How to effectively communicate your ideas?

I’ve created ~50 presentations for founders, CEOs, execs, myself over the last 5 years. Here’s the process I use to effectively communicate ideas:
Every deck I write starts on paper, following this outline:

1. Story
2. Problem
3. Solution
4. Examples

For me paper is key because it’s easy to get lost in Google Slides, Keynote, docs or whatever other digital tool you’re using.

There’s something about the freedom of pen + paper or whiteboard that allows me to get the story to a good enough place first to then go to digital.

1. Story.

This is the hook.

Don’t just dive right to the problem. Create some conflict. Create some tension. Tell a story to bring someone to your problem. You must hook the reader first.

2. Problem.

This is, you know, the meat.

Hey we have this problem that you laid out. Here’s how we’re going to solve it. This works best when the problem is well known & clearly defined.

If only half of your readers get the problem, you haven’t set up the right story.

3. Solution. This is how YOU solve the problem.

4. Proof. Because no one will believe you and we need PROOF. Examples. Quotes. You know.

That simple outline works so damn well for creating better stories & presentations. Don’t overthink it. Follow the recipe.

And starting on PAPER is so important. It’s too easy to get lost in slide design. You can’t design the slides until you know the story.

So my order is this:

1. Write out the story
2. Re-read + circle slides (this section is slide 1, this is slide 2, etc.)
3. Then make notes on the creative for each slide (slide 1 screenshot of x)
4. And THEN I go make the slides
5. And THEN I send to an actual designer

Follow: @davegerhardt

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