Presentation Deck Meaning: What is a PPT deck?

The easiest way to understand the presentation deck meaning is that it is a set of slides put together in the form of a presentation, usually for business purposes but also often used in other areas like academic environments or public speaking events. The term “deck” derives from the old analog technology by which a physical set of semitransparent slides (the deck) was placed inside a projector that shone light throw them. That is the root of the slide deck meaning.

These old projectors were later replaced by presentation software and digital projectors, but the term stuck. Microsoft PowerPoint has been one of the most widely known presentation deck tools since its release in 1987. Since then, a deck presentation has almost been a synonym for a PowerPoint deck.

A PPT deck quickly became the industry standard to present information due to Microsoft’s mainstream commercial success in the following decades. Apple products were still considered to target a niche in the market then, and their slide deck software, Keynote, would never harness the massive popularity of PowerPoint decks.

A Power Point deck is one of the most effective ways to navigate different topics, from all-hands meetings to investor presentations. The human brain struggles to remember a lengthy or complicated topic when you are presenting. In equal measure, your audience needs smaller bites of information they can process more easily and effectively.

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A slide deck is also one of the most popular ways to introduce a business in a fundraising process in what’s commonly known as a pitch deck, or investor deck. These 15-20 slide decks help tell the story of startups and small businesses, what their value proposition is, and what their companies expect to achieve by raising money.

You can check out our pitch deck templates gallery here.

Regardless of the topic for which it is used, a deck presentation should follow storytelling best practices:

  • It should tell a story in a way that makes it easy for the audience to understand and follow
  • A good presentation deck typically builds momentum toward the last third of the slides, usually called the climax of your presentation
  • Slides on your deck should not tell everything you wish to communicate. The focus should always be on you and the valuable information outside the presentation you possess
  • The best decks are the ones that help guide the speaker but don’t get in the way of their message. One could argue that the slides are mainly for the sake of the presenter
  • When it comes to slide deck presentations, less is definitely more. The more visual and concise the slides are, the better

Hopefully, this short guide will help you understand the deck presentation meaning and will work as a starting point to build your next presentation.

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