Saturday, November 2, 2013

McKinsey Presentations - Anatomy of a McKiney PowerPoint Deck Page

McKinsey consultants use PowerPoint pages and presentations (aka "decks") to communicate with clients and each other.  In this post, I'll explain the three elements of a typical McKinsey page so you can put together your own McKinsey-style deck.  This should be helpful for new McKinsey consultants and anyone working for a former McKinsey consultant...

While every McKinsey deck should be unique, there are common elements that McKinsey decks and pages share.  By including these components and following the advice in the post on client-ready McKinsey decks, you can make pages and presentations in the McKinsey style.

Two Options for Page Titles (aka "leads", "headlines")

A good title or "lead" will concisely and effectively a) capture the audience's attention, b) explain why the page is important, and c) show how the page contributes to the storyline.

Typically, the lead is no more than two lines of relatively larger font.  An alternative format is to separate the title (in larger font) and headline (in smaller font).  The format should be consistent throughout the deck and, ideally, for the entire engagement.

Content and Exhibits that support the leads

The bulk of the page should be allocated to content and exhibits that support the leads / headlines.  Typically, these take the form of graphs, tables, text, maps, or other exhibits that reflect what the team has learned.  The focus should be highlighting value-adding insights and/or synthesizing information, not just repackaging data from the client or other sources.  McKinsey teams spend a lot of time selecting the right frameworks and making sure these exhibits are error-free.


Key takeaways or the "So What" of the page

McKinsey decks and pages are often quite dense so it can be helpful to remind the audience of the key point you want them to take away from each page.  These key takeaways often referred to as the "So What?", meaning, "why should I care about these exhibits / data?"

If you can't come up with a compelling "So What" for your page, you might want to consider moving it to the Appendix as a back-up page.


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