9-slide presentations

This post lays out a nice format for slide presentations. But it’s long. So here’s a TLDR of the 9 slides in the template.

  1. Title: Something spicy and eye-catching.
  2. Big claim you can deliver: Promise an outcome they need and care about and you can deliver.
  3. Agenda / navigation guide: Stuff we will share (insights, ideas, imagination), stuff we have (data, cases, foo).
  4. Insights: Make them think in new ways about their customer or market.
  5. Ideas: Make them see in new ways about solutions.
  6. Imagine: Make them feel differently about themselves and what is possible.
  7. Proof: Outcomes you have delivered for others. This builds trust before the coming call to action.
  8. Desired action: “Sign here!” (telegraph urgency). Time is short, talent is rare, etc.
  9. Appendix: Data, cases, other stuff that supports any of the other slides.

And here’s the writing process.

  • Write slide 8 (desired action) first because that’s the whole point of the meeting.
  • Then write slides 4-6 (insights, ideas, imagination).
  • Then write slide 7 (proof) and show real results as evidence.
  • Then write slides 1-3 (title, big claim, agenda). You want an attention-grabbing title, and something tangible in the big claim such as “your firm will generate 20 percent improvement in X.”
  • Finally, write slide 9 (appendix) with supporting material from the other slides.

I also loved this section:

Why most decks should be no longer than 9 slides:

Think of all the presentation you have sat through or produced. Many were fifty, sixty or hundred slides long. How many slides do you remember? How many stood out or made a difference?

Presentations are often un-necessarily long because:

a) We often confuse volume with quality.

b) Many people feel without a huge deck they cannot justify their expenses or point of view.

c) Often firms are paid by time exerted so they are incentivized to bloat and be baroque.

d) We often focus on how the colon works versus showing the cool shit by spending too much time about the process, the background, the history, the tools, the sources of data versus delivering the idea, insight, innovation, or imagination.

If we need more than nine slides to tell our story, sell our point of view, or close a deal, we may not have anything truly convincing, differentiated, or interesting.

“We often focus on how the colon works versus showing the cool shit” …goooood gravy, what a quote.

(Also see: There’s STILL too much text on slide presentations)

Thanks for reading! Subscribe via email or RSS, follow me on Twitter, or discuss this post on Reddit!

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close