6 Ways Great Companies Use Board Decks to Their Advantage

After graduating from college in June, I had the chance to spend three months at Union Square Ventures, helping with a project that created anonymous aggregate insights for USV portfolio companies by analyzing data across stages, customers, and industries. In order to not put a lot of extra reporting effort on our companies, we approached this project by drawing from data in existing board decks. This work afforded me the unique opportunity to familiarize myself with many of our portfolio companies’ board decks, and the communication styles of the leadership teams behind them.

I quickly found out that there is no one standard board deck for a USV company (and in fact, we’re proud of that), but I did observe a few commonalities among the most effective decks.

At a high level, the best decks accomplish three things:

  1. Address two information needs simultaneously (the board’s need for information and the team’s need for advice)
  2. Speak about progress and pain points frankly
  3. Highlight a company’s unique culture

Here are 6 ways I saw this done best.

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