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Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire Second Edition Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735623873
ISBN-10: 0735623872
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Key Book Benefits:

Goes beyond how-to and features innovative, easy-to-apply techniques to help you clarify, visualize, and present your ideas

-Written by a leading presentation-skills consultant and popular author

-Includes information on graphic design and delivering presentations online

-Features a CD with sample PowerPoint files and graphics--plus bonus resources on a companion Web site

About the Author

Critically praised author and presentation expert Cliff Atkinson is revolutionizing the way people use Microsoft PowerPoint to communicate. He is a popular keynote speaker and consultant—teaching his innovative three-step method to Fortune 500 companies, law firms, government agencies, and business schools.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; Second Edition edition (October 10, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735623872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735623873
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #954,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Cliff Atkinson is an acclaimed writer, popular keynote speaker, and an independent consultant to leading attorneys and Fortune 500 companies. He designed the presentations that helped persuade a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation's first Vioxx trial in 2005, which Fortune magazine called "frighteningly powerful."

Cliff's bestselling book Beyond Bullet Points (published by Microsoft Press) was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of Amazon.com, and has been published in three editions and translated into a dozen languages including Chinese, Korean, and Russian. The book expands on a communications approach he has taught internationally at top law firms, government agencies, business schools and corporations, including Sony, Toyota, Del Monte, Nestlé, Nokia, Deloitte, BBDO, The NPD Group, Ipsos, Facebook, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intel, Microsoft, GE, the American Bar Association and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal.

Cliff's work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Beyond Bullet Points is about how to communicate effectively using PowerPoint. You start by defining a single purpose or goal, set a limited number of objectives to achieve that goal, and support those objectives with explanations logically arranged.

Nothing new about that. What's special here is an easy-to-follow system that pretty much guarantees success by forcing you to think about what the audience needs to know, rather than what to put on a slide. It's a very solid approach and much more helpful than, "First, write down your goal."

The process starts with a MS Word template that is so simple, elegant and easy to use that I couldn't resist trying it. Once completed, it becomes a roadmap or specification that guides you in creating or finding images that best support the points you want to get across.

The author has distilled thousands of years of knowledge about effective communication - from Aristotle to recent research by educational psychologists - into a very simple and practical system. And should you for some reason want to delve into original sources, he credits them.

It's much more about content than the software, and assumes a rudimentary knowledge of PowerPoint. It does not include any of those ubiquitous thematic templates with design elements repeated on each slide, and it explains why they should be avoided. It does include a PowerPoint template to help organize and structure your presentation.

On the negative side, though the system is simple and elegant, the book less so. It would benefit from a good editing, paring it down to about a third its size. And its layout and design is less inviting than it might be.
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3 Comments 49 of 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I recommend "Beyond Bullet Points" in my class all the time. I continually have people coming up to me and asking where my slides came from or how I go about creating them. While I cannot say that I stick to the BBP process strictly, I do use its concepts heavily in my slides. This is why I tell these people ot start with BBP.

Well, I just picked up my copy of the 2007 version of BBP last week and wow! This is what it should have always been. It was good before, but the difference between the original BBP and the 2007 versions is as big as the difference between PowerPoint 2003 and PowerPoint 2007. Cliff has provided much more in the way of research-based findings that support the BBP methodology. He has also, I feel, done a much better job of explaining the whole process.

If you are totally new to BBP, you will understand the process and the reason it works much better with this new version that those of us who are old timers now. If you've used the first book or were even turned off by the first book, I highly recommend taking a look at this one. I don't believe you'll regret it.
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This book converted me from an anti-PowerPoint extremist to a true believer. Why? Because all my traditional - and well accepted - ideas about putting together PowerPoints were wrong. Atkinson's BBP system is far better. He starts by explaining some basics about how we learn. What he says makes sense and is backed up by research. Traditional PowerPoint presentations violate most or all of these basics by trying to convey too much, too quickly. Atkinson shows how to break up ideas into digestible and memorable pieces with the proper use of templates, text, and images. But before getting into those specifics, he details his system for creating your overall PowerPoint story. Again, his suggestions run counter to conventional practice. For instance, in BBP, everything starts with the Slide Sorter View. Like most people, I guess, I'd start with the Normal View and start pounding out slides. Wrong! With BBP, you craft your story logically and systematically using storytelling methods that are tried and true. The heart of BBP is in storyboarding, which Atkinson likens to the art of storyboarding a film. The result of using BBP is a presentation that is coherent and persuasive.

Atkinson provides the theory and all the "how-to" details for building a presentation using his templates, PowerPoint 2007, and various other Microsoft products. If you don't use the 2007 version of PowerPoint, many of the "how-to" procedures won't apply. The book is still worth reading if only for an understanding of BPP principles and techniques.
Comment 27 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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For a book that is about presenting information concisely, there are a lot of unnecessary words and pages, but perhaps that's necessary to make a book out of it. Nonetheless, the information is useful, and my presentations are much better as a result of following his advice. His focus on making your main points fit into a two line title has made my verbiage much more effective, and it's kind of a fun challenge. I've modified his approach significantly to fit my needs, but without having read the book I'd still be back with overly long and kind of boring PP presentations.

If you are only going to buy one book, tho, I'd probably recommend Presenting to Win [ASIN:B000OHZG9Y Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story]] instead.
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