Ready, Set, Go! (Green, Yellow, & Red Scenarios)
So, let's review some of the cases of a green, yellow, and red presentation when it comes to preparing your content and preparing your logistics. So the first thing to note, in green-level decks, we want some steady content check-ins. This is either with yourself, if you're the only person creating the documents, or it's with your business partners, or it's with your clients. If you're creating presentations for someone else, and you're not even giving the presentation, you're still gonna want some regular content check-ins. Designate these times, make them once a week, make them once a day, but make sure it's regular, even if you have nothing to report, treat it like a scrum, where you just all come together, you either talk in a room or you're on the phone, and you say, okay, let's go across, who's got something, nothing good. Also, it's important to be diligent in your workflow for these green-level decks. I know that sometimes, we feel like, if we have a lot of time, that we can so...
rt of skip some of the steps, some of our logistics, but we wanna keep a solid habit going because it's gonna become even more important when we get into the red levels. The habits that you develop here in the green are gonna trickle down to the different levels of presentations. And the next is the yellow level. So, we're gonna ask for draft content immediately. So, if you have a yellow-level presentation, you've designated it using those things you're taught, you looked at your audience, your design level, your content preparedness, and you've decided, I have a yellow deck, then you want to ask for draft content. Now, this doesn't need to be final, and it also doesn't need to, if it's you that's developing the deck, this is where you're gonna stop and just do some draft content, write something out. It doesn't have to be a full outline, but get some ideas out on paper immediately. This is your key starting point. You're also going to have a client or a contact, or even a business partner or a co-worker, fill out that form. Sometimes, the form can be a little bit intimidating, I know I said, it only takes 15 minutes to do, but even that can be like, oh my gosh, I have to fill this form out again. It's still really important to do. So, if you're not doing it, ask someone else to do it. If it's your client, and your comfortable having them looking at a couple of other pieces of the form and filling out the logistics, that's great. If it's someone that you work with, and you say, hey, you know what, you're gonna be in the room here, can you help me fill this out, at least you have that document started so that you can use it for your logistics planning. And then, the last part of a yellow presentation that I wanna talk about is, this is where fallbacks become mandatory. Sometimes, in a green-level presentation, if we're familiar with the audience or there's something about it that makes it a lot easier, we may not need a fallback. I would say I would recommend in at all cases, but we have to be honest with ourselves. Sometimes, we're just not gonna need it. We know the systems that we're working with or we're presenting on our home turf, we know the screens, so we don't need any backups in cases of emergency. However, if you tread into the yellow deck territory, you are definitely going to want to have some backups ready. These do not have to be specific to the presentation that you're giving. They can be just general backups that you've gathered over time. And then finally, let's talk about some red-level items. The first thing we're gonna do is screenshot complex elements, and I'll explain what this means. Sometimes, you are given content that is really big and scary. It's a huge chart or a big timeline or something where you know that that slide alone is gonna take hours to massage and design and get to the right place. This is a case in a red-level deck where you're gonna just go ahead and cut your losses and do a screenshot of it or do something to get that into your presentation immediately because what we wanna do is not hyper-focus on elements of our deck that may lead us astray and lead us to ignore other parts of our presentation. And then, finally, in the prepare the red level, we're going to do that content cut-off. Again, I cannot stress this enough. Having a point where you say, okay, there is where we're not gonna add any brand-new content. We're going to just design the content we have. And a caveat of that little bit. When I say a content cut-off, that doesn't necessarily mean a revision cut-off. It means any new sections that you're gonna be putting into your deck. That's where you want to have the cut-off. We're gonna be revising these decks, especially a red-level deck, up until the very second that we're gonna be presenting it live. We're gonna be in there, moving stuff around, we're gonna be switching entire sections, we're gonna be revising our script. It's, you know, we would be fooling ourselves to think that we won't be revising stuff. So, even though we're revising things, what we wanna do is try to avoid any big batches of brand-new content. That's really gonna hang us up because, then, you'll have to figure out how it plays into the rest of your presentation. What are you gonna do with it? Now, even though we have these rules, they're still not hard and fast, and I know that there's gonna be times where big new pieces of content are gonna come in, and that's where you're gonna fall back and rely on your logistics. The more that you have prepared, the more that where you can access files, the more that you can work more inside of your teams better, the easier you're going to be able to deal with some of these pretty extreme emergencies. So that's the first level of our session. So, we're talking about preparing our deck, we went over some logistics, you guys have that form available to fill out. I definitely encourage you to do that every single time you're creating a presentation. Go ahead and just go through that form really quickly. And then, we also looked at some of our content. So, we looked at some of the written content, how we're going to, for yellow- and red-level decks, we're gonna wanna make sure that people can edit that a lot easier than they normally would. We looked at the visual content, so if you're gathering lots of images, try to get them as quickly as possible into one single place, and it should be someplace that everyone has easy access to in case it needs editing. I wanna make sure those images are named properly so that we can identify version control and make sure that they are what they say that are. And we'll wanna have some good habits in terms of where we're getting our images, and we wanna know what sources we can actually access, which ones we wanna stay away from. And then, finally, we talked about the templates, what we actually wanna use, picking the right slide program for what we're working with, and making sure that, no matter what, it's gonna be something we're comfortable with. It's okay to explore different file types and different slide types, but, at the end of the day, if we're working with a red-level presentation, go with what you know, and, when all else fails, go analog.