Pimp My Slides 2

My Powerpoint makeover is off to a great start. As you know from reading the prior post (and links therein), Cliff advocates a story-based approach to presentation design. In Act 1 you define the Scene, the Protagonist, the Imbalance, the Balance, and the Solution. Having chosen “Persuade your CIO to adopt the Balanced Scorecard System” as my Solution, I felt like I needed to set up a substantial conflict to move someone to that type of action. I was having trouble creating a cohesive set of elements, so I used one of the tips Cliff included at the end of Chapter 2 of Beyond Bullet Points: trying different story variations, such as Historical Narrative, Crisis, Crossroads, Response to an Order, and others. You can see my results here. With some difficulty I created several variations. The process drove out a few themes, and I finally selected the following elements:

The Setting: Battered IT orgs are searching for a roadmap to the future
The Protagonist: IT professionals (the audience) must guide radical change or be outsourced
The Imbalance: IT is viewed as a very high cost of doing business
The Balance: IT becomes a trusted advisor to executive management

Not bad for me, but Cliff suggested the following:

The Setting: The IT profession today is weathering great storms of change
The Protagonist: You can ignore the situation and hope the storm passes through
The Imbalance: The trends are pointing toward IT becoming a mere cost center
The Balance: Turn the tide by aligning yourself with an executive mindset

which I really like. He added much more detail to his comments in the word story template. Check them out for more insight into Cliff’s reasoning.

Now it’s on to Act II: Develop the Action. Stay tuned, and check out the other makeovers for more great advice and examples. And remember, you can comment both here and on the discussion board. I am always interested in other viewpoints. Right now I’m wondering the following: is the current Balance element – “Turn the tide by aligning yourself with an executive mindset” compelling? Let me know what you think.

posted by Mike at 5:39 AM


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