What to Include on an Absentee Venture Capitalist Pitch Deck

By Nicole Gravagna, Peter K. Adams

Many venture capitalists (VCs) will ask you to e-mail your pitch deck to them. Other times you may mail a print version of your pitch deck to an investor. In cases such as these where you won’t be able to present the pitch deck in person, you need to include more information than you would for an in-person presentation.

Because you won’t be in the room when the VC looks at the deck, your slides have to be self-explanatory.

With an absentee pitch deck, length isn’t an issue because your reader can move through the “presentation” at her own speed, settling on some slides and completely ignoring others. You can use smaller font size (don’t go smaller than 14 point, though), lots of words, and detailed data on each slide.

If you plan to send this document digitally, you can also include hyperlinks to websites, other documents, and other supporting information. (Keep in mind, though, that although you need to go into greater detail, you still need to keep your message concise. More words aren’t necessarily better.)

If you plan to send an absentee pitch deck, make sure you do the following:

  • Capture the investor’s attention on the pages you think are the most powerful. Remember, people won’t always look through the deck from front to back; they will flip through randomly. In addition, some VCs flip to the back of the deck to see the deal and then read the rest only if the deal looks good!

  • Make your information thorough enough so that people can make sense of it out of context. You can’t be sure who will read it, so make sure every concept is crystal clear.

  • Do not expect this document to be confidential. Because you can’t be sure whose hands it will fall into, leave out any secrets.