Here’s What Your Presentation to Your VC Lacks

We know what you’re thinking – it’s just a presentation.

If you’re new to the startup game, chances are that you have had your share of trying to secure funding. Meeting VCs after VCs and conjuring up countless presentations isn’t easy. Everyone’s on the same boat. So how do you make sure that your boat is a wave ahead?

Once you have your business plan and all other technical aspects in place, what’s next? Let’s talk about what you can control in this scenario – your presentation.

The world of PowerPoint is amusing and confusing. There are countless combinations of words, fonts, designs etc at your disposal. It’s up to you to figure out how to make your presentation stand out from the millions others witnessed by your investors.

This where the 10/20/30 rule of PowerPoint comes in which was formulated by Guy Kawasaki way back in 2005. (Guy Kawasaki is a Silicon Valley venture capitalist and an ex-Apple employee who was involved in the marketing of the Macintosh computer in 1984). Maybe now that the start-up environment is flourishing, the rule could come more in handy.

According to the rule, your presentation must be only 10 slides, shouldn’t last more than 20 minutes and the font size should be at least 30 points. To be even more specific, your 10 slides should just include:

  1. Problem
  2. Your solution
  3. Business model
  4. Underlying magic/technology
  5. Marketing and sales
  6. Competition
  7. Team
  8. Projections and milestones
  9. Status and timeline
  10. Summary and call to action

10 slides because the average human can only comprehend ten concepts in a meeting. (VCs are human too, after all)

20 minutes because there are bound to be people who arrive late or have to leave early. With a 1 hour time slot you have forty minutes left for valuable discussion.

Lastly, a 30 point font will force you to find the most crucial points and explain them well. No beating around the bush.

There’s no complex algorithm to what makes a perfect pitch. Try this simple rule the next time. Your VC might thank you for sparing them the horror of dreadful presentations.


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