Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As an entrepreneur, a pitch deck is your most powerful tool to impress investors and raise investments from them. However, creating the perfect pitch deck can be a real challenge, and only 1% of pitch decks succeed in acquiring funds! So, how do you make things work here?
To make a convincing impact, your pitch decks should tell an engaging story that covers the customers’ problems, the solution you provide, market conditions, your financials, your traction and predictions and all other relevant details. At the same time, the presentation should also be concise and persuasive. How do you achieve this balance?
One of the best ways to make such a concise yet convincing pitch deck is by using data visualization. After all, visual content constitutes 90% of the information transmitted to the brain, and we process visuals 60,000 times quicker than text! So, this article will focus on the art of visualizing data in your investment deck, helping you make complex information more engaging, accessible and persuasive for investors. Let’s begin!
Importance of data visualization in pitch decks
Data visualization plays a crucial role in pitch decks, as it allows you to present complex information clearly, concisely and visually appealingly. A well-crafted pitch deck should convey your startup’s story and showcase your data in a way that quickly and effectively communicates your business’s potential.
Remember that investors review numerous pitch decks, and the average investor spends only 3 minutes and 44 seconds on a pitch deck, so using data visualization is essential for creating a memorable, concise and convincing pitch deck is essential.
Data visualization will drive the success of your pitch decks at all points, from Seed to Series A! So, you must understand and follow the principles of visualizing data effectively at all stages. Here are some pointers to help you do this easily.
Choosing the tools: Selecting the right charts and graphs
Choosing the right charts and graphs for your data is vital for an effective investor deck. Consider your audience, the type of data you are presenting and the message you want to convey to choose the right visualization tool.
I identified 11 common types of charts, graphs and tables that are best for visualizing data, both non-financial and financial data visuals. Let’s check out these graphs and their applications to help you choose the right one-
Non-Financial Charts and Graphs
- Line Graph — Shows the trends over defined periods.
- Pie Chart — Displays distribution of a single data point among categories.
- Proportional Area or Comparison Chart — Represents market size and the portion a company hopes to capture.
- Bar Charts — Compares different categories using horizontal or vertical bars.
- Timeline or Roadmap — Demonstrates the company’s plans and milestones.
- Competitor Matrix/Comparison — Compares a company’s features, strengths and weaknesses against competitors.
Financial Charts and Graphs
- Stacked Bar Graph — Demonstrates growth and distribution between different segments.
- Bar Graph — Shows growth or trends in financial data.
- Financial Table Snapshot — Provides a high-level summary of financial projections.
- Line Graph — Displays trends in financial data, such as revenue or profit.
- Stacked Area Line Chart — Shows different segment slices that make up overall financial figures.
Remember that you don’t have to stick to one type of visualization tool. Use multiple charts and graphs in your investment deck based on the slide’s content and the aspects being covered.
Adding the visuals: Incorporating data visuals into your pitch deck
To create a cohesive pitch deck, ensure that data visuals complement your narrative and follow a consistent design across the presentation. Each visual should support the main points of the respective slide and must be strategically placed to maintain the flow of your investor presentation or deck.
Moreover, you must avoid overwhelming investors with data by including only the most relevant and impactful visuals. Some of the most compelling Data Points to Visualize in a Pitch Deck are:
- 1, 3, and 5-year revenue
- 1, 3, and 5-year profitability
- Customer churn rate
- Customer signups
- Customer acquisition costs
- Break-even point
- MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue) Growth
- CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate)
Enhancing the pitch: Balancing aesthetics and clarity
While creating visually appealing data visuals is important, clarity should not be compromised. Your pitch deck should balance aesthetics and clarity, using colors, fonts and design elements that enhance the overall message without distracting from the data. Here are key points to consider when designing your pitch deck:
- Select appropriate visuals — Choose the most relevant visuals that enhance your message while you make a pitch deck. This could include graphs, tables and infographics.
- Use videos where appropriate — Don’t hesitate to include explainer videos to explain complicated concepts, as people typically prefer videos to understand new information. After all, videos make up nearly 82% of internet traffic!
- Ensure clarity — Opt for simple, easy-to-understand visuals that are relevant to your data and message. Also, make sure that the visuals are correctly sized and labeled to enhance readability.
- Prioritize readability — Ensure that text is easy to read by using clear fonts and appropriate font sizes. Avoid overcrowding the slides, and don’t cross 75 words per slide.
- Use consistent design elements — Apply a uniform design throughout your pitch deck using consistent colors, fonts and style. This consistency enhances the visual appeal and makes your presentation look polished and professional.
- Leverage whitespace — Whitespace, or empty space on your slides, can help guide the viewer’s attention and prevent clutter. Use whitespace strategically to improve readability and emphasize key points.
- Color scheme — Use a color scheme that complements your branding and improves readability. Avoid using too many colors or overly bright hues that can be distracting or difficult to read.
- Test and refine — Gather feedback from others to ensure your pitch deck balances aesthetics, clarity and informative value. Iterate and refine the design and content based on the feedback you receive.
By considering these points, you can make a pitch deck that is visually appealing while effectively communicating your message to potential investors.
A successful example of data visualization in an investor deck is the one used by Uber in their early funding rounds. They used simple yet compelling visuals and points to demonstrate their market potential, operating areas, services and growth trajectory. The perfect visual tool selection, clarity and simplicity allowed investors to quickly grasp the startup’s innovative idea and potential, leading to successful funding rounds.
Incorporating effective data visualization in your pitch deck can make a significant difference in capturing investor interest. By selecting the right charts and graphs, incorporating visuals strategically and balancing aesthetics with clarity, you can create a compelling and persuasive pitch deck that stands out among the competition. If you find this complicated, you can also go for a pitch deck agency that specializes in making pitches with effective data visualizations. All the best!