Hook your investors with the perfect summary slide

The team at DocSend discovered that more and more successful slide decks have something in common: a very good summary slide. In this article, we will look at a bunch of great examples culled from my TechCrunch Pitch Deck Teardown series and detail what needs to go on the slide.

Why you need a summary slide

As a startup founder, your company should be designed to fail as fast as possible. In other words, if what you are building is impossible, find out as quickly as you can so you can get your life back, drink a cocktail or two and attempt to start another business. A summary slide exists, essentially, to help your fundraising journey fail quickly, resulting in your investor deciding not to invest.

I’m calling it “failure” here, but what we are really doing is preventing you or your would-be investor from wasting time: There’s absolutely no point in landing a meeting and talking their heads off for 45 minutes if it turns out that they would never invest because your company is at the wrong stage.

Your summary slide should include enough of the right information that can help an investor tick the box that says, “Yes, this startup fits with our investment thesis.” Specifically, it helps cement your company in time and place by helping investors figure out how much you are raising, what stage your business is in and well, what the hell your company actually does.

How do you set the stage?

Your summary slide is probably going to be your first or second slide. Many prefer to let the cover slide be pretty minimalist, but it still needs to do a little bit of the lifting. Personally, I like to think of the first two slides of a pitch deck as setting the stage, and by extension, the first two slides, together, create the context for what’s about to happen.