Having great ideas, knowing the facts you want to convey and presenting a pitch deck so successfully that you get funded can be very different things. Regardless of the stage of your company, a lot of your success is riding on a few slides.
This is something I was reminded when I covered the pitch deck template that was created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted, as well as when I provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here).
Today’s startup entrepreneurs don’t just need to have a great concept and team and know the right data to include in a pitch deck, but need to be able to commission or create a slick looking deck that scores with investors, and be able to present in multiple scenarios.
You might need to fire off your deck over the web, be able to show it off on a mobile device, present it live in person to a group of angel investors, or take it on TV to a show like Shark Tank.
So, for those who a tired of seeing the same old Microsoft PowerPoint formats and aren’t Apple Keynote fans, what other options are there?
With the above in mind, there are now plenty of tools that you can use to help you with putting together your presentation. Below is a list with the best tools that are currently available for entrepreneurs.
1) Google Slides
Those seeking a low cost, easy to use pitch deck solution for creating and sharing may not need to look any further than their free Google tools.
Google Slides offers a simplified web-based PowerPoint style tool which can be used to quickly make and share decks. This solution offers a great tool for collaborating with co-founders and advisors, as well as easier sharing via email or directly online.
The style options are definitely more limited than in PowerPoint, but there are some tracking abilities if you set it up right. One great advantage here is being able to upload and edit PowerPoint files and download and convert back and share in PowerPoint if desired.
Canva has been gaining traction as an easy to use online tool for creating social media images, ads and designing print materials. It can also be used to create pitch deck style presentations. Canva has some attractive templates, and is known for its filters and ability to create consistent branded filters.
The downside to Canva according to some users is unreliable functionality, huge file sizes, and features being moved from the free plan to paid and pro plans. Test it before using and factor in that you may need to pay to upgrade.
PC World ranks Prezi as the most innovative of the best presentation software companies in 2018. For just $7 a month you get a dynamic and unique presentation sharing tool that can really help you stand out. The premium plan will run you $59 a month for all the best features. Great for those who serious about storytelling. Check it out for neat zoom in and out features. Just don’t get bogged down or lost in the presentation and fail to get the point across.
SalesHandy is one of the solutions floated on Quora for those who want to see what’s happening after they hit send on their deck.
If you’re the type of entrepreneur who is going to be laying awake at night watching your inbox to see if you get any responses or you’re a data geek who wants every metric possible to keep honing and improving your deck, then check it out.
Among the tracking capabilities are the ability to:
- Get instant notifications when your deck is viewed
- Track the locations of deck viewers
- Set an expiration date on your sharing links so your deck isn’t floating around forever
- Find out how many times an investor opens it, and which slides they spend time on
- Capture viewer details
- Split test versions of your deck
- Know where in your deck you are losing prospective investors
DocSend is another presentation tool which gives startups detailed data on deck viewers like SaleHandy. DocSend also provides an online viewer so you never have to worry about downloads, as well as online voice meeting and screen share tools for presenting virtually.
6) Haiku Deck
Haiku Deck is gaining more awareness. Worth checking out for the free trial. Features include 40M plus royalty free images, Apple app, ability to embed YouTube video, and ability to add audio narration and record as video for virtually presenting in your sleep.
Slidebean has become of the best known alternatives to PowerPoint among the new startup crowd. It does offer some great looking out of the box templates, and seems to be in tune with the startup ecosystem. The pessimists may just be a little wary of the fact the site has a heavy focus on upsells like professional design services, which sometimes is a red flag that the product isn’t as DIY friendly as made out to be.
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