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Founder Questions: How Many Pitch Decks Do I Need?

Updated: May 11

Guy presenting a pitch deck from a wall monitor to a room of people

How Many Pitch Decks Do I Need?

A question that is often overlooked by founders is that of "how many pitch decks do I need?" The assumption is one, but the reality is many. There are multiple factors that go into why you might need to tailor your pitch deck to different pitching scenarios. In this article, we'll discuss some of the different pitching scenarios and the differences that might be needed for each pitch.

Form of Pitch

Pitch opportunities take many different forms. You could be pitching to a large audience at a startup conference, a small group of investors in a boardroom, a high net worth individual in your local cafe, or you could find yourself on the stage at a major pitching competition. There are also opportunities to pitch at what is known as 'deal days', where a group of investors or investor syndicates invite pre-vetted startups to pitch for a change to secure immediate investment.

Format of Pitch Decks

For each of the different forms of pitch, you may find yourself needing a different format of pitch. If you're going to present verbally to a room of people, then usually pitches are created in software like PowerPoint, Google Slides, Canva or Keynote, and delivered from a laptop through a projector onto a big screen.

In these cases, there is often either a limit on the number of slides allowed, or a specified slide deck format, or a time limit for how long you can speak. You may be asked to submit the slide deck for the presentation itself, plus an additional more detailed document in the form of either a longer slide deck, or an Investment Memo (IM). Sometimes you'll be provided a template to fill in, other times, you'll need to create the document yourself.


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Length of Pitch Deck & Presentation

Most startups find they need several lengths of their pitch deck for approaching different investment platforms including venture capitalists, incubators and accelerators. Each entity requests different lengths of pitches.

How to Manage This Efficiently

We recommend starting with creation of a longer 20 slide reading deck that can be sent out and understood without being presented directly by you. This deck helps you clarify the details, which you can then craft down into a 10-minute pitch, then a 5-minute pitch; culminating in a short, punchy 2 minute 'elevator pitch'. From here, it's easy to tailor up to another pitch length, for example, we've known requests for a 7-minute pitch from one Sydney-based investor syndicate!

In Summary

It's a good idea to find out exactly the format, time or slide limit and the forum in which you will be pitching before you prepare your pitch deck. That way, you will be fully prepared, and you can rehearse your pitch to work within the limits of the pitch opportunity.

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