The 5 stages of writing a perfect presentation
Writing a pitch deck is not something you can do the night before. It takes time to craft it perfectly and considering the stakes it is worthy of taking that time. In my own experience, it takes around 5 iterations to create a pitch deck that is ready to present to VCs.
The 5 iterations will likely take on a roller coaster of emotions from confidence to self-doubt as the process requires you to engage in self-reflection and close examination of your company.
Iteration 1: Ghost Outline – Build the structure of the slide deck from start to finish. Include the slides for the key narrative points you want to hit and plenty of blank slides in between.
Iteration 2: Incompleteness Everywhere – This iteration is all about the easy bits. Start with the slides that you can get some content into quickly and then headings and outlines on the harder slides. All sides should have some outline content by the end of this iteration.
Iteration 3: Tough Gaps – The easy slides should start to look complete now though still need some style polish. The harder slides will still be needing a lot of work.
Iteration 4: Almost Done – OK, things are looking good. Easy slides are done and the harder slides should have a solid draft on them. The deck should start to have a cohesive design. This is the first version that should start to be shared with trusted advisors.
Iteration 5: Final Proof – This iteration should see the final slides completed and a full design proof and wordsmithing done over the entire deck. This version can be then shared with a wider audience for feedback.
Iterating is about momentum, starting with the easy stuff and then filling in the gaps prevents mind blocks and procrastination. Understanding these stages should encourage you to push through when you start to have doubts and ensure your presentation is as polished as it needs to be to present to VCs.