chapter 5set the style & structure

You've thoughtfully planned your communication. Now, it's time to create the materials that will support you. This section focuses on content that will be organized into a slide deck, which I find is the most common form of business communication for meetings and presentations. For those communicating in different ways, many of the following strategies will be transferable to other scenarios; I encourage you to apply your thoughtful judgment.

I'm also working under the assumption that the content will be presented. You or someone else will talk through the materials you create. This could be in person or in a virtual setting, and we'll cover strategies to use in each of these situations. In either case, there is an important idea to keep in mind when developing the deck: your slides are not what will do the communicating— you are.

This runs counter to how we typically operate, aiming instead to make slides that stand on their own. That's a reasonable goal for material that we will disseminate. However, when creating content to present live, your slides are there to support you, not the other way around! Because of this, there are different design considerations for material that you will present. Think of your slides as a useful assistant. They can provide visual illustrations of concepts, aid you in explaining details, remind you of the next topic, or reinforce the ideas that you raise. But you are the one who will do most of the communicating. ...

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