Thanks for taking the challenge about preparing packs. Here are the solutions and some tips for when you need to work within templates.
1. Gerard talks about converting storylines into packs. Which of these tactics will help you create an effective pack?
All of the options are key to creating an effective pack. Use your storyline to drive the content; ensure it is signposted effectively; make sure your visuals are great; and do sweat the small stuff – that will make your pack sing.
2. How can you use the storyline to drive the content?
All of the above. Your storyline provides a map for the pack. Create an executive summary from your CTQ, Governing Idea, and key line points. This should be towards the front of the pack. Each of the main points of reasoning become a key section. Include an individual page or chart for each of the dot points supporting each main point.
3. Should a presentation pack include an executive summary?
Yes, and it should be included towards the front of the pack, usually after the title page and then either all on one page or split over two with the introduction on one page and the governing idea and the body of the story on the second page, before the body of the pack.
4. Gerard lists four drivers of the signposting that will make your pack easy to follow. The first is to provide a meaningful cover. What should the cover include?
Your meaningful cover should simply tell what the pack is about – ideally a snapshot of your governing idea (answer), who it is for, and when it was done.
5. The second is to provide a context-setting page. How would you do that?
The context-setting (background) page should highlight the Context, Trigger, and Question – so that even someone who was not at the presentation can see what it is about.
6. The third way to signpost your pack is to provide an executive summary. How and why?
Use the storyline to create an executive summary that shows the whole storyline on one page. This tells the audience upfront what they are going to hear and allows them to step through the material sequentially.
7. What was Gerard's final driver to signposting your pack?
Use the storyline to track your way through the pack. A shot of the storyline shown at the start of each new section, with the upcoming section highlighted, works really well to anchor the presentation.
8. There are five rules to make sure your visuals are great. They are:
1. Have plenty of white space; don't make your visuals cluttered.
2. Use only one core message per chart.
3. Make sure all charts read from top left to bottom right, so the audience's eye can follow naturally.
4. Make sure everything on the slide is sourced appropriately.
5. Don't have too much text on one page: a maximum of 5 points.
9. What is Gerard's final tip for creating great presentation packs from your storylines?
Sweat the small stuff! Yes, do! There are a number of questions to ask yourself: Is each component in place? Does each section work? Is the storyline sound, and has it been soundly translated into the pack? Clarity College have produced a checklist to tick off each time you put a pack together. It will make this final step foolproof – make sure you get a hold of it.
10. Can you think of an upcoming presentation for which this learning could be useful?
Of course there is no right or wrong answer here but the sooner you apply this learning the better. We would love to hear how it has helped you, too. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us or if you have any queries about preparing packs.
Ideally a storyline always drives the structure of a pack, however there are times when we need to work with templates, which can cause confusion for those trying to work out how to relate a storyline to the template.
There are some well trodden paths to follow here depending upon the type of document you are working with and in particular whether you are working on a data driven document or a story driven document.
For more information about working with templates, look out for our module on this topic.
As always, email us at email@example.com if you have any further questions.
Davina and Gerard