Ditch the ‘pitch deck’ – use storytelling!

Good stories surprise us. They make us think and feel. They stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that a PowerPoint crammed with bar graphs never can. The engineers of the future will be poets. Investor engagement is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. The purpose of a founder storyteller is not to tell investors how to think, but to give them questions to think upon.

❤️‍🔥Show your vision: Don’t pitch to raise money. Show purpose and passion.

🐒Identify the problem: This is how it is today… it sucks! Start by naming the thing that’s getting in the way of your future customer’s happiness.

🙈Agitate the problem: If we do nothing, this is where we are heading.

🙊Spark intrigue: We can do something remarkable about this.

🧩Offer the missing piece of the puzzle: Demonstrate possibility by showing what needs to happen.

🐵Show, don’t tell: Share the story so it unfolds naturally.

📈Sell benefits, not features: Tell the investor exactly how your solution will benefit customers.

❗️ Create urgency: You can order the MVP right now on our website.

🤝Build trust: Remove uncertainty from your pitch by giving a demo.

🏡Demonstrate the potential: Make them feel part of your journey already.

Stories help people learn. Neurological research proves storytelling is the best way to capture people’s attention, bake information into their memories and forge close, personal bonds.

Every startup creates a detailed pitch deck but producing more content doesn’t necessarily mean it’s attracting more attention, it’s really just making more noise for investors to work through. If startups want to slash through the clutter and engage an investor audience, focusing on the standard pitch deck structure won’t suffice, they must also tell gripping stories.


Thank you Ian as always, for the excellent advice. I’ve already put your wise words into good use. Enjoy!