What should not be included in a pitch deck?

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What should not be included in a pitch deck?

A pitch deck is a crucial tool for any business owner or entrepreneur looking to secure funding or partnerships. It is a visual presentation that outlines the key points of your business, including your product or service, target market, competition, and financial projections. A well-crafted pitch deck can make or break a potential deal, which is why it is essential to get it right.

While there are many resources available to help you create a successful pitch deck, it is just as important to know what not to include. In this article, we will discuss the top mistakes to avoid when creating a pitch deck and how a pitch deck coach can help you perfect your presentation. We’ll also explore the nuances of what makes a pitch deck truly compelling and how to strike the right balance between information and persuasion.

The Problem with Too Much Information

Information overload

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One of the most common mistakes made in pitch decks is including too much information. Remember, a pitch deck is meant to be a visual aid, not a detailed report. Including too much information can lead to information overload, making it difficult for your audience to focus on the key points of your business. It’s crucial to distill your content down to the essentials, ensuring that each slide serves a distinct purpose and contributes to the overarching narrative of your pitch.

When creating your pitch deck, stick to the most critical information and keep it concise. Use visuals and bullet points to convey your message clearly and efficiently. Remember, you can always provide additional information in handouts or follow-up meetings. It’s better to leave your audience wanting more than to overwhelm them with too many details. Engage them with a compelling story, and use data and figures sparingly, ensuring they support your claims rather than bog down your narrative.

Lack of Structure and Flow

Flow chart

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A pitch deck should have a clear structure and flow that guides your audience through your presentation. This structure should include an introduction, problem statement, solution, market analysis, competition, business model, and financial projections. Each section should seamlessly transition to the next, creating a narrative arc that builds interest and investment from your audience.

Skipping over or neglecting any of these sections can make your presentation feel disjointed and incomplete. It is essential to follow a logical flow to keep your audience engaged and help them understand the value of your business. Consider your pitch deck as a story about your venture, where each slide is a chapter that contributes to the overall message. Ensure that the transitions between slides are smooth and that they reinforce the progression of your business narrative.

Overcomplicated Visuals

Visual aids

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Graph complexity

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Visual aids can be a powerful tool in your pitch deck, but only if they are used correctly. Overcomplicated visuals, such as overly busy graphs or charts, can be overwhelming and difficult to understand. They can also take away from your message and distract your audience. The goal is to enhance comprehension, not to showcase every piece of data you have collected.

When using visuals, keep them simple and easy to understand. Use colors and graphics that enhance your message and make it easy for your audience to follow along. Avoid using too much text, as it can be challenging to read and distract from your presentation. If a visual takes more than a few seconds to comprehend, it’s likely too complicated for a pitch deck. Aim for visuals that can be quickly understood and that complement the spoken aspect of your presentation.

Neglecting Your Audience’s Needs


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Target audience

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When creating a pitch deck, it is crucial to keep your audience’s needs in mind. Your presentation should be tailored to your specific audience and their interests. For example, if you are pitching to investors, they will be primarily interested in your financial projections and potential return on investment.

If you are pitching to potential partners, they will be more interested in how your business can benefit their company. Understanding your audience and their needs can help you create a pitch deck that resonates with them and increases your chances of success. It’s important to conduct thorough research on your audience beforehand and perhaps even tailor different versions of your pitch deck for different types of stakeholders.

Lack of Differentiation


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Unique selling proposition

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Your pitch deck should clearly outline what sets your business apart from the competition. If you fail to differentiate yourself from your competitors, your audience may see your business as just another option in a crowded market. Highlight your unique value proposition and make it clear why your solution is not only different but also better.

Include information about your unique selling points, patents, or any other factors that give your business a competitive advantage. Your audience needs to see why your business is the best choice and how it can succeed in a competitive landscape. Share success stories, customer testimonials, or case studies that demonstrate your product or service in action, giving tangible proof of your differentiation.

Unsubstantiated Claims

Proof of concept

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Data evidence

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It is natural to want to highlight the potential success of your business in your pitch deck. However, making grandiose claims without any proof can come across as unrealistic and untrustworthy. Ensure that every claim you make is backed by evidence, whether it’s market research, user testimonials, or your track record.

Include any data, testimonials, or proof of concept to back up your claims. This will give your audience confidence in your business and show that you have done your research and have a solid foundation. Real-world examples and endorsements from credible sources can significantly bolster the credibility of your claims, making your pitch more compelling.

Failure to Address Potential Concerns


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Risk mitigation

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Your audience will likely have questions and concerns about your business, and it is essential to address them in your pitch deck. Ignoring potential concerns can make your business seem unprepared or dismissive of your audience’s needs. By proactively addressing these concerns, you demonstrate foresight and responsibility.

Think about potential objections your audience may have and address them in your pitch deck. This shows that you are aware of potential challenges and have a plan to overcome them. Whether it’s addressing market risks, competitive threats, or regulatory issues, being upfront about these topics can build trust with your audience.

Using Jargon and Buzzwords

Using industry jargon and buzzwords may seem impressive, but it can be a turn-off for your audience. It can also make your presentation difficult to understand for those outside of your industry. Excessive use of technical terminology can alienate listeners and create barriers to understanding.

Keep your language simple and easy to understand. Use plain language to explain complex concepts and avoid using industry jargon unless it is necessary. When you do use technical terms, make sure to define them or provide context that makes their meaning clear. Your goal is to communicate effectively, not to impress with vocabulary.

Not Seeking Feedback


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Creating a pitch deck is an ongoing process, and it is essential to seek feedback from others. This can include colleagues, mentors, or a pitch deck coach. Getting feedback can help you identify areas for improvement and ensure your presentation is effective and engaging.

A pitch deck coach can provide valuable insights and help you perfect your presentation. They can also provide an outside perspective and offer suggestions for improvement that you may not have considered. It’s also useful to practice your pitch in front of a small audience to gauge reactions and adjust accordingly before you present to potential investors or partners.


A pitch deck is a powerful tool for any business owner or entrepreneur looking to secure funding or partnerships. However, it is just as important to know what not to include in your presentation. Avoiding these common mistakes can help you create a compelling and successful pitch deck that will impress your audience and increase your chances of success.

Remember to keep your pitch deck concise, structured, and tailored to your audience’s needs. Seek feedback from others, including a pitch deck coach, to ensure your presentation is effective and engaging. With the right approach and a well-crafted pitch deck, you can make a strong impression and secure the funding or partnerships your business needs to succeed.