Power Point Skills

application process Backoffice Bain BCG Case Interview boutique Client and MBB I'm preparing to McK coming next week Imbellus The Boston Consulting Group
New answer on Jan 04, 2022
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 03, 2022

Dear Community,

I will start my work at MBB soon. Before joining, I want to improve my PPT/Slide Making Skills. However, I have got a couple of questions

1.I expect there will be a lot of templated provided by the firm to be used (including think cell). So I was wondering if having advance ppt skills such as building shapes, formating, etc will really be needed ?

2. I am registered to two courses

PPT skills (more about ppt features): https://www.udemy.com/course/case-study-powerpoint-2013-presentation-slide-by-slide/

CEO-level slides (more about slide communication): https://www.udemy.com/course/ceo-level-presentation-course/

Based on the content, which one is most crucial to invest time on ?

 

3. What are the features in PPT that a consultant should master ?

4.I ama also planning to read say with chart and look several examples of MBB slide. Any way to optimize these two without consuming too much time ?

5.Any other general tips on building ppt skills ?

 

Thanks so much for your help

 

(edited)

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Ian
Expert
Content Creator
updated an answer on Jan 04, 2022
BCG | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

Congrats on getting the offer!

1.I expect there will be a lot of templated provided by the firm to be used (including think cell). So I was wondering if having advance ppt skills such as building shapes, formating, etc will really be needed ?

Yes they have templates (far more than think cell…they also have a ton of macros/shortcuts).

The skills needed are how to make things look good and how to tell stories on a slide.

2. I am registered to two courses. Based on the content, which one is most crucial to invest time on ?

CEO-level slides (more about slide communication): https://www.udemy.com/course/ceo-level-presentation-course/

3. What are the features in PPT that a consultant should master ?

Wireframing, storyboarding, telling a cohesive narrative, frameworking, conciseness/preciseness in wording.

4.I ama also planning to read say with chart and look several examples of MBB slide. Any way to optimize these two without consuming too much time ?

I don't understand this question.

5.Any other general tips on building ppt skills ?

Here are some PowerPoint Tips:

I recommend that you start to approach it this way: boil down good vs bad design into principles, determine the key things to check in a slide, identify what small tweak changes a slide from looking average to awesome.

For example:

  1. Always align items on your slide
  2. Look to keep even spacing and sizing between multiple items (i.e. if I have 4 icons down the left column, I make them the exact same size, and set them all to be equidistant from each other)
  3. Use colors to highlight focus areas and draw the eye - but don't overuse colors! (Maybe my first column will be dark blue with white text, if it's asking the key questions we have. Or maybe if I have a "summary" or 3 takeaways on a slide I'll bold + add color to the specific words/phreases that each takeaway is really addressing)
  4. Identify what you are trying to achieve from the slide and then pick your template - there are probably 5 template I cycle through based on what I need. Coloring + content make them look different from each other, but boiled down, they're all quite simple (i.e. a table slide, a sequence slide, a 3 key takeaways slide, etc. etc.)

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/powerpoint-skills-4072

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/why-are-powerpoint-presentations-made-by-consultants-considered-good-when-most-pages-are-so-crowded-8494

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Hagen
Expert
updated an answer on Jan 03, 2022
Current Bain & Company Project Leader and interviewer | 250+ interviews conducted | 6+ years of coaching and mentoring

Hi there,

First of all, congratulations on the career entry!

This is indeed an interesting question which is probably relevant for quite a lot of users, so I am happy to provide my perspective on it:

  • While it is great that you want to get used to the dominating tools before you career entry, I would advise you not to focus too much on it for the two reasons:
    • Most consulting companies provide extensive introductory trainings to all new employees to get acquainted to the toolkit used.
    • Moreover, the by far best training will be working on-the-job, and you will always have your colleagues and mentors around you to help out in case you do not get along well in the beginning.
  • With regards to the two courses, again, I would advise you to spend the time differently but on either one of the courses. In case I would have to pick one, I would go for the latter since this is something you will solely pick up over time.
  • Generally speaking, if you know the very basics of PowerPoint (I am talking about how to navigate the app), there is absolutely no need to prepare your PowerPoint skills in advance since you will receive thorough PowerPoint training with almost all consulting companies.
  • In the end, it is less about your PowerPoint skills but more about if you managed to reach the desired goals. As such, and contradictory to what other coaches said, I would advise you to start by laying out the goals of the meeting and think backwards on the required contents to be discussed and in what way. The result of this can be as simple as a bullet-point list of 1) the goals and 2) the story where every bullet represents the tagline of the slide and all sub-bullets indicate the contents to be display on it. Solely when the goals and the story are aligned, you would start by going into PowerPoint.

In case you want a more detailed discussion on what to actually prepare before your upcoming career entry, please feel free to contact me directly.

I hope this helps,

Hagen

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Lucie
Expert
replied on Jan 03, 2022
10+years of recruiting & top BCG trainer & BCG Project leader & experienced hire & Pricing and Revman expert

Hello there, 


congratulations on joining the MBB! 


Once you incorporate you will receive extensive training as well as you will receive examples of slides for different situations... you will learn it all. In addition, as a newcomer, the project leader or senior consultants will help you to design the slides, so you don't have to worry about it!

As a MBB trainer, I stress strongly it is not about the slides themselves, but it is about the communication, ability to transmit complex messages in easy to follow and understandable way… in reality, it is about the story! 


I advise not to run to do slides but start by writing down your story, your key messages into an email/word/excel, validate them with your project leader and only then go to your slides.

About your courses, yes both seem interesting and will help you, still, MBB will equip you to succeed.

I wish you all the best!
Lucie
 

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Pedro
Expert
replied on Jan 04, 2022
# Bain | EY-Parthenon | Roland Berger | FIT | Market Sizing | Former Head Recruiter

Reading the “say it with charts” and “the pyramid principles” are good uses of your time. It explans you the theory and the “why” you should do things in a certain way.

Taking courses if not a good use of your time. For a simple reason: you will spend countless hours working on slides. That's how you improve your skills. You are practicing all day. So you will become good very quickly at MBB. You will have real material, great peers, and tailored training and a ton of practice time.

Unless you are at absolute zero (and in that case yes, take a short course), anything you do will be less effective and very time consuming… and you're not getting paid.

The reason I recommend the above is because it is quality material, and it will save you time later on when you are working (reading books while in consulting, particularly when you are doing slides all day, is not the easiest nor the most exciting thing).

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Ian gave the best answer

Ian

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