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How to create the problem slide in a pitch deck

A pitch deck is an entrepreneur’s secret weapon, a visual storybook that showcases the unique value of their business to potential investors. A pitch deck, that is expertly crafted, can be the key to unlocking funding, luring in the best employees, and forming powerful partnerships.

But what sets a great pitch deck apart from the rest is the problem slide. This slide is where the entrepreneur lays bare the problem they’re trying to solve, the pain points that their business is going to alleviate. This slide is the foundation of the pitch, it’s where you establish the purpose and the audience’s attention and interest. It’s the first step to convince them that your business is the solution they need. A well-crafted pitch deck can help you secure funding, attract top talent, and secure partnerships that can take your business to new heights.

What is a problem slide in a pitch deck?

A problem slide in a pitch deck is a slide that presents the problem that the business is solving. It’s an important part of the pitch deck because it helps to clearly and concisely communicate the value proposition of the business.

The problem slide is crucial in a pitch deck because it shows potential investors that there is a real need for your product or service. It should articulate the problem that your company is solving, why it is a significant problem, and how your company is uniquely positioned to solve it. In this article, we will outline the key elements of a successful problem slide and provide tips on how to effectively craft and deliver this important component of your pitch.

Why is it important to articulate your problem statement in a pitch deck?

A clear and well-articulated problem statement helps to…

  • Communicate the value proposition of the business: By clearly defining the problem and explaining why it matters, the problem statement helps to communicate the value proposition of the business. It helps to convince the audience that the business is addressing a real and important need.

  • Build credibility: A clear and well-articulated problem statement helps to build credibility by demonstrating that the business has a deep understanding of the problem it is solving. It shows that the business has done its homework and is addressing a real and pressing need.

  • Focus the pitch: A well-articulated problem statement helps to focus the pitch and keep it on track. It helps to ensure that the rest of the pitch stays centered on the problem and the solution that the business is offering.

  • Make the pitch more relatable: A clear and well-articulated problem statement helps to make the pitch more relatable to the audience. It helps to establish a connection with the audience and makes the pitch more compelling and engaging.

So, how do you create an effective problem slide? Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Clearly define the problem

The first step in creating a problem slide is to clearly define the problem that your product or service is solving. This should be a problem that is significant and relevant to your target market. Be specific and avoid using vague language or generalizations.

The best pitch deck problem slides I’ve seen have 3 major problem statements that clearly state the problem & subtle content tweaks that indicate the target market’s persona.

2. Explain the consequences of the problem

In addition to defining the problem, it’s important to explain the consequences of the problem. This can help to illustrate the urgency and importance of the problem and how it impacts your target market.

Ideally, a problem slide in a pitch deck is only one slide, but if you’re determined to define your problem statement in detail, you can add one more slide that shows the consequences if the problems aren’t solved.

3. Use data to support your claims

To make your problem slide more persuasive, use data to support your claims. This can include market research, industry statistics, or customer feedback.

Your startup is your passion & no one knows the existing problems better than you. On the other hand, investors may or may not be aware of the problems as you are. In such cases, data validation helps define a problem in a pitch deck. Also, if the numbers are alarming, it also helps attract the investor’s attention.

4. Offer a solution

While the problem slide is focused on the problem, it’s also important to offer a solution. This can help to demonstrate how your product or service is uniquely positioned to solve the problem and provide value to your target market.

We see many pitch decks with this grave mistake. The problem slide & the solution aren’t in sync. If the problem slide defines 3 problems, the solution slide should have 3 answers to those 3 problems. Or else what’s the point of bringing attention to the problems if you’re not offering a relevant solution?

5. Keep it brief

It’s essential to be concise when creating your problem slide. Investors and other stakeholders are busy and don’t have time to wade through lengthy explanations. Aim for a maximum of three to four problems to clearly and effectively communicate the problem.

If you ask any entrepreneur, they can easily list down 10–15 problems their startup solves. That’s a good thing generally but not with your pitch deck. If you’re facing this, try to eliminate it by prioritizing the 3–4 biggest problems. Once you have the top ones, put them into your pitch deck.

6. Use visual aids

The problem slide is an important part of your pitch deck, and it’s important to use visuals to support your message. This could include graphs, charts, or other visual aids that help to illustrate the problem and your solution.

Never overdesign the problem slide. Many pitch decks use heavy infographics & icons on their problem slide. That’s a big mistake. Use minimal visual aids in your problem slide. Make sure your problem slide is less designed than your solution slide. Overdesigning the problem slide makes you look problem-focused & not solution-focused.

7. Personalize the problem

While it’s important to be specific and use data to support your claims, it’s also helpful to personalize the problem by using customer examples or case studies. This can help to make the problem more relatable and compelling.

If your product/service offers a solution to an everyday or common problem, there’s a huge possibility that your investors face these problems too. In this case, giving a personalized face to your problem statement works with many pitch decks.

8. Avoid jargon

Avoid using industry jargon or technical language that may not be familiar to all stakeholders. Instead, use language that is clear and easy to understand.

Break the jargon down into smaller, more familiar pieces. For example, if you come across a term like “paradigm shift,” you can try to understand what each word means and how it relates to the overall concept. Now use easy-to-understand synonyms that relate to the concept.

All in all!

The key to creating an effective problem slide is to clearly and concisely define the problem, explain why it matters, provide evidence of its existence, describe the current solution (if one exists), explain how your business solves the problem, and highlight the benefits of your solution. By following these steps and using visuals to support your message, you can create a powerful problem slide that effectively communicates the value of your business to your audience.


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