Chapter 9. Decks

It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.

Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon

In this brief chapter, we look at the different kinds of slide decks that come in handy for the strategist, as well as the structures and key elements you can use to make them.

Decks can be surprisingly useful as an architecture tool to draw pictures that communicate succinctly. They’re even more helpful if you present to customers a lot and need to have something that you can read from a screen.

But this chapter is more concerned with how you can take up all of the work that you’ve done throughout this book, and then pull it into decks that will make your data, insights, hypotheses, and overall strategic messages really soar.

Here we won’t talk about content—that was the first part of the book. We’ll just look at structure, assuming along the way that you’ve done the work from earlier patterns to populate the content as you need to.

Ghost Deck

The Ghost Deck is also called a Blank Deck. It’s a special way of making an initial deck that has a certain purpose. It’s a wireframe. There’s no audience but you and your management team, which you’ll subsequently work with to fill in the details of the simple narrative. The Ghost Deck is a storyboard made for creating a movie: you’re making sure you have figured out what all the important shots are before incurring the major expense of shooting them.

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