Thoughts on Slide Decks

This isn’t strictly an article about programming or managing developers, but it covers an aspect of the job that will affect you sooner or later. I’m talking about making presentations and specifically about the slide decks that accompany them. If you’re striving to become better at the art and science of making software (and that’s why you read this blog, right?), chances are you will get better at it, and chances are that people will start asking you to share your knowledge. I have some ideas and opinions that I’d like to share on the topic.

For starters, I try to avoid making slide decks that look mostly like this:

"Who Am I?" slide, with bullet points

If I have to make a deck that looks like this (perhaps as a request from a manager, or to match the format of other presenters), you can be sure that come presentation time, I won’t simply be reading the slide to the audience.

If you’re wondering what my preferred presentation style is, take a look Better Living Through Blogging: The Slide Deck, the most recent article on my personal tech blog, Global Nerdy. In it, you’ll see the complete deck from my presentation at WordCamp Toronto 2009 (which I gave on Saturday) as well as some notes on my presentation style and thoughts on how to make an effective deck.

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