How many slides should a pitch deck really have?

When you start creating your pitch deck, there is a question which pops up with many people: ‘What is the perfect number of slides for my pitch deck?’

Well, there is both good and bad new for you.

The good news is that here are multiple answers to this question. The bad news is that there is no one single answer.

How many slides should be in your pitch deck, largely depends on the type of company you have. The phase where your company currently is also plays an important role. As a standard rule of thumb, the bigger your company, the more slides should be included in your pitch deck.

For example: If your company only exists two weeks, it doesn’t make sense to include a detailed financial analysis. In this stage of your company it’s more important to focus your pitch deck on the traction and the potential for your company.

In the case that you are the owner of a financial institute which exists for over 5 years than you probably will need more slides in your pitch deck.

I hear you thinking: ‘Okay, so if there is not a perfect number, can you just give me a range of how many slides I should have in my pitch deck?’

Sure you can.

How many slides do the best pitch decks have on average?

Recently I published an article on the 40 best startup pitch decks of 2017. Based on these pitch deck, there a few conclusions we can draw:

The minimum amount of slides is 8.

The maximum amount of slides is 47.

The average amount of slides is 19,25.

There you go. The average number of slides in a pitch deck is 19,25. Now we know that, it’s time to learn more about the opinions of the experts in the field.

What do the experts say?

Expert 1: Guy Kawasaki – Serial Entrepreneur (10 slides)

Guy Kawasaki talks about the 10/20/30 rule. He says that a pitch should not have more than 10 slides, should not last longer than 20 minutes and should never exceed 30 bullet points.

Of course a pitch is not the same as a pitch deck, but what Guy is saying comes down to this: Don’t bring bore your listener with more information than is necessary. We totally agree!

Expert 2: Noah Parsons – Silicon Valley Entrepreneur (11 slides)

Noah Parsons recently wrote an article for Bplans where he talks about the 11 slides which should be in your pitch deck.

Just like our first expert Guy, Noah agrees that a pitch deck should be short and sweet. Also he emphasized that you should skip the bullet points, and focus on the storytelling of your company instead.

Expert 3: Slidebean – Pitch Deck Software Company (10-20)

Slidebean is a handy tool which helps you to develop a pitch deck. You should definitely check them out for your next pitch deck.

Slidebean states that there is no perfect number: ‘you probably want 20 nice and clean slides vs 10 crammed up slides’. That’s totally true. The amount of slides you include on your pitch deck should never be a fixed number. It always depends on the information you want to communicate to a potential investor.

Slidebean even create an overview of the topics which are included in most pitch decks, which you can see below.

So you now you have an idea about how many slides you should include in your pitch deck. But which slides do you actually include?

Which slides should be in there?

The most common slides to include in your pitch deck are these 10.

  1. The name of your company, and what do you do?
  2. The Problem
  3. The solution
  4. Milestones
  5. Business model
  6. Market
  7. Competition
  8. Financials
  9. Team
  10. Investment

Conclusion

Based on an analysis on the best pitch decks out there, the perfect number of slides in your pitch deck is 19,25. However, it depends on the stage your company is in. The further you are; the more slides you’ll need to give a transparent look in your company.

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