Slide presentations are a big part of your work as a product marketer. Slide decks are stories, and so the flow of the slide deck is the foundation of the story.
One habit that will make sure you’re optimizing for the story is to start any review of a slide deck (on your own or in a group) in slide sorter mode. In Powerpoint it’s called Slide Sorter. In Google Slides it’s called grid view.
The Problem with Your Brain
As product marketers, we love writing, and pictures, and words, and phrases. When I click an email to open it, I almost by reflex rewrite the first sentence in my mind to make it more compelling. Nerd.
We’re all like that, so if you approach revising a deck going slide by slide, and you’re a good product marketer, you’ll just be rewriting and re-ordering bullets, cooking up new images. For each slide. And it will feel so good to make each word on each slide better as you progress through the deck. Excited by all the compelling things you’ve done, you’ll say “great. That’s much better.”
The Slide Sorter Brain Hack
But the goal of a slide presentation is to persuade an audience to change their behaviors. What persuades people? A story. And the heart of the story is the emotional journey for the audience created by the structure and order of the presentation.
That’s why the structure and order of the slide deck is the most important aspect to get right.
When you start in slide sorter mode, you keep yourself from zooming in and getting stuck spinning trying to pick the exactly right word, or image, and let yourself focus on the story. “First we say this, then we do that, then we ask the other, then we share a different thingie.”
Try it, and happy slide-making!
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