How to Create a Perfect Pitch Deck Ask Slide?

The ask slide is the climax of your pitch. You don’t want to spoil the moment by simply throwing a number out there or overwhelming your audience with excessive detail. To help you strike the right balance, we’ve put together tips on how to round off your presentation on a high note and set the stage for productive investment discussions.

What the Ask Slide is About and Why You Need It

Your pitch deck’s ultimate goal is to secure funding for your business venture. So it makes perfect sense to finish off your presentation with a clear investment request—how much money you’re seeking to raise in this round and how you will use these funds over time. Your final slide should outline where the money will go and how it will generate value by achieving key milestones, attracting customers, and driving revenue growth.

The ask slide does just that for your pitch deck, answering three main questions you’ve been building up to.

  • How much money is needed?
  • What will the funds be spent on?
  • What key milestones are expected to be reached?

What to Include in the Ask Slide?

Funding Request

The prime spot on the slide is for the amount of money you are seeking in this investment round. While ranges are possible, they’re generally not recommended. You’ve done extensive research, analysis, and calculations to put together your slides, so in an ideal world, you should by now have a good understanding of the exact figure you’re looking for. 

You can also mention the funding stage—Seed, Series A, Series B, and so on. This offers investors more context and helps them understand better where your business stands in its growth trajectory.

Use of Funds

Break down how the investment will be allocated between different critical areas of your business. Typical categories include product development, marketing and PR, staff hires, operations, research and development, and expansion. 

Use a pie chart or a simple list to visually represent this information and make it easier for your audience to see at a glance how each portion of the investment is put to work. It’s also a good practice to add a brief explainer to each category on what exactly you aim to achieve with the funding. For example:

  • 60% / $600K: Product development (release a minimum loveable product, integrate new AI features) 
  • 25% / $250K: Marketing and PR (targeted advertising campaigns on Google, strategic partnerships) 
  • 15% / $150K: Research and development (market research to guide future product lines)
Examples from Reprezent projects

The funding request and allocation of funds are the bare minimum for every investment slide. As soon as you have them, you can add some more details depending on your particular circumstances.

Milestones and Timeline

If you already have a detailed roadmap with tasks and deadlines you need to tick off to achieve your initial business goals, consider a timeline with specific milestones rather than broad strokes, as you would for the use of funds.

For instance, instead of a general category “key marketing team hires,” pinpoint exactly who you’re looking to bring on board, like a VP of Growth or brand strategist.

This approach can really make your pitch deck investment slide stand out. Browse investor presentations online, and you’ll see tons using the phrase “key hires” on the ask slide and only a handful getting into the nitty-gritty details. This level of precision tells investors you have a solid plan in place and are ready to make it happen. 

Raise Type

This bit of information tends to stir up some debate among pitch deck experts. 

Some believe it’s oversharing and one of the big mistakes you can make with your ask slide. Mentioning the raise type would, in most cases, mean you have to bring up the valuation, too. And this can sabotage your chances to negotiate with investors who were hoping for a bigger slice of the pie. 

Others argue that being upfront about the raise type makes for a straightforward and transparent fundraising process. This way, both parties are aligned in expectations and investment terms from the get-go. And it saves time for both by avoiding back-and-forth over terms they might not like in the first place.

We at Reprezent lean towards team transparency. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you to do your homework and decide whether your audience will appreciate this kind of transparency or not.

Below are the common types of fundraising instruments: 

  • SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity). The investor provides capital in exchange for the right to receive equity in the future at a discounted rate. For example, if an investor gives $100,000 during the Seed round to your startup under a SAFE, later on, the SAFE converts into equity at a lower price per share compared to what Series A investors pay.
  • Convertible Note. This short-term debt converts into equity, typically after an additional financing round or a specific date. Convertible notes allow the startup to receive immediate funding without having to determine the company’s valuation.
  • Equity. This means selling a portion of a company’s equity in exchange for capital. The investor becomes a partial owner entitled to a certain percentage of the company’s profits and voting rights on major decisions.
  • Debt Financing. The company borrows money from an investor and agrees to pay it back along with interest by a certain date. This does not typically involve giving up any ownership in the company.
  • Revenue-Based Financing. Investors provide capital in exchange for a percentage of ongoing gross revenues until a predetermined amount is paid. 
  • Grant. It’s a sum of money that doesn’t require repayment. Grants are often competitive, and you must comply with specific terms to qualify.

