4. Storyboard

Create clear and convincing internal communications, strategic plans, research reports and other boardroom-style slides.

Storyboard

You will reduce the amount of time you spend creating PowerPoint slides by 50%-75% if you plan your deck on paper before you even open PowerPoint.

People waste an extraordinary amount of time in PowerPoint creating slides, playing with colors and fonts, inserting clip-art, tweaking font sizes and placement of different elements. And in many cases, after spending an hour on a slide, they decide they don’t like that slide and they shuttle it into the appendix.

People also make a fatal mistake when they start designing their slides in PowerPoint without quite knowing what they are trying to say. They use PowerPoint as a place to dump their charts and graphs. They get to slide 10 and wonder “where was I going with this?”

Instead, plan your entire deck as a paper storyboard first. I like to use 3×5 index cards. I can quickly scribble out a slide in 30 seconds and design an entire 30-slide storyboard in about 15 minutes. Then I can re-organize my slides, add slides, throw slides away and make sure I have a story that flows.

It’s a great feeling to sit down at the computer with a stack of hastily scribbled index cards and just start creating slides. You feel like you’re making progress quickly as you see the pile of cards shrinking.

Trust me. Plan on paper. Not only will your deck flow better, but you will eliminate many of those all-nighters to finish the deck in time for the next day’s presentation.

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