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November 2015: Orals Slidecraft - Part 2

In October’s article, I discussed the need for and benefits of presenting a higher volume of simplified slides for proposal orals vs. a technical review (i.e. one slide per 60-90 seconds vs. one slide per 3 or more minutes). This was my approach on a winning $4 Billion pursuit, with the team briefing over 500 slides during an 8 hour orals presentation. The following are the attributes of the slides (i.e. highly polished Annotated Mockups) necessary to achieve the desired results.

  • Make it obvious what 3 or so attributes/discriminators/strengths are important via callouts

  • No miniaturized version of large, complex graphics such as DoDAF views

  • Those originals can be poster size on the walls in the briefing room

  • Refer to them while speaking to the simplified version on the briefing slide

  • Avoid 8 and 10 point miniature text – shoot for 14 point and settle for 12 point for those evaluators in the back of the room

  • Avoid “text only” charts – these will put the evaluators to sleep

  • Consider a few recurring “connect the dots” icons such as for risks, driving requirements, strengths

  • One line takeaways at 16-18 point italics font

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