There are a number of starting points for my presentation design projects that almost always result in great presentations:

  • The enthusiastic CEO with a strong story who is all over the place with bullet point charts, skipping/jumping left, right, and centre
  • The scientist with a strong idea that is buried in dozens of unreadable data charts
  • The engineer with a great product, presented in a presentation that looks like a deck used to present the result of a school end of year craft project
  • The Fortune 500 investor relations manager with a quarterly results deck in a standard PowerPoint 2007 template that is more of a general company introduction than a razor sharp story updating investors about the key business drivers in the last quarter.

Difficult starting points:

  • A confident CEO, with a visual deck (lots of big pictures) that spends too much time on explaining a relatively obvious point, ignoring the "elephant in the room" practical questions that investors might have (yes, we get the idea, but how can you build this realistically in 3 months).
  • A scientist who is so used to her existing slides that her pitch would not change much, even when equipped with the world's most beautiful slide deck.
  • An inventor with a great idea, but no team, no plan, no technical approach

Never a dull moment in my profession!

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