Tag Archives: PowerPoint

Consulting tip: How to make decks for other people

Over my career, I estimate that I made 700+ presentations.  Some were executive summary or update presentations of 5-10 pages. Some were financial and operational reviews. Some were full-scale consulting engagement read-outs (e.g., 40+ pages).  They were all top-shelf and required enormous time / effort / love. Many of them were also for other people.… Read More »

Slideology 1: Making bad slides is easy, and it will negatively impact your career – Duarte

Slideology is a book from 2008 about PowerPoint. It is well-structured, thoughtful, and a massively influential book in the “presentation business”.  It makes a whole lot of sense to me and is quite easy-to-read. Nancy Duarte has been doing this for 20+ years and makes some crazy good points. After listening to a podcast interview,… Read More »

Consulting templates: Visualize what you want to say

PowerPoint. Over the last 20 years, there are very few days when I have not worked in PowerPoint. Sad, but true. Even when I am not creating one, I am often reading investor relations presentations or analyst reports. Pay attention to strong presentations. Collect them. See how authors structure data. Yesterday, I worked with my team on a… Read More »

Clear writing – explain it to me as if I were a kid

Frankly, many people are bad writers. They come in all shapes and sizes. Most of it takes years and years of reading and writing to correct. If you don’t know the elements of composition, or just misuse grammar, it will be a tough road to writing for you If you don’t read, you don’t have pattern-recognition of what clear writing… Read More »

Consulting jargon: What is a deliverable?

You will hear this jargon often. A deliverable is the final product of a consulting phase or project. It comes in many forms, but for consultants it’s usually PowerPoint. It is the thing the client is paying for. It is the thinking. It is the product. PowerPoint presentations are deliverables. This is the actual work product that we give… Read More »

Good graphs, look at the Economist blog

I have subscribed to the Economist for 20+ years. Solid reporting. Libertarian angle, but with a strong heart. Another benefit are the excellent graphs. Consultants love graphs. Executives are visual people, and graphs can make an enormous impact without using too many words. The following graphs are all from the Economist blog called graphic detail.… Read More »

Five superfluous PowerPoint tips

I am putting together a PowerPoint. It’s not a copy-paste affair of simply regurgitating previous work. It is a completely new area – I am researching / thinking / writing / destroying / drawing graphics / rewriting. It’s enjoyable because I am learning, but a bit painful because it is 1am, and I have hours… Read More »

If we are what we repeatedly do, then consultants are PowerPoint

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Pretty wise words from Aristotle. Malcolm Gladwell calls it the 10,000 hours you needed to gain proficiency at a skill.  Cal Newport argues that skills and proficiency create passion, not the other way around.  Good review for his book So Good… Read More »

Why do consultants use PowerPoint so much?

  Consultants spend hours making slides. It’s a common sight to see consultants pouring over their PowerPoint slides – moving pages around, adjusting the colors on graphs, mulling over wording, checking verb agreement and proof-reading. Presentations are also called “deliverables” because they are the products that we deliver to clients. It is a core part of… Read More »

The Pyramid Principle in Consulting

Consultants must structure their thinking. This is the only way to present your ideas clearly to clients.  One excellent tool is the pyramid principle by an ex-McKinsey consultant by the name of Barbara Minto.   She authored a book called The Minto Pyramid Principle here (affiliate link) which essentially defined the way consultants structure most of their presentations. … Read More »

Simple PowerPoints

Death by PowerPoint. Presentations can be boring. We have all sat in large conference rooms held captive by a speaker wielding a poorly thought-out PowerPoint.   To misquote a bumper sticker, “PowerPoints don’t kill, people do.” Don’t put lipstick on a pig: Some people respond to this problem by trying to “spice up” their presentations with animation,… Read More »