What's a good file size for sending a pitch deck around

What’s a good file size for sending a pitch deck around?

Tl;dr: Email your deck to an investor as an attachment. Send it in a PDF. The file size shouldn’t be larger than 8mb

I get asked a lot of ‘basic’ questions from founders on a host of topics. I thought to make a simple post for you on file sizes and emailing your deck to VCs when you are running a fundraise process.

Pitch deck file size

In the perfect world, I would like the file size to be 3mb. These days that’s hard.

In reality, this trends more to 5–8mb.

If I see 8mb or more, then there is a problem.

I get worried because there are email deliverability issues. I’m a nerd but I don’t learn email rules crap off by heart, but at 10/20mb some servers are like ‘feck this shite’, and some corporates have email rules of their own.

Computer says no.

Here’s a note on that:

Some email servers may have smaller limits, but 10MB is generally the standard. Gmail allows you to attach up to 25MB to a single email, but this is only guaranteed to work if you’re emailing other Gmail users. As soon as the email leaves Gmail’s servers, it could be rejected by another email server.

You have to think about deliverability.

I’m often in a pub and I want to show a deck to an investor.

Do you know how much I love waiting and the data cost of your 20mb ass file? In the 3 minutes it takes to open the conversation has moved on and you’ve lost your shot.

Not at all.

Images are what messes things up

If you have a file size of 20mb, you messed up totally on image compression before you added images to your document. Don’t just download images from Google or envato and use them. You need to edit the files.

It’s always images that make files large and not how much text you write.

If you use Canva, Envato, or Pixabay, their images are way bloated so you need to compress everything before you bring them into PowerPoint.

Compression tips

There are many ways to do this, but this is what works for me (I do this 50x a day).

I use a web app called https://tinypng.com. I hate that I have to keep uploading, but it does better than Caesium on my PC for example (Actually, I just find it too confusing to use, lol!).

I think of images like safe sex. I run through tinypng before I let any image in a deck I do so I’m safe.

You need to pay attention to image dimensions. If the image is some crazy 4k size image I will resize in Caesium to no more than the dimensions of the slide.

Most decks shouldn’t be more than 24 slides. And typically there will be maybe 8 images max, so if I can tell an image is more than 1mb I get military. Just look at your file size – if it’s 10mb, one or more images is not compressed.

Yes, PowerPoint has a ‘compress all’ functionality but I find it is garbage and will only save you a few KB. My guess is that they only do lossless compression.

Don’t use file senders- only email your deck

Always email your deck to investors. If you need to share a lot of files further in the process you can make a Dropbox folder.

Never use file sender programme like wetransfer, especially to someone you don’t know well.

It’s just not pro. The VC doesn’t want to use it and frankly, there are trust issues with “press this link”.

Making people do anything out of their inbox creates friction and that’s not your friend when you’re trying to get and keep their attention.

There should never be a need to send your deck through wetransfer. Just sort your image compression.

Doc sharing programmes

I’ve written a blog on this but I’ve done so many I lose track.

I’m very two minded about these still.

  • Pro: You get stats. You know who reads (but you can type [email protected] in the email box as I always do). You can see if people reread and for how long. It’s ‘asset light’ in an email as the page load is in the link so you get improved deliverability (Though some spam filters don’t like links from new senders)
  • Con: It’s annoying. As a VC, a PDF in my email is just easier. I do not want to enter my fricking email. If I share your deck, more than likely you are lucky

I haven’t quite decided where I fall on it. I generally recommend DocSend to founders if you do want to do it.

Russ Heddleston can chime in and am sure he has more stats than my in-person experience.

Never send your deck in PowerPoint/Keynote

Always convert to PDF and normally in the compressed format. Never send your original file.

You are going to do something wrong. You will forget you have your lame ass notes in the comments, people can potentially mess about with the file, bla bla.

Only share your PPT file if an associate asks after you have signed a term sheet and is going for Monday morning approval. He has work to do to help you (internal presentation), so make their life easier.

Keynote hack to mass compress images

I should make a video on this as it’s pretty cool. I once made a deck and the file size was a joke. I was not about to manually export/import each image! So I went technical on the deck’s ass and found a hack. Let me explain.

If you are on Mac, you can convert the file into a “package”. You can then open it up like a folder and there is a folder with all your images!

Then get a desktop file compressor to go bad boyz on your images with the same target folder.

You can then convert the package back to a single file and boom, images compressed.

I figured this out so it’s not a public hack. I can’t find a way to do in PPT on PC


Emailing investors your deck shouldn’t be complicated. Compress files and send them in PDF.

If you want to know the docs you need to raise, check out:

The fundraising documents you need to pitch venture capitalists

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