Decks vs. Presentations: A Guideline

I live my life one deck at a time — whether it’s a POV, a brief, a report, they all come in deck format. While I don’t always know if I’m going to present findings or just send digitally, I’ve found that making the distinction and sticking to it helps tremendously in choosing the right format for my work and designing accordingly.


Decks are not one size fits all, I’ve learned — which is why they come in two categories: those meant to be read, and those meant to be presented. Of course, we shouldn’t always turn to PowerPoint and Keynote whenever an idea needs to be expressed — sometimes a few bullets in an email or good old fashioned Word doc can do the trick. But when it comes to “writing” the deck, there are a few best practices I’ve found to be helpful.

So next time you start writing a deck — consider how much you really need to write. It may not be as much as you think!

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