I showed a colleague of mine one of my tricks for building slide decks faster.  It's a divide and conquer approach I've been using a few years.  I do what I call "one-sliders." 

Whenever I build a deck, such as for milestone meetings, I create a set of single-slide decks.  I name each slide appropriately (vision, scope, budget, ... etc.)  I then compose the master deck from the slides.

Here's the benefits that might not be obvious:

  • It's easy to jump to a particular slide without manipulating a heavy deck, which helps when I'm first building the deck.

  • It encourages quick focused reviews with the right people (e.g. I can pair with our CFO on the budget slide without hunting through a deck)

  • It encourages sharing with precision.  I share the relevant slide vs. "see slide 32" in a 60 slide deck.

  • I end up with a repository of reusable slide nuggets.  I find myself drawing from my "one-slider" depot regularly 

  • Doing a slide at a time, encourages thinking in great slides.  It's similar to thinking in great pages in a Wiki (a trick Ward taught me).

The biggest impact though is that now I find myself frequently sharing concise one-sliders, and getting points across faster and simpler than blobby mails.

Comments (2)

  1. MSDNArchive says:

    I may try this approach – I usually end up with ‘repository’ decks around key topics with many slides I’ve found re-usable and ‘fish and stitch’ the right slides for te right audience. It’s worked out well.

    I think the key, just in source code reuse, is to add slides to the ‘reusable’ collection once you’ve actually reused them in a couple of occasions.

    Otherwise you may end up creating many YAGNI slides.

    I think presentation decks are over- & mis-used a lot in large organizations but they don’t seem like they ‘ll go away anytime soon… so we might as well get effective about managing them.

  2. Justin says:



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