Exist Strategy

Obviously, you’re starting your venture with high hopes it will take off, and you want to share that excitement with investors rather than think about the exit strategy from day one. However, investors tend to be more critical when analyzing where to put their money and wouldn’t mind knowing how they can eventually see returns. 

The exit strategy shouldn’t definitely be the first thing on your mind when creating your investment slide. For early-stage startups, it is most probably redundant altogether. But this can become more relevant if you’re further along the funding process, like at Series B or C. It shows that you have considered the investor’s perspective and are also mindful of creating value for them.

Common exit strategies include:

  • selling your company to a bigger player
  • going public through an IPO
  • a management buyout

Call to Action 

An engaging and clear call to action that invites investors to join you on your entrepreneurial journey adds a nice touch to the slide. Make sure to put some thought into it and go beyond the generic “Invest into [your business] now!” Instead, tailor your call to action to emphasize mutual benefits or how investors can become part of a larger mission by funding your idea.

ChatGPT can be immensely helpful for brainstorming a perfect message, especially if you have the right prompts on hand. Check out our compilation of prompts for every slide of an investor pitch deck, including the ask.

How to Design the Ask Slide Effectively?

This is one of the most straightforward and simple slides in your pitch deck. One of the best pieces of advice you’ll hear is not to overcomplicate it. 

  • Keep it simple and uncluttered. The key figures and messages should immediately catch viewers’ eyes without distraction. Keep the amount of content on this slide minimal and concise. 
  • Highlight key figures. Make the amount of money you are asking for the focal point of the slide. Use a quickly readable font style and make it larger or bold to draw attention. 
  • Leverage the right visuals. Incorporate simple and familiar charts, like pie charts or timelines, to visualize the allocation of funds or your milestones.
  • Ensure a good visual hierarchy. Arrange the information in a way that guides the viewer through the slide in a logical order. Start with the most important information and follow with supporting details.
  • Incorporate space efficiently. White space prevents your slide from looking too crowded and improves readability. And it can also be a design tool in itself, used to emphasize the critical areas of your slide and make them stand out more.

A Common Blunder Entrepreneurs Make When Presenting the Ask Slide

If this is your first time presenting your business idea to this audience, it’s all about building relationships and fostering trust. Let’s be real, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see investors hastily making wire transfers while you’re wrapping up your pitch. No one is ready to fund your business after just one presentation. 

So, directly asking for money at the end of your pitch can backfire because it puts a lot of pressure on investors. When under pressure, our first natural reaction is to retreat to safety. In this case, that safety net would mean saying no to your request. 

What you should do instead is to suggest setting up another meeting to deepen the conversation and take the next step. Lay out your request and terms, and then ask the audience if they’re interested in exploring the opportunity further.

Key Takeaways in a Handy Checklist

  1. Start by determining the exact amount of money you need and developing a roadmap of how these funds will be used to reach important milestones. The more detailed you are, the better.
  2. Make your funding request the main character of your ask slide in the pitch deck. Use a larger font, bold it, or utilize white space to make it stand out.
  3. Depending on the level of detail on your roadmap, you can use a pie chart or list to break down the fund allocation into broad categories or opt for a timeline with more specific tasks and milestones. 
  4. Do your homework on your audience to decide whether to include the raise type for transparency.
  5. If you’re beyond the Series B stage, consider mentioning briefly your exit strategy.
  6. Brainstorm with ChatGPT impactful calls to action that underscore the benefits or potential impact for your investors.
  7. Keep the slide design simple and the text to a minimum.
  8. Finish off your presentation by suggesting a follow-up meeting to discuss the investment opportunity further rather than directly asking for money.

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