Formatting your deck

PITCH THINKING #10: Formatting your deck

Tl;dr: Learn how to format your pitch deck so that it is easy for investors to head. 

Pitch deck thinking course outline

You are now on part ten of the pitch deck thinking course. 1 more to go.

  1. What pitch material do you need?
  2. What is a good deck?
  3. The importance of narrative
  4. What are the key questions investors will want to get from your deck?
  5. How to approach writing decks
  6. The flick test
  7. Who do you trust with the pitch deck? Can I have an NDA?
  8. How do you know if your deck is good?
  9. How to send your deck to investors
  10. Formatting your deck
  11. 25 tips

If you can’t face them all at once, you can join the course and get these sent straight to your mailbox here:

Formatting your pitch deck

Let’s make sure your deck is looking fly and professional.

Here are some tips and guidelines:

  • Start with your website. What colors and fonts do you use? Unless you used terrible font before, then use that. Write down what you use
  • Max two fonts. You can have one for header and one for body text if you like. If more there needs to be a very specific reason. Less is more. Abadi MT Condensed for headers and Century Gothic is a decent pair if you are lost
  • Same size fonts. Your header, subhead, and body text need to be the same size! Generally, I don’t like to use anything less than 28- that’s my absolute min. I generally prefer to be around 32. Don’t take this as gospel, but your header and body text need to be at least 30% larger
  • You can fiddle with size… Sometimes your slides are weird, so you need to fiddle to make sure that things fit. See the example below. The key is to make sure the overall look and feel make sense
  • Before you start making the deck, set a master template. I’m not teaching you to do this, but you can. Go to master slides and make a template. Format where the header is, whether there are page numbers, what font body text is. This will save you so much time!
  • Bold important text. You noticed that I use bold in each bullet here? I’m trying to make it easy for you to parse the information. Do the same. Highlight what is important. You can use italics to emphasize things, or for quotes too
  • Make use of white space. Just because there is space does not mean you need to fill it! Space is nice. You only need to take up so much real estate to get your message across.
  • Header is the key! We talked about the flick test, right? You want to make sure the first thing that anyone reads is the big headline at the top of the page. Then anything else on the page exists just to back that up
  • If in doubt delete. Less is more
  • Make sentences as short as possible and use a smaller word that means the same thing as a longer word (takes less space)
  • Don’t write paragraphs if at all possible! Try to make one idea per line
  • Use bullet points. They’re easier to follow and they force you to structure your thoughts
  • Pick colors and stick to them. Is your site blue? Then use a scale of the blue you are using and add an accentuation color that compliments it. In the picture below you can see the circle? That’s the accentuation I use (It’s made used an advanced gradient fill)
  • Drop shadows can make 3D. The iceberg floats by adding a drop shadow. You may prefer things flat, but little things like this make your deck pop

Here is an example of a complicated, text-heavy slide I made (I’ve obfuscated the text). I’ve put the font size in the red boxes.

  • Your eyes should be drawn to the header, then the 3 points on the left, then the 416% box and the down the text boxes.
  • Each text section is bolded for the key text, so you don’t even need to read all the text

Here is another example of a pretty slide to illustrate your drivers of growth from the pitch deck template:

  • Big, bold header
  • Pretty image
  • Points parsed in three boxes with a short header and supporting text (in grey, to reduce attention)

The faster way to make a beautiful deck!

You’ve learned about the value of formatting and having a pretty deck… only that sounds like a lot of work, right?

Wouldn’t it be dandy if the work was done already? Well, it is! I’ve put together a template with a 105 slides designed specifically for fundraising.

You can download it here and save yourself a crazy amount of time and money.

Wop wop

That’s that. The next installment is here: Formatting your deck

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