Pitch Deck
Crafting the perfect executive summary

Crafting the perfect executive summary

Most pitch decks are simply uninspiring, following a set template with little thought. And it is just that - the thought you put into your deck - that makes you standout from the thousands of pitch decks investors see every year. In this series of blogs, we breakdown each section of a pitch deck in the journey to help you craft your perfect one.

Let’s start with the most important question - does your pitchdeck need an executive summary?

Not really.

Most pitch decks dive right intro the problem statement. That said, an executive summary is always a good to have. It gives your investors a snapshot view of your story.

When should you write your executive summary?

It’s obvious that the executive summary is the first slide of your pitch deck, but when do you write it? While most guides will tell you that your executive summary needs to be the last thing you write, they are wrong.

The executive summary is the storyline of what goes into your pitch deck. You always write the story first.

How do you structure your executive summary?

A search for exec summary templates will throw up tens if not hundreds of results - filled with visuals, data and text. But what’s the best template for you?

Keep it simple. Always.

If you look at presentations from the top consulting firms - McKinsey, BCG, Bain, you will always find simple bullet pointed executive summary slides. Why? Because it works. Simple, intuitive and detailed without the need for any fancy visuals.

Here’s an executive summary from Bain & Co on the Luxury market - 1

Here’s one for hashmail - a web3 messaging & support platform 2

What should you include in your startup executive summary?

Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary slide

  1. The problem - what specific problem is your product solving? And why is it a problem for your users today?
  2. Your solution & differentiation - how does your product specifically solve the problem? It might also help to include why your solution is better than the existing alternatives in the market
  3. Total addressable market / TAM - how big is the market that you are targeting? Is it a micro SaaS that targets a a very niche segment of the market or does it solve a broad problem that impacts various industries and customer segments?
  4. Traction - this is the single biggest signal to your investors that your product is valuable and customers are willing to use (and pay) for it. If you are raising funds pre-product launch, it is important to showcase any early interest from customers e.g., “we already have 20+ enterprises that have signed up for our pilot next month”
  5. Business model - how do you make money? Your investors need to know your solution has the potential to generate revenue and eventually profits
  6. The ASK - this is good to have, but if you are raising funds, it helps to capture how much you are targeting to raise, and what would you use the funds for.

Use Hashdocs (opens in a new tab) to share your pitch deck with your investors! Now manage secure access to your sensitive documents with powerful link controls and advanced tracking, all from one sleek dashboard.

What more, Hashdocs is open source, giving you the ability to view, audit and contribute to the project.