November 22, 2022
Here’s one of the biggest mistakes founders make with their sales and investor decks:
They try to fit too much text on each slide.
I know why founders *think* they need to build decks this way. It’s so they won’t lose interest and attention.
Fewer slides = more likely to keep people engaged until the end, right?
When you try to cram your narrative, business figures, product features, charts, quotes, news articles, TAM, and competitive intel into a dozen slides, you lose people.
Too much text overwhelms people. It bores them.
Here’s the advice I give to every founder when building slide decks:
Make one point per slide.
Most founders are skeptical when they hear me give this advice because it means turning their carefully crafted (overly crammed) 12-page slide deck into a 36-page slide deck.
At first, they are reluctant to add more slides because they’re still thinking about how much information they usually cram into each slide they create. They’re thinking about the OLD WAY of building decks.
But that’s not what I’m asking them to do.
I’m asking them to adopt the NEW WAY.
I’m asking them to take the same information they have and spread it out across more slides.
Because the purpose of the sales or investor deck isn’t to overload an audience with information.
The purpose is to tell a clear narrative that an audience can relate to, attach themselves to, and remember.
You can’t do that effectively when you’re making 5 different points on every slide in a 12-page deck.
Your message is just not going to land when you build your deck that way.
You need to simplify.
You need to make one point per slide. No more than that.
Now here's a question you might be thinking…it’s one I get from founders a lot too:
“What if I only have time to run through my 12-page deck?”
My response is this:
If you build it the right way, you should be able to get through your NEW 36-page deck in the same amount of time as your OLD 12-page deck.
How is this possible?
Less information on each slide allows you to move through them faster.
Some slides will take you more time to get through, but most of your slides should be quick clicks.
Boom. Boom. Boom.
Speed is your friend here, and it will help you make your point AND keep your audience engaged until the very end.
Design is also your friend, but I’ll get into that more another day :)