Monday, February 3, 2014

Why Build Decks?

If you're building a deck to enjoy your back yard this summer, go for it!  If you're building a slide deck for your next meeting, hold on a minute. Do you really need one?

Do senior executives walk around their companies with slide decks in their hands?  No.  Yet, middle managers in those companies might feel naked if they called an internal meeting without a deck.

In my experience, slide decks are overrated.  People fall into the trap of getting through the slides (in the right order) rather than simply telling their business story and connecting with the people around the table.  The slides are mere reference and illustration for what you are saying.  The slides aren't the star - you are!

So next time, ask yourself if you really need a slide deck.  If the answer is yes, ask yourself 4 questions before you build one.

What are we doing?
Why are we doing it?
How are we doing it?
What will come of it?

At least the resulting slide deck will flow like a story, rather than a rote recitation of facts, which even for middle managers is way below their pay grade and their capabilities. Better yet, declare a deck-free month in your company and see how people like it or a check-your-deck-at-the-door policy so people have to talk and connect in meetings rather than trudge through tedious material.

Why not?  Who's opposed?  The Save A Slide Deck Society.

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