How To Win The War


Here’s some inspiration for your next slideshow. For background, read this Times piece, praising the legacy of author, 32-year old Captain Travis Patriquin.

This is his 18-page presentation created on the ground in Iraq. He knew how the war could be rescued from it’s mid-Noughties disaster. The slides he made helped his vision become reality. They earned widespread distribution among the rank and file, despite the misguided, opposing stance of superiors (here’s a scribd hosted copy). His became the model for progress.

There’s several messages reinforced from his fine work. Here’s the top three.

  1. have a purpose – his mission was to win the war, one at the time considered unwinnable
  2. looks don’t matter as much as you think – people get so hung up on the style of their slides, this guy didn’t, and yet the impact of his simple stickmen is remarkable
  3. focus on the story – he outlined the players, the problems, the conflict, the proposed path ahead and what the remedy would lead to, it was an easy-to-follow narrative arc

Yes, these slides are annotated with the notes for each slide, and yes, the font breaks the size rules, but the message and flow are so undeniably clear and compelling that it’s magnificent.

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