Humans are made for stories. It is how we’ve shared information with each other since we were still just hunter-gatherers. Compared to stories, projections and business strategies can be dry and unengaging. This leads to a boring pitch deck. When done right, weaving stories into your pitch can make it much more compelling. For this reason, storytelling in your pitch is all important to build excitement for your startup.
But how does storytelling fit into a pitch? It doesn’t have to be hard, and you don’t need to be a writer to do it well. In this blog we will give you the basics of how to do storytelling in your pitch deck. If you want to learn more, and get the storytelling in your pitch deck right, you can sign up to our online course for free. Starting August 17th, we will be hosting a 4 week course, where we take you through all the steps of building an effective pitch deck, including compelling storytelling. Sign up for free here.
Every story is a conflict
Generally, storytelling needs five components to be compelling: characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution. But in your pitch deck, the main thing you need is conflict and resolution. There is no good story without conflict.
One bit of conflict and resolution comes early into the pitch. Within the first 4 slides you should be addressing the problem and solution. This sets the purpose of your startup center stage. It is the clearest example of conflict and resolution in your pitch. When you lay out the problem that you are solving, you are sketching conflict. You describe an issue that did not have a solution, and how lacking that solution holds people back. Then, when the conflict has been laid out, you present the solution that your startup has for this problem. Your solution/product, is the resolution that the conflict needs. This type of story makes your product make sense in a way that just talking about features and specifications cannot.
The same can be applied when it comes to market analysis. When diving deep into the existing market, you may highlight a competitor that offers a similar product. This can initially be a conflict, but if you have a compelling reason why you can outperform your competitors, the market only seems more viable. This resolves the conflict. Storytelling can do more than just explain the business model. If used in a thoughtful way, storytelling can strengthen your point.
These are examples of how you can make dry and boring subject matter quite interesting. Simply explaining your product or service makes for a boring pitch deck, but giving it an origin story gives it purpose and brings it to life.
Your startup is a story
Don’t forget your own story. Illuminating some of the issues you have struggled with to get where you are can be very effective. If you are in the very early days of your startup, there is probably not much to tell yet. But stories of problem solving can be very valuable. It can show to your investor the experience you’ve had, and what you’ve learned. It also shows that you are capable of taking on challenges when you face them.
Another compelling story can be told when you introduce yourselves. We have discussed many times before that investors look for a good team as much as they look for a good idea. So introducing your team is one of the most important things you will do during a pitch. These introductions can also be spiced up with a story. You can talk about your previous work experience, or you can tell the story of you leaving your steady job when your startup started to pick up steam. This not only highlights your dedication, but also the traction your startup has gained.
Storytelling is not about fiction or plot, it is about the human experience that surrounds a startup and its products. If you want to learn more about how to apply this into your own pitch deck, and pick up the skill of storytelling for all of your future endeavours, join our online pitch deck class starting Monday, August 17th. We will take you through the entire process of building a compelling pitch deck, including how to use stories to make your pitch deck compelling. After 4 weeks you will walk away with a complete pitch deck, ready to wow investors. Learn more and sign up for free here.
Whatever you are saying, consider doing so with a story. It is the number one way to avoid a boring pitch deck.