Is an info-rich investor deck preferable to a “Presentation Zen” investor deck?

As Matt Haworth noted, the two different types of presentations are for two completely different purposes. In my presentation training sessions I refer to it as “one to show, and one to go”.

When you are doing an in-person presentation (of virtually any kind, not just a pitch), you definitely want to follow Garr Reynold’s advice in Presentation Zen, and keep text to an absolute minimum (that means “virtually NO text at all”.) Your slides should be full screen photos, screen shots, tiny video clips, etc.  The whole idea is to add what I call “emotional resonance” to your personal presentation.

Think about how “info-rich” were the slides used by the greatest communicators in history: Demosthenes, Cicero, Lincoln, Douglas, Bryan, Churchill, Hitler, Reagan, Clinton, Obama. Oh, wait. NONE of them used PowerPoint? Not even Obama, who has more speaker support technology at his fingertips than anyone in history? Hmmm…

Jerry Weissman’s book Presenting to Win is a great guide to *telling* your story, and (along with Presentation Zen and my TED video, http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en…) should be mandatory preparation for any entrepreneur starting to create a pitch.

The place for ‘info-rich’ slides, however, is in your leave-behind deck. In this case, you aren’t going to be going along with the presentation, so the slides have to tell the entire story, with all the requisite detail and rich info. The reader will not be concentrating on you, the speaker (something you most assuredly want him or her to be doing when you’re there in person!) and will therefore be able to devote full attention to the written material.

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *