On Slide Decks

I have a love/hate relationship with slide decks — you know, “powerpoint” presentations, sales and pitch decks… those types of things.

On one-hand, I really enjoy the challenge of trying to simplify and distill down a complex idea into something that’s not only easy to understand but that also challenges the viewer to consider (and believe!) an insight that eventually turns toward action.

Pitch decks, for instance, force you to do this mercilessly, as you can almost never be too simple — you’re trying to convince someone who, before this distinct moment, had really never met you and yet both of you are here to exchange what might be to the tune of millions and millions of dollars! The stakes, as they say, are pretty high.

I like that challenge.

What I don’t enjoy is how long it actually takes to fine-tune a presentation to the point where you know it’s going to be effective at communicating the key elements and points — it takes time to not only massage the visuals (which can take days to finish just one!) but I then have to test-drive it with a ton of folks and this process takes even more time and coordination.

I don’t like that part of the process.

But I know that my investment and time in this particular pieces of collateral can help propel the business to the next level and the payoff can be huge — I was remarking about how each slide could be worth, literally, a million dollars each when it comes to venture capital raises or even sales opportunities for big enterprise customers.

Every… single… slide… matters! And that’s why I’ll spend all the time necessary on them to get it right.