How to Create a Compelling Pitch Deck Financial Slide

Putting together a solid financials slide for your pitch deck is more than a task — it's your golden ticket to capturing investor interest. Yet many entrepreneurs overlook its power. We scoped out some essential tips to make sure you never find yourself stuck on "Where do I start?" when you need to turn those numbers into an informative yet engaging financial story.

What is a Financial Slide in Simple Words?

A financial slide in a pitch deck is a high-level overview of your company's money matters that gives potential investors a quick view of your financial health and future plans. It should showcase three major things:

  • Where you stand now: your current earnings, how much cash you have on hand, and what your expenses look like.
  • Where you've been: how your finances have grown or changed over time, indicating trends like increasing sales or costs.
  • Where you're headed: your financial projections based on educated guesses about how much money you expect to make and what your expenses might look like.

The slide's goal is straightforward: to convince investors that your company is a good place for their money.

Why is the Financial Slide so Important?

Scrolling through VCs' Twitter feeds and LinkedIn posts, you might think they're the kind of cool folks who get swept away by purpose-driven projects and teams full of standout personalities. 

Don't be fooled, though. 

Despite their laid-back facade, your potential investors are part of the financial services world. To succeed, you have to talk money fluently. And nothing speaks their language louder than the solid numbers on your financial slide.

Here's the narrative you need to convey:

  • My idea is viable. The slide shows growth and profit potential, showcasing your idea's solid foundation.
  • I understand the market and have a business model. This is shown by including revenue streams and clear scaling plans.
  • My business has all it takes to maintain good financial health. This is a snapshot of financial stability.
  • I am aware of potential risks and come prepared. Your historical performance and future projections help investors gauge the risks, too.
  • There's return potential down the line. And it's based on revenue forecasts and growth strategies.

So you know we're not pulling this out of thin air, there's a study from DocSend that proves the financial slide matters. It ranks among the top three slides, capturing investors' attention, right up there with the business model and product/service slides. 

Interestingly, only about 58% of investor presentations bother to include financial details. And yes, you guessed it, none of the unsuccessful decks analyzed by DocSend featured a financial slide. Finding a way to showcase your numbers could be the game changer that gets your startup noticed and lands you the investment.

What to Include in the Financial Slide?

The content of your slide depends significantly on where your business is at — whether you're at the idea stage, starting with the first launch, or have been operating for a few years. Investors might be interested in different things, and the available data varies. For instance, early-stage investors might focus more on the size of the opportunity and your startup's viability. In contrast, later-stage investors will be interested in proven growth metrics and profitability.

Below is the rundown of the most common details to include in your presentation.

Revenue & Expenses / Profit and Loss

Why it is important. It highlights your business's financial performance over a certain period and gives investors a snapshot of your company's financial health and operational efficiency. This can be past data if available or projections if you're in the early stages.

What to include.

  • Revenue, often categorized by main sources
  • Expenses such as cost of goods sold (COGS), operational expenses, marketing costs, salaries, and so on
  • Net profit (or loss)

A common mistake to avoid. Presenting numbers without explaining what they mean for the business's future or how they compare to industry standards is not winning you points. Instead, offer insights into how your financial performance positions you in the market or relates to your business model and growth strategy.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Why it is important. These are concrete evidence of your company's performance and progress. Because they are measurable results, KPIs add credibility to your pitch. 

What to include.

  • Number of sales per period
  • Current number of paid subscribers
  • Daily active users count
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU)
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Customer growth rate
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV)
  • Customer churn rate

A common mistake to avoid. Overloading your slide with too many KPIs can overwhelm the audience and dilute the key messages. Focus on the most relevant metrics that accurately reflect your company's performance and goals.

Financial Projections

Why it is important. Financial projections give a glimpse of your project's economic feasibility and allow investors to evaluate potential returns. You need to balance optimism and realism here, as overly optimistic projections can undermine your credibility. 

What to include. 

  • 3-5 year forecast, including projected revenue, costs, profit margins, and other relevant financial details
  • Break-even analysis

A common mistake to avoid. Avoid giving investors numbers without outlining underlying assumptions and methodologies. If they don't know what your projections are based on, how can they assess their credibility?

Funding History

Why it is important. It offers a transparent glimpse into your financial history and serves as social proof — other investors have already recognized and backed your company's potential.

What to include. 

  • Funding rounds, including the amount raised and date of the round
  • Milestones achieved, this could include product launches, revenue milestones, user growth, partnerships
  • Valuation at each funding round (if applicable) 

A common mistake to avoid. Overemphasis on early rounds can give the impression that your company hasn't progressed much since then. Make sure to showcase recent achievements and milestones as well.


Why it is important. This is proof that the market accepts and values your product or service, reassuring investors that there's a real demand for what you're offering. Some VCs like to say that if you have positive traction, the rest of the pitch doesn't really matter. So, if you can boast some impressive numbers, you could even consider having a separate slide dedicated to traction. 

What to include. 

  • Customer growth
  • Revenue growth
  • Market penetration and expansion 

A common mistake to avoid. Presenting metrics without specifics or clear benchmarks is not the best strategy. Saying "significant growth" without quantifying what that growth looks like leaves too much to interpretation.

Capital Allocation

Why it is important. This shows transparency and accountability, which builds trust with investors. Most importantly, it helps manage investor expectations about how their funds will drive growth and generate returns.

What to include. 

