Pitch Decks: Designs That Win Hearts & Investors Too

Launching a startup can be exciting. But what’s even more exciting is winning over good investors. That’s where pitch decks come in.

You have a great idea for your business. But so do all other entrepreneurs out there. So, why should an investor consider placing their funds on your idea?

You give them this reason by presenting your idea in an impactful way. And for this, a well-designed pitch deck is just what you need. 

Let’s discuss pitch decks today. Everything from why you need them to how to design a killer pitch deck to win your investors over. 

Why Every Startup Needs a Carefully-Curated Pitch Deck

Entrepreneurs leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding the right way to present their idea in front of potential investors. A pitch deck is a business presentation that introduces your business to your investors. In other words, it is something that tells them why your idea is worth their time, and money. 

Investors only fund around 1% of the pitches that reach them. With this in mind, if yours has to be in the 1% then you should do something that grabs their attention. And so, a pitch deck that elaborates on your idea and tells them what makes your business different will be the way to go. 

Designing a pitch deck will not just be an activity to garner the attention of investors but also to give you a new perspective on your business. Like your business plan, a pitch deck will make you rethink everything you know about your business. 

When you start thinking about your business idea from a third person’s perspective you suddenly start realizing how much you had missed in the first place. 

So, as you outline the problem your business would be solving, and details about your competitors, and your audience, you get to know your business a little more. 

A pitch deck, when designed right, will thus be your golden ticket to winning investors. And also for understanding your business from a fresh angle. But, how do you design a pitch deck that will blow your investors away? Let’s find out. 

Design Tips for a Pitch-Perfect Pitch Deck 

By the end of 2021, it was seen that the average time most venture capitalists spend on a pitch deck came down to 2 minutes and 28 seconds. This means that you should have a design that is both sensible and stunning enough to impress the investor in less than 2 minutes. It should stimulate them visually and get them to pay full attention to what you have to say. 

We’ll give you a few design tips to achieve this. 

1. An introduction that makes a strong impression 

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. And your first impression depends on the introduction slide in your pitch deck. That’s why you should be extra careful about everything about it. The content, colors, text, and images all have a role to play. 

Presentation Design by Kimp

A great tagline or a question that intrigues your investors will be good to have in the introductory slide. Remember to keep it simple and short. An eye-grabbing image that’s relevant to the message of your pitch deck, particularly to the question or statement on the introductory slide, will be a cherry on top. 

Be extra cautious about the fonts you choose for your introductory slide. It should be large enough to attract attention but also aligned with your brand’s visual style. 

And if you want to add a lively pop of color to your pitch deck, the introduction slide would be the perfect place. All these little details will ensure that your investors are fully attentive as they scroll through the next slides. 

2. Keep it on-brand
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We would like to highlight the need for keeping your design on brand right from the beginning. Everything you choose for the design should keep your brand’s visual style in mind. 

Having a brand style guide will help you make a strong move. When you have a style guide, you are defining the color palette that resonates with your brand’s persona. You are choosing a font that reads well and looks good to your target customers. 

In short, when you have a brand style guide right at the beginning, you are laying the foundation for creating visual consistency in your promotional materials. 

Since your pitch deck will give your investors the first taste of your brand’s personality, it is important to adhere to your style guide. If you do not already have one, fear not, we have a blog post on creating a style guide in 7 easy steps

Back to the topic – branding your pitch deck. You should know that using your brand colors and fonts also gives you a strong reference to design a presentation that looks consistent from beginning to end. 

Kimp Tip: The color and fonts all depend on your style guide. But when you bring them all together, they should be visually aesthetic. Sometimes, a color combination that looks good in a simple social media ad might not be pleasant on the eyes when you have to see it slide after slide. You cannot compromise on the legibility simply because you need to stick with your brand colors. To tackle this, use your brand colors wisely, perhaps as accent colors alone and not as background colors. 

Need presentations that look consistent with your brand? The Kimp team can help. 

3. Tap into the power of symbols and icons  

As you might already know, pitch decks need to be crisp. Short lines of text and plenty of engaging visuals make the information easier to grasp. But at the same time, it should also clearly convey the intended message. 

So, what can you do to keep the text brief yet explanatory? Use symbols and icons wherever possible. 

But, only use symbols and icons that most people easily understand. You do not want to create a visual puzzle there for your investors to crack. 

Presentation Design by Kimp

You can use icons to support text sections as well. This way, even if your investors go through the slides in a hurry, they will still get the gist of it. And when presented right, these icons might be the visual hooks that encourage them to pay more attention and read the content. 

Another benefit is that you can use icons to segregate or label text sections. And you can do this without altering the color or font of the various text sections. 

Kimp Tip: When you choose icons and symbols, stick with simple illustrative icons and standard ones. Stay away from fancy skeuomorphic (three-dimensional) elements and outdated icons that look out of place in a business presentation. 

4. Add relevant visuals 
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40% of people consider visuals to be must-haves in presentations. While text content conveys the message, images make an emotional connection with your investors. 

