Lose The Deck!

“A picture is worth a thousand words…”

–  A figure of speech popularized in the 1920’s

Originally intended to guide people in creating print ads in early newspapers, no truer words have ever been spoken about public speaking / sales presentations a hundred years later.

Almost 30 years ago, IBM executives were preparing to meet their new CEO.  Staff spent hours and hours compiling Power Point® decks for the business line executives to impress their new boss.  Decks were built; pages upon pages, words upon words, charts upon charts with indices and appendices.  The first executive began his presentation, and about four minutes in, it went sideways.

“Lose the ______ deck,” Lou Gerstner is reported to have said.  “I don’t want to see your deck, I want you to tell me about your business!”

And at that moment, I became a Lou Gerstner fan for life.

No one wants to see our decks.  No one wants to read our decks, that’s for dang sure. Lose the deck.  Craft a better story, aimed at precisely what the prospect or Client needs to know to take the next step.

Yes, craft and tell compelling stories.  Use pictures to accentuate the points in your stories. Deliver ideas, because ideas are the currency of Difference Makers and stories are the means by which those ideas are conveyed.





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