How to write a good storyline? Or, create an awesome powerpoint deck…

Storyline Checklist:
  • Did you consider your audience and purpose?
  • How much time can you realistically take per slide + questions + other presentation derailments?
  • Do you have an objectives slide (i.e. why are we here today?)
  • Does the story follow a logical and coherent flow (i.e. inductive or deductive reasoning based on quantitative and qualitative analysis)?
  • Is there a clear theme? Or, three key takeaways?
  • On any slide or bullet point, can you answer the question: “so what?”
  • What is your “money slide?” The slide that someone could rip away from the deck and be enchanted.
  • Is the hypothesis proven by data? – charts, graphs, tables, quotes
  • Are the charts, graphs, text and voice consistent?
  • Is the implicit made explicit (i.e. state your assumptions)?
Slide Writing Checklist:
  • Is the language consistent (i.e. Titles and bullets consistent)?
  • Is the text the right size for the audience and purpose?
  • Does the slide communicate one clear and easy to understand message?
  • Have you included section indicators (i.e. a header or navigator to recenter your audience on what you are taking about)?
  • Did you clearly cite your sources?
  • Can you transition easily between slides?
  • Did you use active voice (never use passive, it’s passive)?
  • Have you proofread the deck? Begin from the last slide and start from the bottom sentence and move forward. When you read out of context you will find more typos.
  • Have you done an accuracy and sanity check of the data? Explain this to your 15 year old niece or nephew, does it make sense?
  • Are the slides consistently formatted individually and versus all the other slides (e.g., text and graphic alignment)?
  • Do you have page numbers?
  • If it is a draft, did you include “Draft for discussion purposes?”
Source: Based off my mentors and trainers from Diamond Management and Technology Consultants.

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