Believe me, it’s important
I’ve spent a large amount of this week thinking about our first pitch deck and I don’t mean what colours or typeset, (that was decided long ago) but instead, how to best convey our proposal on the first slide. Once that slide has been presented, it will frame everything else that follows and changing someone’s mind after that point will be difficult … and herein lies the problem.
You can put up whatever facts, figures, stories you want, but if the person on the other end of the presentation doesn’t believe you it’s not worth anything. This means that the pitch isn’t truly about the facts and figures (obviously they need to not be absurd), but it’s about pitching your belief to the investor and them deciding that they believe it too.
To believe in something the person needs to have a good understanding of the shape of the problem and the shape of the solution otherwise the information that you present to show how awesome your solution is, won’t be a good solution to the problem that they have in their head. Furthermore, if this has already happened, then the harder you try to show how good your solution is, the more it will reinforce in the investor’s head how the idea isn’t quite right for the problem.
This means that the first slide needs to be short and near perfectly describe the problem and solution. This is where I have been spending my hours.
Make it too simple and everyone will understand it, but you will have eroded your USP and they won’t believe that your idea has value. Retain too much information and you run the risk of losing them or seeming disconnected from reality, making them believe that the idea won’t ever come to fruition.
The solution is quite simple, pitch and re-pitch the first slide to people who don’t know what you’re startup is doing until you find those magical combination of words. The combination of words that in an instant, drops the shape of your solution into someone else’s head and allows them to ask the right questions, that when answered, build up that all-important belief.
When I find mine I’ll let you know.