For example, say you are pitching an idea for expanding your restaurant. In your pitch deck, you talk about the warm and friendly ambiance in your restaurant. Instead of simply saying this in words, use an image that shows people happily chatting away and enjoying a meal at your restaurant. This will make a stronger impact. 

While images are important in a pitch deck, remember to use only relevant ones. You cannot add visuals for the sake of it. Also, avoid adding too many images since that might make your investors miss the text content. 

Use images to back up the information you present. Pick ones that simplify the idea you are trying to highlight. If you cannot find a stock image for this, a simple illustrated representation will do the job.

5. Focus on the quality of the visuals 
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Having relevant images is not enough. You should also be sure that they are high-quality images. The resolution should be such that they do not appear pixelated when the presentation is viewed on a bigger screen. 

Investors judge you based on every aspect of your pitch deck design. They make a lot of inferences based on the choice of visuals and other elements in your design. And judge you on your ability to adhere to quality. They notice how much you pay attention to little details. And all this might tell them how serious you are about your business. So, stick with high-resolution images. 

Licensing concerns will be another aspect to think about. As you focus on the bigger things sometimes you overlook a few small details. And one such could be the tiny watermark on a stock image you picked for your slide. It might sound like a tiny problem, but when it is for your pitch deck, it really isn’t. Use images after understanding the licensing terms. 

With every Kimp subscription, you also get 50 stock images from trusted sources with relevant licenses and grants. So, you can forget about a watermark making you look bad in front of your investors. 

6. To animate or not to animate 

Like images, motion graphics like short videos and animations can also make your pitch deck more interactive. Again, as a rule of thumb, only use videos and animations where you absolutely need them. 

Remember to align your animations with the transitions and other effects you add to your slide. Stay away from anything that looks amateurish. That’s why having a professional design team like Kimp handle your pitch deck design will be a great idea. 

Kimp Tip: The message in the video should be aligned with the information you present in your slides. Also, instead of setting the video to autoplay and startling your audience when you land on the slide, give them a heads up that you will be playing a video and then go on with it.  

7. Use graphical representations wherever required 
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Who can say no to data that tells a story! Investors are no exceptions. They love it when you present data-backed information. And when it comes to presenting a lot of data, infographics and graphical representations, in general, can be of great value. 

Data visualization makes it easier to read the data and make better sense of it. It is particularly handy in making a text-heavy slide crisp. You can break the text into meaningful sections, establish a hierarchy and create a graphical representation to smoothen things out. 

8. Come up with the right strategy for visual hierarchy
Presentation Design by Kimp

Having all your text and visual content ready is just the first step. Arranging them in a clear layout will be the most important part of designing your pitch deck. 

Everything from the typefaces and font styles you choose, to colors, and positioning of the various elements in a slide determine the overall visual hierarchy. Remember to maintain a smooth flow from beginning to end. Also, there should be a connection between the slides. And they should all lead up to the single message you wish to convey. 

For this, identify the different sections in your slides like headings, subheads, body text, image descriptions, table headers, table content, and others. Once you have listed them all, come up with the font style and font colors for each of these. Ensure that you follow this throughout the presentation. 

For example, if you choose to use bold fonts for your keywords, or italicized fonts in a particular size for your image captions, follow the same style from the first to last slides. When all your slides look visually coherent, it keeps your investors interested throughout. 

9. Look out for errors 

As obvious as it might sound, you should be double sure that your pitch deck does not have errors. Simple things like typos and factual errors might be the first to look for. Other than this, there could also be design-related errors. 

On the slides with data visualization look for the accuracy of the numbers and text. For example, ensure that a graph’s axes are labeled correctly. And that the numbers add up in a pie chart. 

Other than this, alignment and orientation issues with your imagery can spoil the look of your pitch deck. For this, maintain a layout that defines where you will be placing the images and how the text will be placed with respect to these images. 

Framing, adding enough negative spaces and consistent-looking margins are the other most important things. All these ensure that your slides do not look cluttered. 

10. Don’t forget to add your logo 
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Do you think investors will be keen on a business that does not have a logo? If it appears like you are not actively taking measures to move your idea forward, they might not be curious about investing in your idea. 

With this in mind, you should remember that your logo is one of the critical visual elements to add to your pitch deck. Most entrepreneurs add it to the opening and closing slides alone. But adding it as a transparent watermark or as a footer or header on your slides will also be a good idea. This way, your logo will be in sight at all times. And thus it will be etched in your investors’ minds. 

And this can be a good thing for your brand. Of course, getting a great-looking logo designed will be a crucial step that precedes this. 

Did you know that with a single Kimp Graphics subscription, you can take care of logo design, presentation design, and a whole lot of other marketing designs too? 

Use Kimp Graphics to Design Pitch Decks That Impress Your Investors 

A pitch deck will be the first representation of your brand. It will be a design that creates a reputation for your business and wins credible investors. As a visual that takes up so much on its shoulders, it should be a justified reflection of what your brand does. Use it to elaborate on the problem that your business solves and how you plan to nurture customer relationships in a highly competitive market. To be sure that you can execute these brilliant ideas you have, work with a professional design team like Kimp.  

Register for a free Kimp trial and explore the many ways in which a graphic design subscription can help your startup grow.