thinking through problems by way of a story. The bottom line is to ask yourself if your business plan flows from the problem to the creation of a long-term, independent company.

Written by Adina Luo