How to take your IT security pitch deck to the next level

It’s a cut-throat world out there, especially when you’re a startup in the security business. 

You may have that million-dollar cyber-security technology idea, but if you don’t have the financial capacity to develop it further, you’re left with the best solution there is --- grab the attention of some high-profile investors to share that same belief and ultimately provide your seed funding.

Keep in mind that a solid concept will get you nowhere if you miss capturing the attention of potential investors during the initial look of your pitch deck. 

Establishing your credibility is one thing while getting your pitch stand out among other equally competitive startups is another.  

Just like putting up a business, presentation making has a basic set of rules that you need to be mindful of in order to effectively deliver your message across. In this guide, I shall walk you through the writing process so you won’t feel overwhelmed and uncertain with what investors are expecting to know.

Before we start, let us do an assessment.

Check the box that describes the stage where you are in preparing your deck. In return for your honest response, you get realistic pointers to help you progress and achieve an investor-worthy presentation: 

  • Have you already placed your materials into the slides? 

If so, you should be able to identify which data is essential and what are those that just add to the clutter of the overall presentation. 

  • How do your slides look like at the moment? 

At this point, the flow of your presentation will depend on how you organize the information and form a cohesive theme for the pitch deck.

When you’ve got both of these questions covered, let’s look at some ways you can ace your cybersecurity presentation.

In the early stages of your startup business, is there a set probability whether you will successfully raise funds or not? 

Well, the general answer is no, but there are ways to foretell.

Startup companies have to demonstrate some predictability to achieve success hence, timing is crucial. Bad timing can prematurely spoil a new technology in the same way as good timing can exponentially increase the value of your unseasoned product. 

As a cyber entrepreneur, it is fundamental to immerse oneself in the latest and rising trends. 

In 2019, as more and more businesses are becoming at risk of a data breach and online threats, there has been a global emergence to cybersecurity advancement. Moving forward to the age of seamless connectivity, 2020 will bring in advanced technologies but cyber attacks still remain, only now more complex. More than ever, startups have the area of opportunity to address imminent problems in the changing cyber landscape and be successful in overcoming them. 

After all, notable investors take into consideration whether or not your big idea has been tested and how it fared during this stage. Remember that similar to you, some investors are also on the lookout for startup tech companies that have better security solutions than what we have in the present.

So how do you produce the content for your cybersecurity presentation that will look comprehensive enough but won’t confuse the listener? 

Be concise. 

Many guides will encourage you to go shorter. That’s fair enough as high-profile investors look through dozens of presentations a day, so the shorter way you take to catch their attention - the better.

Big-league investor Ron Gula promotes trimming down a startup company’s pitch deck to a five-slide presentation format to focus on the core message. The basic concept of his technique is to answer the What, How, Proof, Funding, and Vision of your business. Anything more than these 5 slides will only sidetrack the real intent of your pitch. 

Though I’d warn you from building up a 5-slide presentation from scratch. Chances are, it’ll be bumpy and jumpy, and you won’t find a way to fix it. 

Focus on the narrative

To make life easier, I suggest that you first lay out your story as loosely as you want it. 

Afterward, apply the screenwriter’s method wherein they first identify the story’s key elements before proceeding to eliminate what is unnecessary.

In the beginning, you may incorporate your own way of weeding out information that you no longer find necessary. Some people use a font size of no less than 18 points to limit the content per slide, while others have formulated other means as well. 

Don’t fret when you might find yourself stuck along this process of elimination. It’s not the end of the road for you yet. As long as you have your end goal in mind, you will continue to progress. 

There’s also another method that could help you called the 5 Whys. Its primary principle is repeatedly asking “Why?” with the eventual mission of getting to the root cause of the problem. 

When applying this principle to your presentation, you may ask, “Why should I leave this particular phrase, thought, or concept?” Answer this, then ask it again until you are only left with the most significant information. Take note, however, that even when this method is performed closely, the outcome varies depending on the person’s skill and keenness.

Once you’re set with your well-thought pitch deck, familiarize yourself with some of the common benchmarks that investors are looking for from the start. Listen to Ron Gula’s interview where he stresses out the importance of having a strong leadership team together with a solid presentation that answers the essential questions. This interview gives you a glimpse of what prompts a decision from an investor’s point of view. 

Ready to run?

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