How to Start Thinking Strategically about Your Slides with Presentation Design – Part 13

Written by Matteo Cassese

We all know that our presentation will be made of slides but, how do we define them?

A slide is the main unit of content of your presentation, think of it as the bits of your presentation, and it has a purpose. This purpose is to advance the core transformation of the presentation. Whenever we find ourselves asking what is the role of the single slide and if that slide belongs or not in a presentation, we just need to ask this very simple question: “Does this slide help advance the core transformation?” If it does, keep it, if it doesn’t, trash it.

Every slide should be as simple as possible, to paraphrase Einstein, but no simpler. And being simple doesn’t mean that they need to be watered down.

You should have a sticky note with the core transformation already. After that, a sticky note with the title of your presentation, and now you go on creating one single sticky note for each slide of your presentation. Don’t try to represent the whole slide in there, just write down the main concept or the title of the slide on the sticky note with a marker.

Once you’ve done this, you should have some slides that are representing the buildup of your presentation, some slides about the climax, and then slides that help your audience ease out of your presentation through an ending.

Then you can take out some time and do a full rehearsal of your presentation based on the sticky notes. In this occasion, record yourself and use a timer to understand exactly how long it will take you to do this presentation.

You can ask yourself: does it flow?
Does the structure work?
Do you need to cut some slides?
Do you have a climax that works after a build up?
Is there any slide missing?

This is a great tool to evaluate before creating any slides, before losing a lot of time in front of a computer, and knowing if you have the right presentation for the timing slot that you want with the appropriate structure.


  • What is a slide? It’s the unit of content of your presentation that advances the core transformation.
  • Once you have the sticky notes of all your single slides, you can see the structure there.
  • Do one first rehearsal, it saves a lot of time in the end.

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Who is Matteo Cassese?

Hi! I’m a marketing consultant and an enthusiastic entrepreneur with experience working for multinational companies (Warner Bros.), teaching at a university (Link Campus University), and consulting for entertainment companies (Netflix). I’m a scholar of storytelling and have dug deep into screenwriting techniques, mythology, and trans-media narratives. This passion is translated in the simple structure template that you get in all my courses. In my free time I enjoy driving cars (fast).

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