10 Most Common Pitch Deck Pitfalls Startups Should Avoid

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For any startup, finding investors can be a considerable challenge. It can make or break any company you want to build as it’ll determine whether or not you’ll be able to get off the ground. That’s why it’s crucial to have the best strategy in attracting them and getting them on-board. Therefore, making a first good impression is essential.

In this endeavor, what you’ll want to work on is a pitch deck. It’s essentially a presentation that provides more information to potential investors. And although many things could go right in making one, there are also pitfalls you could easily fall into that would make anything you say unappealing or make investors turn you away outright.

Therefore, it’s essential to identify these and work around them to have a good-enough pitch deck to pique investors’ interests. Here is a list of the ten most pitch deck pitfalls you should avoid.

1. Content Overload

One of the easiest things you could do is put on too much information into your presentation. It may lead to confusion, and it just comes off as dull. Not many people are interested in walls of texts full of minute details.

Instead, focus on main ideas and elaborate on those in a simple manner. Look into identifying which parts of your presentation are crucial and are relevant to the topic. Perhaps any other thoughts and ideas you have will be asked by the investor, in which case you’ll be fully equipped to respond and answer.

2. Using the same pitch deck for presentation and communication

Investors can become bored and uninterested if you present your pitch deck word-for-word without personality or enthusiasm. Some look at the entrepreneur and think that how they speak or deliver the presentation reflects the startup itself. If they see that you’re just reading everything off a script with no life in it, they may not feel too confident about you.

Therefore, it’s necessary that you find ways to make your presentation more interesting. Work on making attractive slides while leaning more towards speaking points rather than loading everything into your slides. Feel free to show examples of successful companies as well as discussing how your startup is going to progress overtime with the help of investors. It’s important to show investors you know what you’re talking about without relying too much on slide content.

3. Not Addressing Risks

It’s easy to cover your presentation in flowers and butterflies, focusing only on the good aspects of your startup. However, angel investors know more than to hand out their money blindly with no regard to the risks involved. If you fail to mention it, investors will have no interest in giving you the financial support you need.

Show wisdom in mentioning the potential risks you may face as a company. Talk about your plans to mitigate them and how you’ll push past these struggles. Giving investors peace of mind is a significant factor in providing you with what you want.

4. Poor selection of target audience

Another easy pitfall you could fall is not trying to sell your startup to the right group of people. Researching where to go to find the right kind of people is vital. By failing at this, you won’t find the support you’ll need, or you’ll be exceedingly inefficient in it.

Knowing what kind of business you have is one way to start working on finding your target audience. Look more into what type of entrepreneur you’re trying to be, and throw your pitch to the right group of people. Sometimes this alone is all you need to attract many investors.

Below is example of a buyer persona or your target audience,

Image Source

5. Missing a clear call to action that ask your audience what you want from them

Not too far from the previous point, it’s just as essential to convince investors to answer your call and take the step you need for them to take. Once all is said and done, it’s important to show them how to do this. Otherwise, investors may see that you don’t have a concrete plan once you have everything you need.

Discuss with them what you need and what they should do. As you go over your pitch, by talking about things such as successful projects that are good comparisons to what kind of success you’re expecting to have, you’ll be providing investors with enough motivation to join you in your endeavor. Just make sure to put in as much work into pointing them in the right direction as to where they can start.

6. Bad timing

Timing can be an essential factor in making big decisions. By understanding this, you’ll be able to demonstrate proper planning and flexibility. Your inability to do this could mean failure on something you could have quickly succeeded in had you waited or thought things through.

Make sure to look into the economic climate and setting of the market you’re trying to be part of. If investors see a thriving economy, they are more likely to want to jump in and be a part of it through your company. Knowing when the time is right is just as important in business as it is in many aspects of life.

7. Boring Cover Slide

As we talk about making an excellent first impression to angel investors through a pitch deck, it’s just as essential to make sure that the first slide they see is engaging and strong. Anything less could lead to them immediately losing interest and moving on. Therefore, thorough study and work into making a good cover slide are critical if you want investors to stick around and listen to what you have to say.

Do your due diligence when working on your pitch deck. There are several tools you can use to help you in making a good presentation. And if you feel you’re not good enough to make presentation design yourself, there are ready-to-use designs done by professionals that can help you focus more on your content rather than the small (but equally important) details.

8. Forgetting to address your peers

One person doesn’t usually run a startup. Many investors will want to know more if you’re working with a team and ask about their qualifications. If you don’t address them and elaborate more on who they are and what they can do, not only will investors not see any potential in your startup, but your team will also lose confidence in you as a leader.

Therefore, it’s essential in your pitch deck that you cover yourself and the business and everyone working in it. Talk more about their qualifications, experiences, and how they are an asset to the company. A good company is only as good as the people in it, so take pride in the people you’re working with, and don’t be afraid to show them off to potential investors.

9. Lack of Branding

Branding can be considered another big hurdle in selling a product or starting a company. There’s more to it than simply thinking of a name. You have to make sure that any association with the brand is excellent and positive.

There are many advantages to having good branding. Investors will want to know more about how you’ll work on this and your marketing strategy. By having experts on these things and doing proper research on the subject, you’re more likely to find success in the market and attract more investors in brand name alone.

10. Your pitch deck are not tailored to the particular investor you’re pitching

Not too far from a previous point, it’s essential to match your pitch deck to specific investors. This means you have to think about whom you’re throwing your pitch to. Otherwise, the investor may not have a clear understanding of what you aim to do, leading to an overall lack of confidence and conflict.

Therefore, you must know more about the people lending their ears to you. Please find out the things they’re looking for and expecting. By establishing clear goals, you’ll be able to sync with them and work on achieving the things you set out to do.


By keeping these things in mind, you’ll be on a better and clearer road to success, starting with your pitch deck. Knowing what to look out for when working on your presentation gives you a vivid idea of what you want and what you aim to do. Optimization and clarity are key when delivering your pitch to potential investors.

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