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Malcolm Lewis | Pitch Deck Coach

3 investor questions that can make or break your pitch deck

There are 3 first-order investor questions that can make or break your pitch deck:

  1. Why your problem?
  2. Why your problem?
  3. Why your problem?

Why 'first-order?' Because until you've answered these 3 questions, nothing else really matters.

Introducing the Key 3

I call these questions — and the slides that address them — the 'Key 3.' 3 key investor questions that you must answer in the first 3 slides of your pitch deck.

If you don't answer these 3 questions in your first 3 slides, you risk investors tossing your deck to one side and move on to the next deck in their review pile. Game over. You blew your one chance to make a great first impression.

Take an honest look at your pitch deck, and ask yourself if you're answering the key 3 questions as crisply and completely as possible. Give your deck the best possible chance of sparking an investor follow-up.

How to crush the Key 3

I help my coaching clients answer the key 3 questions in the first 3 slides of their pitch deck.

Question 1: Why your problem?

Is your problem big enough to support a venture scale exit? E.g. A $50-100M ARR business exiting at 10x ARR.

Question 2: Why your solution?

Does your product have a compelling advantage that customers really care about — and that competitors will find really hard to copy? A great market must be complemented by a great product for investors to be interested.

Question 3: Why your team?

Even with a great problem (venture-scale return potential) and a great solution (defensible competitive advantage that can drive market dominance), it's all for naught if you don't have the right team.

You must explain why you and your team are the dream team for solving your problem with your solution.

In particular, investors want to see that you have at track record with both your target customers and with building the solution you plan to build.

On this last point, I'm reminded of a quote from Silicon Valley legend, Naval Ravikant, who said:

“The thing that is always the best to do is something that you know really well and have conviction about. Usually it’s that you’ve worked on a product because you want it to exist for yourself or it’s an industry that you know really well or there’s some technology that other people don’t get but you’re intellectually obsessed with.”

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