A client of ours called Linda had a liberating experience last year. Linda worked at SAB Miller before the acquisition and was a Senior Global Brand Marketing Executive.

She was about to fly to Miami to pitch for a major contract when we spoke with her. Linda was an engaging, experienced and energetic woman who had charm in abundance and knew her brand backwards.

The big hitch was that she turned up for rehearsals with a 62 page deck. It doesn’t really matter if Steve Jobs and Walt Disney put your deck together, 62 pages present some problems for pitching with impact. The main one being that people buy people, not decks. A bad deck could definitely lose you a pitch, but a good one is unlikely to win it for you – it still takes a human ‘performance’ to win.

When asked “if you left your deck in the taxi, would you still back yourself to win the pitch?

Absolutely” she said.

At that moment, Linda redirected her thinking under her own steam. She decided to go for pluck and daring, above routine and comfort. She settled on a 3 page deck with mission critical information only. She took 4 copies and decided to leave them in her bag and only get them out if she was asked to (she wasn’t). Linda backed herself. Ultimately, moving from 62 slides to 3 comes down to being curious about ‘doing things differently’.

This is a true story: one that rewarded non-conformity. Also, it’s a story that I’m happy to report had a happy ending.

Our thoughts on decks:

  • People buy people, not decks
  • More information is not better
  • Decks aren’t memorable
  • Just because ‘everyone does it’ doesn’t mean it’s right

Further News Stories

Five tips to help focus on what really matters

Five Tips to Help Focus on What Really Matters

12th January 2022

Distractions are everywhere! Here are 5 ways that you can improve your focus.

Avoiding the great resignation will require some creative thinking

7th June 2021

Offices will be full-ish again – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t scope for creativity.

The New World of Work

The New World of Work:
How industry leaders will be adapting

2nd December 2020

Before COVID-19, remote working was a novelty idea. Atholl Duncan explores how millions migrated to their kitchens without businesses failing.