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Strategy and tactics and Powerpoint

Most people build a Keynote or Powerpoint presentation in a very direct way: I have things I want to say, I will list them, slide by slide.

Over time, you might get fancier or more skilled at the tactics of how you present each thing you hope to say, but what if we took a step back and used intention to come up with a strategic framework for the deck.

Overall question: Who is this presentation for?

And the follow-up: What change are we seeking to make?

If you’re not trying to cause an action or some other change in attitude or belief, then what’s the purpose of the deck?

And then, for each sequence of slides, the questions are:

What did this person believe before we got here?

What do I want them to believe after they see this?

Brick by brick, step by step, your slides conspire to cause this change to happen.

The font you choose, your grammar, the size of the letters, the quality of the picture–each of these tactical decisions has a purpose. What’s the change I want this element to contribute to?

The sequence of slides, the tension as you move from one to another–it has a purpose.

It may very well be that your purpose is to create deniability, to get the meeting over with, to have a digital record that you did, in fact, do the work, express your effort and get it off your desk. But it’s entirely possible you can accomplish even more than that.

Most of us played with blocks when we were kids. Building structures that seemed magical. Do that.