We’ve worked on more than 500 presentation design projects, spanning Pitch Decks, Sales Decks, Corporate Overviews, and Board of Directors (BoD) Decks. And more than 90% of them have one common mistake.
Presenters, whether they’re Founders, Consultants, or C-level executives, often use the same deck to ‘present’ and then send it as a ‘reading’ deck (leave-behind).
Even though they are for the same target audience, it would not work effectively if it’s not optimized well.
In this blog, we’ll explore the key differences between a reading deck and a presenting deck with the help of an example.
Reading Deck Vs. Presenting Deck
When you are presenting, YOU should be the hero of the story, and your deck should be the supporting cast in telling a better story. A presenting deck needs to have;
More visuals, such as images, icons, and brand elements will help you convey your story better.
Less text to prevent your audience from reading the slide and losing their attention from you.
On the other hand, a reading deck needs to stand on its own and answer all the questions to the reader in your absence. it needs to have;
More text, to provide detailed information.
No slide with only visuals because without any context and captions, a reading deck can not stand on its own.
Examples From a Recent Pitch Deck
Let’s take a look at examples from a pitch deck we crafted for a medical wearable device. We identified a couple of slides, like Features Slide and Market Slide, that can have different versions based on the use cases.
Emphasizes more visuals – Images, Iconography, Background shape, etc.
Less text to keep the audience focused on your key points
Creative layout to make it more interesting
Leave Behind Version
Includes more copy to provide specifications in detail (Useful for a technical VC who wants to know the tech in detail)
Simplify the design for easy reading and comprehension
Functional layout for easy navigation of information
Pitching Behind Version
Focus on a single market (Healthcare), supported by a graph that shows the trend and numbers
Maintain a clean layout makes it easy for a reader to just ‘glance’ at the slide and quickly get an idea about the market size
Leave Behind Version
Talks about 4 different markets in detail with all the data points. Gives ideas about future opportunities
Clean layout with table to present all the numbers
You don’t need to create two entirely separate decks altogether. Just create a master deck with all common slides and alternative versions (Presenting + Reading) of selected slides. This way, you can easily the slides and re-arrange the order if you want to present it or export it to send it.
In this blog, we’ve discovered the critical difference between a reading deck and a presenting deck. When presenting, keep it simple with more visuals and less text to make yourself the hero of the story. For reading, offer more detailed information and avoid slides with only visuals.
Companies we’ve helped build a ‘Presenting deck’ along with a ‘Reading Deck’ version have seen 60% more engagement with their audiences.