Once, I worked in a place, where hundreds and hundreds of professionals were working in cubicles in a really very large office. And all these people were doing PowerPoint slides, day-in, day-out, three shifts. And all these thousands of slides belonged to McKinsey’s ongoing consulting projects all over the world. Ordered by a consultant, prepared by a graphics specialist and presented to a client on the same day.
But not all of these slides made sense. Frequently, there was something to discuss about them: “What is the message here? How can this content support that headline? Why all that data for an outcome that simple? How to make this fly?” and so on. A central task there is to make sense of every single slide, to turn it into a communication medium. These sessions on decoding and solving slides appeared as a central theme in each one of the locations I worked at during my 12 years there.
Over time, I found a few things recurring, e.g., young professionals’ unawareness about how to write a headline, how to structure information, how to choose suitable chart types and others. Right there, this accumulated knowledge was my key to advance into management roles needed for setting up new graphics services locations. Also, I started coaching and teaching staff in presentation graphics, specialists and consultants alike.
Nowadays, I focus on helping consultants, especially those who create their slides themselves, mostly for the lack of a back-office PowerPoint unit.
Together with my family I live in the outskirts of Hamburg. When time permits I enjoy cycling through the marshlands as one favorite spare time activity. German and English are my default languages.