March 04, 2011
A friend recently lamented to me that every time she presented, new slides needed to be built.
Of course, such is the life of presenter world! We should always customize talks, and when necessary, build visual support to illustrate our messages. As I've said in previous posts, I'm not a fan of using power point as your speaker-notes (eg. bullet points with builds, quotes, etc.) - but there is a good place for great slides with images or key takeaways...
Here's the problem: When you put together a deck, you likely spend too much time surfing through all decks to find 'that slide' that you are thinking about. Every time I open a PPT deck, my computer places it at the top of the "Recently Modified" or "Last Opened" heap, so I ended up having to sift through dozens to find 'that slide.'
Recently, I found a simple solution: Maintain a master deck, with all the slides I build. After I create a new presentation, I copy all newly created slides into the master deck, sometimes using simple slides with titles as placeholders (eg., Customer Experience set of slides). Now, when I'm working on a talk, I start with the master deck, which contains everything! Sure, it's a mega file at this point (about 100 megabytes), but it's not like I'm going to email it to anybody!
For a great book on slides, read: Slideology by Nancy Duarte