Ravishankar Iyer

#SOTD 67: Clear messages on top of slides and charts (Sequoia deck)

publishedabout 1 month ago
1 min read

This week I'm breaking down some of the storytelling techniques in Sequoia's presentation to its portfolio companies titled 'Adapting to Endure'. In case you missed it, here's the original presentation.

In yesterday's email, we looked at how the presenter starts with a personal story - of having faced a similar economic downturn.

Today's lesson is a simple one: Put clear messages (a.k.a. 'Action Titles') on top of slides and charts.

For example, consider the following two charts:

If you try to figure out what these charts are trying to say - you will take a minute or two. That's quite a bit of time for a busy reader to devote per chart!

Which is why, Sequoia had clear messages on top of both these charts:

Always have clear messages on the top of your slides and charts.

A few other pointers

  • Choose the simplest chart to convey the point
  • Highlight the 'hero' in the chart and de-emphasise the less important elements (e.g. in the column chart above, note how the 'total' column is highlighted)

#SOTD 67


PS: Here is the context for #SOTD and the 'Ultimate Guide to Storytelling Techniques' framework I use - in case you joined this series late! Here is the archive of previous posts. Click here to subscribe.