Communicate to Win: 021 – Designing Strong PowerPoint Decks

As I have mentioned in previous posts, the slide library is available to help you design PowerPoint slide decks. Click here to download the slide library. Beyond this, as part of my blog, in conjunction with Cubicle Ninjas, we regularly publish additional slide templates that make it easier for you to communicate your ideas. Click here to see all the PowerPoint-Tasitc published in my blog thus far.

Standard business presentations typically contain these elements. Here are my tips for designing a presentation with a logical flow…

  • Title slide. The Title slide allows you to highlight your idea and associate your name and contact information with the presentation.
  • Executive overview. Every presentation should open with an Executive Overview. Alternatively, you can use the Situation, Complication and Question (SCQ) (addressed in post 8 of the Communicate to Win series), which will help you define your problem.
  • Contents slide. Your contents slide provides a content overview near the beginning, as well as section dividers throughout your presentation. When you have 10 or more slides, you can place the Contents slide within your presentation as section dividers with respective section highlighted.

Refer to my earlier posts in the Communicate to Win series (parts 19 and 20) on exhibit slides for more information on working with these slide types…

  • Text and listings.Text and listings are much more interesting when the content is logically grouped. Remember, no more than three points at a time!
  • Process flows. Process flows demonstrate how each component interrelates.
  • Tables, schedules and timelines. PowerPoint makes it very easy to illustrate information as tables. It is also quite simple to create schedules or timelines.
  • Data driven charts. Data-driven charts of all types are pre-formatted for consistency in the slide library. See the example on the right. Note the use of the red arrow with text to highlight a key data point on the chart. Often the presenter has looked at the chart many times and clearly understands the most important data point. When your audience sees this chart for the first time, you want them to be drawn directly to key information.
  • Diagrams. Diagrams, such venn diagrams, are useful when explaining a variety of components.

After building your well-thought out, organized PowerPoint presentation, be sure to insert your company logo on the slide master. It will help with brand recognition and help make you and your message more memorable.

We talked a lot in the last several posts in the Communicate to Win series about literally building out your PowerPoint slide deck and incorporating visuals. In the next several posts, I’ll concentrate on developing a persuasive narrative to help you bring color and life to that presentation earning the respect of your listeners.

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