No Filter Talks - 'Pitch and Presentation in 2021'-interview with José “Caya” Cayasso, Slidebean CEO
We believe that the way of delivering the idea is as important as the idea itself and there are so many startups out there that need guidance in creating their pitch deck message, structure, and design.
Our partners from Slidebean, an AI-powered app that helps you create beautiful presentations in minutes can be a solution for any startups and small businesses looking to create state of the art investor pitch decks.
In this interview of ‘No Filter Talks’ we explore together with José “Caya” Cayasso Slidebean CEO how should a pitch deck should look like in 2021 covering the design, content structure and most important, the delivery.
1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and Slidebean?
I’m the CEO at Slidebean. Beyond my tasks as a CEO, I write and host most of our YouTube videos. I’m adding my short bio (which includes a brief about our company) below:
Caya is one of the three co-founders, and the CEO at Slidebean; overseeing the company roadmap, strategy, and growth marketing efforts.
Slidebean is a venture-backed company founded in 2014 and headquartered in New York City. The company closed its first seed round in 2016 and has since become a multi-million dollar, profitable tech company that continues to expand rapidly. Slidebean helps startups raise millions with awesome pitch decks, through its AI-powered presentation app, agency services, and other tools designed for the startup founder’s journey.
Caya has been running tech startups since 2011, which have earned him recognition as a '40-under-40', plus being a guest speaker in over a dozen startup and tech conferences around the world, including TEDx.
His experience with startups, from leading and growing a company, to raising capital and participating in accelerator programs such as 500 Startups and DreamIt Ventures gives him a unique insight into the needs of seed-stage companies.
Caya's background in graphic design, digital animation, and filmmaking, also make him a fantastic storyteller. He's worked directly with over one thousand Slidebean customers to assist with their pitch deck writing and design.
2. From your experience how should a good pitch deck look like and what elements should it include?
To us, this is the standard pitch deck outline:
We’ve actually gone through the most popular pitch deck references and concluded that those elements are the absolute most essential slides your document must-have.
Design-wise, the best pitch decks are an extension of what the startup is already doing. They portray what’s being done, how it’s being done, and how it can be done better with more money. But, at the core of a good design, are your business model, your vision as a founder, and your ability to pitch that will determine if you get funding or not.
Here are some design DOs:
DO customize your palette: A custom palette will make your deck look professional and will cause a brand footprint in your audiences. Make this palette compatible with your company’s logo and be sure to create one that’s harmonious and attractive to the eye.
DO proofread it: Don’t just rely on your good writing skills, your text processing software corrections, or even an app. Having your deck read by an extra pair of eyes will help you catch grammatical errors that might have been missed by you or your founding team.
DO ask yourself if your deck speaks for itself: Sometimes you may not have the chance to present your deck. It will just be sent out to a particular investor before a meeting. Ask yourself or even someone you trust if it generates the impact it needs to by itself, without you explaining it. After this revision, some design and writing adjustments might be necessary.
DO have your strategy and financials on point: In the end, investors will be interested in knowing how is your business supposed to make them money. It might not all be in the actual deck, but having these variables ready will let you answer questions properly. Crafting a separate Q&A document that covers market and financial topics could be part of your rehearsal process.
DO watch our timeless classic video, in case you haven’t: https://youtu.be/SB16xgtFmco
3. What do you think of video demos/ presentations?
4. Do you think that video demos and presentations could become the norm in times of less face-to-face meetings, events and pitching competitions? At The Bridge, we highly recommend our startups to have a teaser video. We think that this gives a more personal touch and it can be a good “startup trailer” before an investor decides to watch the whole “startup movie”.
I think this is an all-in-one answer.
The dynamics of pitching investors and fundraising are likely going to keep changing drastically in the next few months. I have always believed that real-life interaction between humans is critical in the decision-making process for an investor. But that’s long gone and that's just the reality of these pandemic times.
Since video (remote) pitches are going to become part of the norm, founders should consider that a one-on-one video pitch with an investor doesn't look at all like your classic on-stage pitch. It's not a script; you don't need to deliver your slides with that punch. It's more of a conversation. I believe that being able to hold this casual conversation on video (whether live or recorded) will speak wonders about your ability to manage these pitches, which you'll have plenty of in the future.
5. What’s the top advice would you give a CEO of an early-stage startup who’s struggling in 2020?
If you’re too early and you’re struggling, ask yourself if you’re ready to raise funds just yet. Here are some reasons why the moment is probably not now for you:
1. You might be sort of blinded by other startups’ stories: Getting outside investment is not a mandatory milestone you need to achieve, and you might be getting a false illusion that it is because you see other companies’ headlines everywhere. The fact is that many of these startups probably bootstrapped for a while and you are not even aware of it!
2. You underestimate how time-consuming fundraising is: As Steve Barsh, from Dreamit Ventures says: “Instead of burning up so much of your time trying to convince investors to part with their cash, how about you spend more time trying to convince CUSTOMERS to part with their cash.” Initially, the time you invest in fundraising might be better used in developing and even selling your product!
3. You -still- think you need money to build your product: This means you and your co-founders haven’t really sat down to consider all the options out there to bootstrap.