I’m confident in the actual “content” of my work when I put it to paper but I get so lost when I’m asked to transition that work to a presentable slide deck or some other fancier medium that will be shared around. Anyone have any tips on how to get better at this?

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Depending on the presentation, you need to think of it as a backwards story. Let's use Goldilocks as an example.


1-2ish. We're going to talk about a story involving bears and a girl. Here's why this story is important... (Structure - Context, Current Situation, Problem)

2-4ish. Goldilocks died in a house full of bears, they should have installed a fence (Outcome/recommendations)

4-8-ish. She ate their porridge, broke their chairs, and slept in their beds. She deserves it. (Proof slides)

8-10ish. Here's how to install a fence to avoid girls wandering into bears houses in the future (implementation plan)

10-12ish. Here's where things could go wrong with the fence, but we'll make sure to prevent it (risks/mitigation)

12-14ish. Remember, fences prevent death (reiterate the main point)

Numbers are rough. Shorter the better


Always struggled with the same thing. I look for other decks from peers and cobble together what i recall was received well. If your company has a supportive atmosphere, you should be able to ask for help/feedback from people you recognize as more skilled in the area. Most folks are happy to share what they know and excited to be asked to give feedback. Lean into that!

What if you just made them read the paper? (Not being facetious - but leadership often use power point to be lazy)

Kind of making a good point here. OP, are you making this deck because you have someone to present to, or are you being used to make someone else’s presentation? The paper should be sufficient for distributing information. Not so much if you have to give a presentation. If that’s the case, bite size your paper into a deck and try not to execute ‘death by ppt’

I’m not sure how you put your content on paper but I always start with organizing the high level topics and major points I want to cover, then I expand on each to complete the content. The high level topics are what I use in the PowerPoint to present. Rest of your content is what you speak to when presenting.

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