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Startup Riot’s Sanjay Parekh on “How to Put Together a Slide Deck”

Published: Apr 2, 2011 2:58 pm

Sanjay Parekh has a lot of experience with startup pitches. Sanjay runs Startup Riot where, once a year, 50 companies pitch their deck in a single day. He has seen the whole gamut of pitches from fantastic, to horrible, to captivating. He recently Skyped in to share with TSF readers some basic tips on how to improve your own pitch. Don’t miss this 8 minute video!

This is part 2 of our interview with Sanjay. Be sure to check out part 1, β€œI pitched 200 VCs in 10 months before I closed the round”.


1. Don’t skip the “why” of your startup. Assume the crowd knows nothing about your startup.

2. Keep it simple. Text is fine for a document, not a PowerPoint.

3. You want to emotionally connect with the audience.

4. If you see a lot of text on a slide. Your attention shifts to the text instead of the presenter.

5. The point of the slide is to convey information and augment what the speaker is talking about

6. The ideal slide that complements what you’re saying (instead of speaking for you) would have a lot of visuals, but wouldn’t describe . That’s your job.

7. Create an outline before you fire up PowerPoint or Keynote. Know what direction you’re headed in before you start creating.

8. People connect with stories, not facts and figures. Focus on your narrative.

9. Adjust the deck to the audience.

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Hi, I'm Paul Hontz.

I'm a YC alumn and I love startups. I created TSF to highlight companies I find interesting. You can learn more about me here.

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