My First Pitch Deck

In my early days of serving investors, we relied on an executive business plan. Maybe today’s investors have a shorter attention span.

A potential investor, a younger guy, requested that I share a pitch deck for a proposed public/private partnership sustainable marina community redevelopment plan. My role is to act as a middle person between the public officials and the private investors, so I am serving multiple stakeholders with varied business styles and interests. The senior government official at the head of the public side of the project scoffed at the idea of a pitch deck. He’s put together many such deals, usually based on a verbal presentation. After all, we already have a 37-page executive business plan, feasibility study, and architect’s conceptual drawings. I realized that approach wasn’t going to work. It was time to learn to prepare a pitch deck.

Step one was to learn best practices in preparing a pitch deck. This is what I gathered online:

  • The most important element of creating a perfect pitch deck is to make it clear, concise, and to the point.
  • The best pitch decks are concise and use just a single slide to explain each topic.
  • Powerpoint and ChatGPT are useful tools. I found templates at
  • I need two different sets of pitch decks:
  • – One for email with more text
  • – Other for verbal/live presentation

Keys to powerful pitch decks that get funded:
• Clear and simple
• Compelling
• Easy to act on

No more than 19 slides. Include:
1. Vision and Value
2. Problem – one, painful
3. Solution – clear
4. Market – over $1B, 10X return in 5 to 7 years, revenue model
5. Product – pictures, testimonials
6. Traction – hockey stick graph
7. Marketing and sales strategy
8. Team – bullet points
9. Competition – diagram is good
10. Partnerships
11. Financials
12. Amount being raised – investment and use of funds
13. Exit strategy – timeline

When an investor gets involved with your venture is either because one of the following things:

  • They have experienced the same problem in the past
  • There is a clear sense of ROI for them
  • They understand it because of their own expertise

I am already convinced that a pitch deck is a better way to present an investment project and I expect to have a first draft ready for internal critique by the end of the week.

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