What’s The Best Pitch Deck You Have Ever Seen?

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What’s the best pitch deck you have ever seen? And why?

This question originally appeared on Quora, the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights. Some questions on Quora stimulate responses and discussions that continue for years.

Answers by Duncan Knight, Alexander Jarvis, Brett Fox, Soumitra Sharma, Irina Ionova, Steve Waddell, Nik Bønaddio,
Dave Coen, and Alex Borisenko.

Irina Ionova, SMM at InnMind (2016-present)

No one will give you money or agree to work for you if you’re bad at storytelling. Every pitch — whether it’s to a VC or a sales prospect — is a story, and the best ones have compelling narrative arcs that connect listeners to a higher purpose.

I recommend you to read this exclusive article: Don Faul shares the nuts-and-bolts tactics of influential storytelling he’s learned at Google, Facebook and at Pinterest — and the three types of stories every manager and startup founder should be able to tell fluently.

Alexander Jarvis, I’ve written a template pitch deck and have the largest template collection

LinkedIn’s deck, because the quality of commentary, is incredibly informative and it is public. Pls read it!

I have seen a hella lot of decks and only a few great ones.

When founders have mastery of their subject matter it comes across. They spend a lot of time to write a short letter, so to speak. I know a lot about decks, but I typically won’t write the content for them as only great founders know what needs to be said. There needs to be an insight in them that an outsider simply doesn’t get. Sure I can bring the horse to the right watering hole, but the horse needs to do the drinking.

Founders starting companies Rocket Internet-style can’t write the “best” decks because they don’t have an emotional attachment and level of comprehension of the industry and business.

I have the largest collection of publicly available decks on my blog, but I think most are crap tbh. Sure they look pretty and pass muster for a first meeting, but they aren’t great. The best ones aren’t available, and I will never share a deck a founder sends me. I want to ask founders to ‘release’ their decks to help the community, but haven’t gotten round to that molehill of effort yet.

My advice is to go through all of these: Collection of pitch decks from venture capital-funded startups to learn what a deck looks like, and then write your own. You need to tell a story which covers defined points, but in your style. If you really are a great founder, you know and love your industry and with guidelines, know what to say with the right level of detail.

Looking for a perfect bullet template simply isn’t out there. Different stages, models, industries etc.

But to answer specifically, the best decks:
# illustrate the founders know everything about their business and demonstrate their expertise in a simple fashion (insert that Einstein quote)
# founders are connected in the industry- experts
# have social proof – won awards (investors are lazy)
# tell a compelling story – take you on a journey
# Address the key questions – team is the best for THIS job (actually is), big market (bn+), your solution is 10x better and defensible in some manner, you understand and define the problem well (it is painful)
# team have execute with the resources they have – there are results! Getting 10k uniques with 5m funding is a joke right?
# your LTV is 4x > CAC (in most cases)- i.e. business model works and you tested channels such you think you know scaleable acquisition channels
# product is good and pretty! no joke, these days it matters
# you truly understand your customer

When a founder has done a good job, writing a deck is easy. Otherwise it takes a long time to put lipstick on a pig.