I’ve been having someone else create my slide decks for a while now. Because I hate creating slide decks. Because I’m not good at it. Because I don’t want to get good at it – better to practise delegation instead. Because it forces me to think about message I want my slides to give, rather than look at some picture licensed for reuse and think “will this do?”
You need to find someone who fits with your aesthetic (and desired aesthetic). I don’t feel like I have a strong aesthetic when it comes to slides (or perhaps in general), but I definitely have clear ideas about what I like and what I don’t – and I don’t want to hate the deck I’m presenting with. You need someone whose work you like and identify with. For the raccoon aesthetic (shown above), Virginia and I talked about like Fit Cat, but a raccoon.
As part of your talk prep, you figure out 1) how many slides you want and 2) what you want them to say. You probably also have an overall theme in mind – a metaphor that runs through your talk and ties things together. This is the start of your direction to the person making your deck.
Working in Google Slides can be convenient here – I made a deck and put ideas in the notes for what I wanted that slide to say. Then Virginia turned those notes into adorable raccoons.
The earlier the better! I wrote about my process for breaking down a talk, and I try and get the deck started soon after I’ve figured out the structure. We can always add things in later!
- Better slides – for most of us, anyway.
- Practise delegation – it’s a skill!
- Forces you to focus on structure.
- More clarity about what you’re trying to illustrate with your slides anyway – first you explain it to someone who reflects it back to you.
- Creates deadlines prior to the Big Event!