Decorative pattern

How to create a successful investor deck

July 2023

Investor Deck blog


The influence investors have on a typical company’s fortunes cannot be overstated. From pitching to kick-start the company’s journey with start-up and early-stage funding  to competing for IPO capital, the need to favourably impress investors is imperative. Companies often only have one chance to do so.

Once on-board, investors are important, if not the most important, stakeholders in a company. Their continued support is necessary for a company’s on-going development and growth. Because their investment correlates directly with the company’s success investors take a keen interest in the company’s performance and activities, and increasingly in how companies manage their ESG responsibilities and opportunities. It is therefore imperative that companies keep their investors updated about their performance and future goals and strategies. Many companies are using No Deal Roadshows for building long-term relationships with their investors and managing their expectations.

Whether a company is pitching for funds from potential investors or keeping existing investors apprised of developments, the investor deck is the key instrument a company uses to specify its requirements and crystalise its messages.


The investor deck

The purpose of an investor deck is to provide a clear rationale why investors should back, or continue to back, the company. It should give a concise and complete overview of the company’s business: its vision, management, market opportunities, financials, differentiators from competitors, and any funding requirements. A well-designed, comprehensive investor deck is crucial to securing the financial support a company needs. Here we consider the key elements of a successful investor deck.


Know your audience

Investors typically see several presentations a day. A successful investor deck therefore needs to stand out from the crowd. A key element in achieving this is to research the audience: who the investors are and what they care about. They are likely to be hard to impress so when pitching for seed-funding or IPO backing, and anywhere in between, the presentation needs to be professional, well-crafted, and well-delivered.


Create a narrative

The investor deck should provide a compelling story about why investors should invest, or keep investing, in the company. Investors need to be persuaded that a company provides a better investment opportunity than its competitors. The deck should demonstrate the value of the company, how it is differentiated from competitors, and the problem its products and services will solve.

Investors analyse opportunity and risk through the lens of the return on their investment so slides focusing on the financials and metrics, market opportunities and the business model will be of particular interest. But these need to be embedded into a narrative that shows investors the story behind the numbers: the company’s vision, what inspired the owners to take this path, the passion and hard work that has gone into getting the company this far and the drive to take it further. These are often the aspects of a pitch that makes a company more interesting to investors.

How the narrative is presented to investors is crucially important. A typical deck will contain complex information and ideas that need to be explained and portrayed concisely so that investors can easily understand them. It is a difficult balance to include the right amount of information without making the deck too cluttered and busy which will risk boring investors. Keeping it simple can create the biggest impact and demonstrates a clarity of vision and professionalism that gives credence to an interesting, engaging, and memorable company story. It sets the scene for a compelling call-to-action.


Design and layout

Design and layout are crucial in making the deck stand out from the competition. Good design and a practical layout help to make the deck interesting, engaging and, most importantly, help investors easily understand the key messages and remember them. There are several ways of achieving this:


1. Message simplicity: Slides shouldn’t be too wordy or have overlong sentences. Bullet points are a useful way of getting messages across concisely and simply in a way investors can easily read and understand. Jargon and acronyms that investors might not immediately understand are best avoided.

2. Uncluttered: Some slides will unavoidably carry a lot of detail, in which case the use of illustrations, infographics and imagery can break up content in an interesting way.

3. Visually interesting: Displaying complex data, especially financials, metrics and statistics in charts, graphs and tables can be visually attractive and make them more easily understandable and memorable.

4. Consistency: Using consistent font size, colours, header styles, page layouts and chart styles make the deck look more professional and demonstrates attention to detail.

5. Use the brand: Investor presentations are a good opportunity to promote the brand.  Start-up companies are usually in the early stages of brand development but companies at later funding rounds and seeking IPO should ensure their decks are aligned with their other branded corporate communications. Brand inconsistency looks sloppy and unprofessional.

6. Don’t make the deck too long: The optimum number of slides for a deck is 15-20 slides. Fewer slides than this risks not including sufficient information for an important decision to be made. Many more slides will risk losing investors’ attention.

7. Don’t overdo it: Good, professional design will bring out the best of the deck’s messaging. However, over-high production values may prove distracting. The focus should always be on substance.

8. Leave the best behind: The deck sent to investors prior to the pitch is likely to be heavier on detail than the deck used in face-to-face presentations. To make it easier for investors to engage with this information, and refer to after the presentation, it can be helpful to format the deck as an interactive PDF that summarises key messages with talking head videos to explain complex points.



The investor deck will contain confidential information that the company will not want to fall into the wrong hands. It is essential that the deck is only seen by readers authorised by the company, and is not copied, downloaded or forwarded without its permission. Companies are increasingly seeing the benefits of using a Data Room to securely store and share confidential information and for raising funds.

Additionally, a Data Room has tracking technology that lets the company know who is reviewing its deck, which aspects they are looking at and for how long, enabling them to gauge the investor’s level of interest in the deck. A Data Room also provides a secure space for receiving valuable investor feedback and exchanging confidential information without the risk of using unsafe generic file sharing services, emails or texts

Perivan is the market-leading provider of investor and shareholder communication services. Perivan’s Data Room, Engage, is used by many companies to manage their important corporate transactions, investor relations, and daily business. If you would like to know more about Perivan’s capabilities and see how Engage can provide the solution to your Data Room needs, please get in touch with our team to arrange a demo and answer your questions.






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Decorative pattern