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Slidedeck Planning Sheet

Slidedeck Planning Sheet

Holster that mouse! Before you crack open PowerPoint to crank out some slides, take a step back and sketch. Your time in front of the computer will be far more productive (as in, you’ll save hours roaming stock photo sites) if you think through your slides on paper before you design them electronically.

SlidedeckSketchI used to just print off a blank slidedeck of six slides on one page from PowerPoint and start my sketching. You’ll see here that I’m not making anything super beautiful or artistic. Those are really crude sketches! They eventually turned into this deck:

SlidedeckSketch2And the slide development process was a snap because I already knew what images I was looking for and where I would place them on the slide.

I go through this process so often I made my own Slidedeck Planning Sheet, now downloadable for your use. It looks like this:

SlidedeckPlanningSheetYou list your presentation details at the top, number your slides, sketch your ideas, and jot down a few main points. Spending 20-30 minutes here is like putting time in the bank. Bang!

The awesome Chris Lysy animated a 2 minute trailer for my recently released book, Presenting Data Effectively. Check it out – it’s so cool!

This month I kick off my webinar series, with a 90-minute session on reporting well. Next month, slides. January, data visualization

2 thoughts on “Slidedeck Planning Sheet
  1. Craig Hadden – Remote Possibilities says:

    Thanks for sharing this tool, Stephanie. I applaud you for working out ideas before opening PowerPoint!

    It struck me how visual a tool this sheet is. Do you begin by writing down ideas, or do you use the sheet to start the planning process?

    I’ve heard Nancy Duarte suggest sketching on Post-It notes so you can swap them around.

    For myself, I prefer working out ideas in words first, which can make it easier to spot any weak link in my thinking. Then I come up with a visual for each idea, which is when the slides form.

    You might enjoy this post on “slide slavery” (i.e. the perils of designing in PowerPoint). It features advice from Nancy, Garr Reynolds, and Scott Berkun (author of Confessions of a Public Speaker). Would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    Again, thanks for sharing.

    • Stephanie Evergreen says:

      I definitely started with sketching on Post-its but found I lost some of the overarching detail I needed to keep in mind, like audience, theme, etc. I guess the main idea is just to do what works best for you: this template, blank slides, post-its, whatever. Just sketch the idea first!

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