The Portfolio Presentation

Move away from one big presentation to a presentation with exchangeable parts that can be used to customize what you present to each target audience — from a large group to a one-on-one.Think about giving your stale presentation an upgrade by creating a portfolio presentation.

Unlike a one-Slidedeck-fits-all presentation, a portfolio presentation is a flexible tool with slides designed to be mixed and matched for different key audiences.

Introducing flexibility into your conception of a presentation releases you from having "The Presentation" thinking. It gives you license to keep your presentation fresh by adding or refreshing slides in your portfolio. Most important, it provides a platform to customize every presentation you make.

Conceiving a portfolio presentation involves many of the same processes as a basic presentation. 

 • Select a look-and-feel design that unifies all slides.

 • Create storyboards for presentations aimed at your target audiences. 

 • Collect stories that show what you mean and appeal to your audiences.

 • Inventory the visual assets you have or need to illustrate your story lines.

Where the process veers from normal is when you begin to customize individual slides for specific audiences. You may have a topic you want to address to multiple audiences, but each audience may be looking for something slightly different. For your portfolio presentation, you design two, three or four similar, but slightly different, slides on that topic.

Variability of slides for particular audiences extends to imagery. In addition to saying something slightly different, each slide can portray a unique visual perspective chosen for its connection with a target audience.

Even like-kind audiences can have different needs. If you have a subject that is well known to some audience members, but is new to others, you can prepare slides aimed at both.

The idea is to anticipate presentation needs and design to meet different audience expectations. Your portfolio presentation is like a shelf with samples that you can easily bring down to meet specific needs.

You can continue this dexterous approach to presentations by creating or having the tools to create varied formats. PowerPoint contains a built-in feature that allows you to "hide" slides from a particular presentation and hardcopy handout. But you also can think about converting audience-centric presentations into video that can be posted on a website, used in a blog or included as an attachment to email.

Going a step further, you can create slight variations of your portfolio presentation slides, save them as pdf documents and repurpose them as collateral materials, posters, even magazine-like flip charts. You can customize them for posting on social media sites or displaying on a tablet for a one-on-one presentation.

Your portfolio presentation becomes the organizing feature of a unified yet highly customized set of communications tools.

Better yet, those tools don't have to withers on your projector, website or handouts. You have a resource that is easily refreshed and updated by simply "pulling down" a slide from your portfolio and making the change you need.