Nov. 9, 2023

Navigating Numbers: How to Visualize Projections in Your Pitch Deck

Navigating Numbers: How to Visualize Projections in Your Pitch Deck

This is part 12 of "The Ultimate Pitch Deck Guide for Startups," a fundraising guide made in partnership with DECKO, a leading pitch deck development company that’s helped ~180 startups raise over $100M from investors.


Your company’s primary focus is to make money by providing value to its customers. Your Projections Section provides the insight investors need to understand 1) how successful your company has been against its goals and 2) why you are pursuing new initiatives. 

When reviewing your Projections, Investors are primarily focused on three things 

  • When you will become cash flow break even or profitable 
  • How big your company can get 
  • How diverse your revenue streams are

Your Projections Section should feed into all three of these to seal the deal for investors. 

In this chapter of “The Ultimate Pitch Deck Guide for Startups,” we’ll explore the different ways you can visualize your Projections for investors (with examples) and provide tactical tips you can use to make your Projections stand out. 

NOTE: This is not about how to create your Projections (for that, DECKO recommends working with companies like Forecastr who create models for companies from scratch. Think of them as the DECKO for Financial Models), but rather an exploration of how to present those Projections in your pitch deck.

Now, let’s dive in: 

Keep It Simple. Keep it Digestible.

Your pitch deck is not the space to go into too much detail about your financial model. Remember that investors are likely viewing your deck as a non-editable PDF document, making a detailed spreadsheet nearly impossible for investors to read.

Instead, streamline your pitch deck by only including the following:

  • Revenue
  • Expenses
  • Margins
  • Net Profit

From there, visualize everything with a simple chart. If an investor is interested in learning more about your financial model, great! The best way to keep them hooked is to include a button/link in your pitch deck to request a financial model from you or access it online.

Most software like Keynote or PowerPoint will allow you to create pre-written emails available by clicking a button on your slide. You can use that to request a model from your founder, CFO, etc.

Alternatively, you can upload your model to a secure platform and simply link to it through the button in your slide. In these cases, we recommend including a password on your pitch deck for them to input into the link.

In this example, we can see the company’s revenue broken down with a simple chart on the right side of the screen and an abridged spreadsheet on the left side of the screen that only shows company revenues. Additionally, there is a call-to-action that allows investors to request a complete model from the company.

Remember this slide because we’ll be sharing screenshots of different parts of it throughout this chapter.

Break it Down by What Matters

Remember, investors are interested in understanding when you will break even and how diverse your revenue model is. Your deck’s visualization should complement that and make that part of your message explicitly clear.

For visualizing break-even, it is best to highlight your exact break-even point in your visual and then provide the assumptions behind that moment in time.

In this example, the company is breaking even in February of 2024. At that point in time, they will have just over 1,000 subscribers for their introductory offering, 72 subscribers on their premium offering, and some additional revenue from their partners (note this is not an entire slide but just a screenshot of the visual used as part of a larger slide). Investors now have a clear understanding of what the company has to achieve to become cash flow positive.

For visualizing revenue diversity, it is best to create a stacked bar chart with each of your revenue streams in different colors. This will give investors a clear understanding of how your revenue mix will evolve over time.

In this example, we added a stacked bar chart that reflects each of the revenue streams in a different color. New revenue streams begin to come into play by 2022 and become a large part of the company’s revenue mix by 2023. Investors now understand why enterprise contracts (in this case) are important to the company’s growth.

Use Your Projections to Tell a Story

Your company’s primary focus is to make money by providing value to its customers. The single best way for an investor to understand if your company is achieving its goals is for them to review your financials and projections.

Because of that, it is best to share additional context behind your revenue in the form of bullet points and slide titles so investors can clearly comprehend the story your revenues tell.

  • What has been the biggest driver of your growth?
  • What is it about your business that makes it possible to become cash flow positive?
  • What matters to your company going forward?

In this example, we aim to highlight how important enterprise revenue has been to the company’s growth. To do that, we included a mention of enterprise revenues in both the title and in a separate bullet so investors can clearly understand that 1) enterprise customers are important to the company’s growth and 2) enterprise customers like using the product.

That concludes this week’s installment of the “Ultimate Pitch Deck Guide for Startups.” Remember to keep the content of this slide simple, visualize your revenue and break-even point, and provide additional context to back up your projections.

Check back in next week when we dive into the Team Section and how to show investors your team is the right one for the job.