  • Breakdown of expenditure, including product development, marketing initiatives, hiring key personnel, expansion plans, and so on
  • ROI estimates

A common mistake to avoid. Failing to tie the capital allocation strategy back to the overall business strategy can weaken the credibility of your pitch. Make sure you demonstrate a clear connection between where the money will be spent and how it will contribute to the growth of the business.

Burn Rate and Runway

Why it is important. This gives insight into your company's financial stability and helps make informed decisions about when to seek additional funding or adjust your business strategy.

What to include.

  • Monthly burn rate, that is how much money your business is spending each month
  • Runway, the amount of time your business can operate with its current level of cash before it runs out of funds.
  • Future projections of how these metrics will change over time based on your growth plans and revenue forecasts.

A common mistake to avoid. Being overly optimistic in your projections might hurt your chances of convincing investors. It's key to ground your figures in solid data and assumptions while being upfront about any risks that could affect your burn rate and runway.

What Makes a Good Financial Slide Design?

Investors are definitely intrigued by what lies beyond the numbers on your slide — the potential return on investment. But let's face it, numbers alone aren't exactly your deck's most visually captivating part. 

Follow these straightforward design tips to present your financials in a way that truly resonates with your audience.

  • Keep it simple. Avoid cluttering the slide with too much information. Focus on presenting the key financial metrics clearly and concisely.
  • Go heavy on simple and familiar visuals. Charts and graphs tend to outshine tables when it comes to quickly showing trends and comparisons. However, not all visuals are created equal, and overly complex graphs can easily lose usefulness. Stick to the classics like pie charts, bar charts, or line graphs for clearer communication.
  • Use consistent color coding. Colors are great when you need to quickly distinguish between different financial metrics or categories and highlight the main points. For example, red and green are universally understood to signal good vs. bad. Also, playing with different shades can help draw attention to specific points.
  • Highlight key figures. Use bold or larger font sizes to make important numbers or essential financial metrics pop and immediately catch an eye.
  • Incorporate trend lines or arrows. This is a simple yet effective way to show the direction of key financial metrics over time. They help your audience see patterns and understand the trajectory of the company's financial performance.
  • Don't be afraid of whitespace. Whitespace does a great job at improving readability and clarity. Keep an eye out for that right balance between the necessary amount of information and adequate space between different data points.
  • Try interactive elements. Especially if you're putting your investor slides together in a tool other than PowerPoint, there might be opportunities to incorporate dynamic elements such as clickable tabs or sliders, interactive dashboards, or subtle motion graphics to represent changes visually. All of these can enhance engagement and understanding.

Examples from Reprezent projects

Any Tips on How to Present the Financials Slide?

Know Your Audience

Take some time to research your audience beforehand to learn more about their backgrounds. 

Are you pitching to a board of seasoned VCs, or would your audience be more comfortable with simpler explanations? For instance, if it's a second scenario, you might want to explain that EBITDA gauges your company's operational performance, excluding capital investment expenses and tax implications. 

Such insights help you build your pitch around what your audience already knows about your business idea or what needs to be elaborated on in more detail.

Tell a Story, not Just Go Over Numbers  

This is a mistake we keep seeing on startup pitch decks time and again: putting the expected ROI or the traction you've achieved out there and assuming that's all it takes to impress. Even the flashiest numbers need a backstory to spell out what they truly mean for your business and your potential investors.

You remember that positive traction is gold, but how did you manage to reach that point, and is it possible to keep this momentum going? Highlight the strategies that have driven your growth so far and your further steps to replicate that success in the future.

Or let's consider forecasts. How would you add credibility to those and show that your projections are actually grounded in reality? Explain briefly your forecasting methodology or highlight the relevant insights from market research.

Be Transparent 

No matter how much you emphasize your successes, investors might still zero in on challenges and negative trends. It's understandable — they're entrusting you with their money, so they want to consider all the potential risks.

Your best bet here is honesty and transparency. Don't try to sugarcoat potential challenges; investors can spot that a mile away. Instead, let them know you're accounting for uncertainty and have backup plans to mitigate risks when things go wrong. 

Key Takeaways

  1. A financial slide provides a high-level overview of a company's financial status, including current earnings, historical financial changes, and future financial projections. Its purpose is to convince potential investors of the company's financial health and growth potential.
  2. Adding a financial slide to your investor presentation is pivotal, as decks without it rarely succeed in securing investments.
  3. Below is the key financial data to include on your slide. You don't need to dump every single metric out there and overload your audience; instead, focus on the numbers that really paint a picture of where your business stands today and where it's heading.
  • Revenue and expenses: essential for illustrating your financial health.
  • KPIs: demonstrate tangible progress and success.
  • Financial projections: provide insights into your company's future growth.
  • Traction: validates market demand for your product or service.
  • Capital allocation: outlines how investments will fuel growth.
  • Burn rate and runway: offers a clear picture of financial stability.
  1. When designing your slide, clarity and simplicity are paramount. Use familiar graph types, like pie charts, bar charts, or line graphs, and strategically chosen fonts and colors to highlight important metrics effectively.
  2. For an effective presentation strategy, try to get to know your audience as much as possible and tweak your pitch accordingly. Remember that it's not just about the numbers but rather the story they tell. Explain why you made those financial predictions or talk about what drives your growth. Be prepared to discuss challenges openly, as transparency fosters trust and credibility.

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