Don’t do this: Hand out your PowerPoint sales presentation deck

Why is a PowerPoint presentation called a deck? See the “Special Extra Sidebar below.”

After posting the previous item about the White House PowerPoint Deck, I wrote a post for the Hammock Inc Blog called, “3 Reasons Why you Should Not Use a Sales Presentation PowerPoint Deck for a Leave-behind.”

Here are the reasons why – but you’ll need to jump over there for the explanation of each:

  1. A presentation deck is not a leave-behind – it’s not even the presentation
  2. You lose all message continuity in a “second-degree” (as in Kevin Bacon) presentation
  3. Your deck is the wrong medium for the right opportunity

av-clubAV-Geek Sidebar Extra for the 12 Readers of RexBlog

In writing the Hammock post, I did some research on the term deck, as used to describe the slides in a PowerPoint presentation. I decided my favorite (Warning: I am not a linguist) explanation was the “playing card” metaphor I used on the Hammock post.

While some people claim that the term deck predates PowerPoint and was used to describe a stack of Kodak slides used in presentations, I’m not buying that.

Why? Well, as a couple of people I’m going to personally ping to read this post can attest, some of the most outrageously funny — and outrageously awful — experiences of my life as a young media geek involved the trainwrecks that could happen when you are overseeing a multi-projector, multi-screen, instantly produced, closing ceremony presentation that will be viewed by several hundred customers from around the world — and you’re stuck in a room for what seems like 72 hours straight with an extremely talented producer, photographers, an AV-guy, an account executive, and did I mention, the client?

According to this Kodak “source book” guide (PDF) from that era on, the word “deck,” in reference to slides, was never used.

That lines up with my foggy memories of those days.

However, if you add a moustache, I did favor the guy in that picture.