Pitch Deck Problem Slide: ( +Template & Examples)

Benjamin Debonneville
Founder & CEO
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The Problem Slide in a pitch deck isn't just another slide - it's the hook, the bait, and the compelling argument rolled into one. If it falls flat, your Solution Slide might as well be written in invisible ink.

Your startup is the new sheriff in town, determined to wrangle a problem no one else can tame. But how do you communicate this in a single slide?

This blog will equip you with the know-how to create a Problem Slide that grabs investors by the collar, demanding their attention.

Are you ready to craft a slide that resonates, captivates, and ultimately convinces? Here is your guide.

Problem Slide: What is it and Why is it Important?

The Problem Slide is the bedrock upon which your pitch deck is built. It's the beacon that guides investors through your startup's vision and purpose.

In essence, it's your thesis statement, the core of your narrative.

This unassuming slide lays bare the issue your startup is born to tackle. It paints a picture of a market in distress, yearning for the relief your startup promises.

Why the emphasis on it?

Because a well-articulated problem speaks volumes about your startup's understanding of the market and its preparedness to deliver a viable solution.

But remember, this isn't an insider's game. Your problem may not be universal, but your portrayal of it must be.

Your task?

Make it tangible, relatable, and pressing, for everyone. And here's the kicker - when the problem is weak or unclear, your pitch crumbles.

Ready to erect a solid foundation?

How to Present the Problem?

Presenting the problem isn't about laying bare an issue. It's akin to a magician's reveal - dramatic, surprising, yet inevitable.

Intrigued about the art of this problem presentation?

Here’re some important tips for you.

Define the Problem

Defining the problem is akin to painting a vivid portrait of a beast plaguing your target audience. It's about stripping away the vague and diving into the specific.

Who's suffering? How big is the beast? How frequently does it rear its head?

Your audience needs to see the problem, feel its repercussions, and comprehend its urgency.

It's storytelling time - a genuine tale from the trenches, getting your audience emotionally entwined with the narrative.

When you notice the investors' nods of agreement, that's your cue - they're feeling the problem. They're now part of your story.

Here is an example template:

Validate the Problem

Your Problem Slide must not just sound a trumpet about a problem, it should also validate it.

But how do you present this validation?

It's akin to marshaling your witnesses to the stand. It's customer feedback, testimonials, case studies, and cold hard market data speaking up, attesting to the problem's existence.

It's about backing up your claims with measurable metrics - presenting numbers and dollar signs to show the pain points your customers face.

Here is a killer example problem slide, the visuals are enough to speak the volume of climate change damage to our eco system.

Are they willing to pay to solve it?

A well-validated problem becomes real, palpable, and urgent. It's not just a shadow anymore - it's a tangible beast to be tamed.

Identify your Target Customer

Spotlight on your target customer, the protagonist of your startup story.

The Problem Slide isn't just about the problem; it's about who's facing it. It's time to dissect your audience and delve into their personalities, their wants, and their roadblocks.

Are they struggling office managers, frustrated parents, or overwhelmed teachers?

You need to pin down these specifics using personas, surveys, interviews, or market research. Unearth their motivations and their current problem-solving methods.

The more vivid your character sketch, the more compelling your Problem Slide becomes.

After all, we don't just want to solve a problem, we want to help real people conquer their battles.

Provide Data and Facts

The language of numbers - concise, persuasive, and indisputable.

The Problem Slide yearns for facts and data. It's not enough to state a problem; we need to measure its extent, its depth.

Remember, your Problem Slide is akin to a court case, and your data are your exhibits. From market reports to customer surveys, they should all point to the severity and breadth of your problem.

Is it as widespread as a forest fire? As pressing as a ticking time bomb? Investors value this solidity, this proof.

But remember, your Problem Slide is about the problem, not about the size of the market. That’s a tale for another slide.

Empathize With the Target Market

A persuasive problem slide is an exercise in empathy.

Walk in your target market's shoes, see their world through their eyes, and experience their pain. Your problem statement should echo this understanding.

It's not enough to just acknowledge the problem; you need to humanize it

Share anecdotes, paint vivid pictures with your words, and make your investors feel the sting of the issue at hand. Ensure your story is relatable and emphasizes the struggles your market faces.

This way, you're not just presenting a problem; you're pulling heartstrings, making your startup's mission all the more irresistible.

Problem vs Status Quo

In a world awash with solutions, why does the problem your startup tackles still persist?

The answer lies in the gap between the problem and the status quo. Your problem slide should illustrate this abyss, emphasizing the inadequacies of existing solutions.

Not all solutions are created equal, and this is your moment to showcase why your brainchild has an edge over others.

Give your investors a grandstand view of this chasm, and how your innovative solution aims to bridge it.

It's not about proving others wrong, it's about proving you're right and better equipped for the challenge.

How to Design a Captivating Problem Slide?

Now that we've unraveled the 'what', it's time to paint the 'how'.

In the world of pitch decks, appearances do matter. Designing your problem slide isn't just about information, it's about inspiration.

Let's dive into making your problem visually unforgettable.

The Content Should be?

Crafting a problem slide isn't rocket science, but it's a science nonetheless.

Here are four key ingredients for a stellar recipe:

  • Deliver a crystal-clear, jargon-free explanation of the problem you're tackling.
  • Spice things up with stats, showing just how prevalent and pressing the problem is.
  • A concise, laser-sharp sentence outlining the problem you're solving - keep it simple, Sherlock!
  • Highlight who's in the line of fire: the target users. For an extra sprinkle of relevance, consider listing key pain points.

Questions to Address in Problem Slide

When designing your problem slide, you must address these questions.

Imagine your audience asking these questions:

  • What's the dragon you're fighting? Exactly what problem are you tackling?
  • Is this dragon scary enough? Is the problem significant enough to warrant a solution?
  • Where does the dragon live? Why does this problem persist in the world?
  • Who has tried to slay it before? What are the current attempts at solutions?

Design Tips for Problem Slide

Designing the problem slide? Here are some nifty tips:

  • Keep it short and sweet: Stick to <250 characters of crystal clear text.
  • No rocket science: Replace complex jargon with 'Explain Like I'm Five' simplicity.
  • High-res and simple: Use high-resolution graphics with a minimalist design.
  • Readability rules: Choose clear, easily readable fonts and colors.


A captivating problem slide is your golden ticket to investor interest.

Perfect the art of defining your problem, validating its existence, identifying your target customers, providing solid data, empathizing, and highlighting the gap in the status quo. Craft a compelling narrative.

After all, the devil is in the detail, and your problem slide is your chance to showcase the true scope of the opportunity at hand.

Get it right and watch as the nods of agreement turn into shakes of hands.

Happy pitching!

Benjamin gave great tips to my start-up Blend for polishing and optimising my pitch deck, refreshing perspective. Recommend!