Rusty Divine

Live, Love, Learn, Teach

Defining the Slides for my Agile Requirements Gathering Talk

Previously, I outlined my talk into seven six-minute sections, with a three-minute intro and outro. That’s 48 minutes, which is good, but I found out that the talk is supposed to be 45 minutes and I’d rather leave time to have a question or two at the end than run over. If I did seven five-minute sections, it would work out a bit better.

This revelation hasn’t affected my outline - I haven’t cut out any of the points yet. I feel like there is still too much there, and some of it may not support my main idea of showing the audience how we did this type of assessment, but I’m more comfortable risking developing slides and notes that I’ll later cut out than pre-optimizing the talk.

I have a theme chosen for the slides (one of the default themes for PowerPoint 2013), and my working list of slides is:


  1. p0  Title Slide
  2. p1,2 The old way (how it used to be)
  3. p1,2  Idea vs. Problem (what it works well for, and doesn’t)
  4. p3  How to sell it to stakeholders (both $ and rationale)
  5. p3  Preparation for the meeting
  6. p4  Where’s the Fruit (idea of the app we’ll walk through)
  7. p4  Assessment Agenda (describe different parts)
  8. p5  User Stories (how to collect and record)
  9. p5  WTF’s example stories
  10. p5  Constraints & Assumptions
  11. p6  Getting priority & CFS/MVP agreement
  12. p6  Whew. Retro time
  13. p7  Checklist of what’s left to do
  14. p7  Running a project (burn down/agile)
  15. p8  Thanks, contact info, questions

Fifteen slides at an average of three minutes per slide seems about right to me. Adam had an interesting suggestion – he wondered if assigning planning poker points to each section would help estimate how big that section was. I think this could work for the slides, too.

Next: design the slides. I’d like to include some animation (content coming in/out of a slide) and stock photography balanced with my main points in text. I’d like to stay pretty light on text and try to focus on things that will grab the audience’s attention and keep it. I’d like to try throwing something into the middle that breaks the norm to keep them engaged. Around slide 8, the half-way-point, I’ll ask for a little audience participation to suggest a user story for WTF – I’ll need to be careful to time box that experiment so that I don’t run over.