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Jan 27th, 2013 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Pitch Deck Sunday — Advisors

It’s Sunday again. THAT Sunday. Time to dissect your pitch deck and make it better. :)

Let’s talk about advisors. Typically you add them to your team slide. And most of the time you see something along the lines of a list of names a la “John Doe, Founder ACME Corp.”, sometimes with a picture.

Here’s the deal — advisors provide two signals for an investor:

  1. Instant credibility if you have “brand name” advisors
  2. A strong support network

The first one only works if you have truly recognizable names which are relevant to your field. Sergey Brin works, a random director at a large company doesn’t. The second one is trickier. In pitch presentations I often wonder what those people actually do for you — as often the entrepreneurs either just rattle down the names of the advisors on their slide or even glance over them and say something to the tune of “… and we have a bunch of awesome advisors”.

If you want to make your pitch stronger I recommend you make sure that your advisors are relevant (no, your dad’s buddy from the plumbing shop down the road most likely doesn’t count) and that they are actual advisors and not only people with whom you emailed once. You can spend 15 seconds in your pitch describing the relationship you have with your advisors — e.g. “We assembled a team of relevant advisors with deep expertise in X, Y and Z. To leverage their expertise and network we meet with them every month for a one-hour session and can also ask for advice via phone and email anytime in between.”

By the way — there is something to be said about the celebrity advisor. As awesome as it might be that you got Tim Cook from Apple to be an advisor I instantly ask myself how much time you actually get out of him — as he’s busy as hell. So you might want to anticipate that (silent) question and address it head on in your pitch.

Good luck for your next pitch and have a wonderful Sunday!

P.S. In case you missed them — here are the two prior posts in our series of “Pitch Deck Sundays”: 101 and The Team Slide.

P.P.S As always — send me your questions, decks, pitches if you want feedback.

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