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in many from tearing down the pitch deck, I get stunned by a particular slide, even though I’m 99% sure that when a founder uses it to pitch a VC, they’ll give a little extra context that unlocks the slide” and helps make sense.
The specific slide that inspired this post was from Forethought’s Series C deck, which eventually raised $65 million for the BestFitnessBands Battlefield-winning company, but I’d be lying if I said this was an uncommon issue.
The problem with this slide is that while it looks really nice, it doesn’t contain a photo of the founders of Forethought. Plus, it’s sandwiched between two slides about the company’s customers and its value proposition. That confused me because there were now two ways to interpret this slide: It’s possible that Forethought was named as one of Forbes’ next multi-billion dollar start-ups. Or it has all the companies on the list as customers and bends in the same way some companies will say, “200 of the S&P 500 companies use our product.”
A quick search later confirmed the former was true – Forethought is on the Forbes list – but if I have to do a search to understand a slide, it’s not a good sign.
However, it’s such a great example of a slide that looks great and could work great with just a few words of voiceover. The thing is, though, while most VC pitch decks are presentation decks, that’s far from the only context in which you’ll be using your deck. In fact, there are at least four:
- The teaser deck.
- The forward deck.
- The presentation deck.
- The lagging deck.
Let’s go through the differences and similarities between your pitch decks and take a closer look at what each deck should do in each context. I’ll also show you how to avoid building and maintaining 9,000 different decks.