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Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck and How You Can Make Them Better Perfect Paperback – May 1, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-0615142234 ISBN-10: 0615142230 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1st edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615142230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615142234
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Altman is one of the most widely-read authors on graphics and presentations in the world, with 15 titles to his name. He is the host of the PowerPoint Live User Conference, an annual learning event for presentation professionals (www.pptlive.com), and the CorelWorld User Conference (www.corelworld.com). He is a regular speaker at industry events that focus on better communications.

Customer Reviews

It is the first book on PowerPoint which I picked up and read cover to cover (with stops in between airports).
Richard McNeill
Altman has an entertaining style while also clearly demonstrating his expertise on the subject through genuine tips and techniques that are easy to understand and use.
S. Bernstein
Big "thumbs-up" for Rick Altman's "Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck..." Everybody admits - our PowerPoint presentations need to improve.
John Wyne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John Wyne on September 10, 2007
Big "thumbs-up" for Rick Altman's "Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck..."

Everybody admits - our PowerPoint presentations need to improve. There's an understatement! But how? What can we do to make a real difference for our self - and our audiences?

Have stacks of PPT how-to books. This is the first one that finally got the mix of technical, creative & presenter savvy right. -- and the first (I think) that I actually read cover to cover!

The conversational tone of the writing was more like a personal tutor walking you through the subtle nuances of the software that both designers & presenters need to know. This book is filled with the great ideas, practical examples, and good background information you've been looking for.

There's a good selection of practical techniques you can put to work immediately -- they've already influenced how I think about the shows I develop. The methodology & layout made sense and was easy to follow to achieve the promised results.

There are also numerous links that enable the reader to download working examples of the techniques he describes, as well as valuable insights about complementary third-party software.

It was also a "shot in the arm" for a long-suffering PPT user trying to push the envelope a little with each show!

If you're not getting the results you want with PPT, quit blaming MS -- maybe you need to learn something new. This book is top rate.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David Karlins on July 4, 2007
This book is essential for everyone who does presentations, period. It both presents PowerPoint techniques with amazing depth and detail, and integrates all kinds of insights for making your PowerPoint show part of an overall effective presentation. How many books on PowerPoint discuss the importance of freeing your hands for gestures while presenting PowerPoint slideshows, and show you how to do that? Rick Altman brings a wealth of experience as both a communicator and a presenter to this book. Additional tools and examples at a companion web site add another dimension to the book's value.
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34 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Paul J. Kelly on February 28, 2009
The title of Rick Altman'book --Why Most PowerPoint Presentations SUCK And How You Can Make Them Better -- is only the first problem with this book (is he promising that if I read this book I can personally make "most"of the millions of PPTs created each day better? Tall order.)

The book actually exemplifies why most PowerPoint presentations "suck" --it is so badly organized that it detracts from some excelllent content.
The book is organized into four parts:
· The Pain (6 chapters): This part offers standard complaints like cramming too much into a presenation and overdoing it on animation:
· The Solution ( 6 chapters) "Pain" can be allleviated, eliminated, or deferred but can it be solved? These kinds of things become increasingly irritating as I proceeded through the book.
· Public Speaking (4 chapters) a 40 page non sequitur given that the book is about PowerPoint
· Working Smarter, Presenting Better (5 Chapters) wherein all pretense of organization is abandoned.

This lack of organization is unfortunate because Rick clearly knows his PowerPoint. The advice he gives is practical, straightforward and useful.

In chapter 9 he states, "...that is the beauty of writing a book that is designed to be uneven. I can indulge the arcane and burrow into the obscure, and there's nothing you can do about it." Wrong. We can take a pass.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 8, 2007
Verified Purchase
In his introduction, Rick Altman opines that his book attempts to reduce his billble hours by half, because of all the advice he has packed into its 271 pages. In fact, Altman's billings will probably explode because in this book he firmly establishes himself as the leading expert on every aspect of PowerPoint.

It is a remarkable acheivement. The book is packed with tips on the mechanics of creating PowerPoint presentaions. It is also packed with advice on how to make your PowerPoint presentations interesting. I have a number of books on PowerPoint and none are anywhere near as complete as this one.

While Altman covers PowerPoint 2007, his hints and tips are mostly applicable to earlier versions as well.

This is a book that every PowerPoint user, no matter what level of expertise they think they possess, should buy and read every page of. It is truly that good.

Jerry
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard McNeill on June 13, 2007
I was NOT disappointed. It is the first book on PowerPoint which I picked up and read cover to cover (with stops in between airports). I found it useful, amusing, full of tips, and wisdom from Rick's experience
A valuable resource. Now, your next book will be about macros??
Well worth the price, actually you could have gotten more $$ but that's MY gain.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sashimikid on November 30, 2008
Verified Purchase
First, a few quibbles.

* The index is worthless. I'm not sure why the author (or the book editor?) dropped the ball on the index, but it's almost non-existent. If this book were more of a typical reference book, you'd lose some points for that, but since it's more of a handbook, it's not so bad.

* No mention of the Macintosh versions (it's not going away -- deal with it :-). I've had more than my share of issues where I prepared my Powerpoint on a Macintosh and then (for whatever reason) had to present on some Windows machine that was tied to the conference room projector. Or, I had to share presentations with teammates who used Windows (and vice versa). Fonts, graphics, video files, animation -- there are plenty of potential cross-platform issues that could really benefit from the author's expertise.

* Size. Yes, size does matter when you are sending presentations to team members via email. PPT files can get really big really fast. I was surprised that there wasn't a short section that addressed ways to minimize the file size of presentations.

I've looked at a lot of computer books over the years, and this book is far better than most. The key thing the author does (that most computer books don't) is really address the user needs as opposed to just outlining the information and regurgitating it. Nicely done.
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