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Presentation Patterns: Techniques for Crafting Better Presentations Paperback – August 25, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (August 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321820800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321820808
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neal Ford is Director, Software Architect, and Meme Wrangler at ThoughtWorks, a global IT consultancy with an exclusive focus on end-to-end software development and delivery. Before joining ThoughtWorks, Neal was the Chief Technology Officer at The DSW Group, Ltd., a nationally recognized training and development firm. Neal has a degree in computer science from Georgia State University, specializing in languages and compilers, and a minor in mathematics, specializing in statistical analysis. He is also the designer and developer of applications, instructional materials, magazine articles, video presentations, and author of six books. His primary consulting focus is the architecture, design, and construction of large-scale enterprise applications. Neal is also an internationally acclaimed speaker, having spoken at more than five hundred developer conferences worldwide, delivering more than two thousand talks. If you have an insatiable curiosity about Neal, visit his website at He welcomes feedback and can be reached at, and you can follow him on Twitter at @neal4d.


Matthew McCullough is a 15-year veteran of enterprise software development and currently enjoys the role of Vice President of Training at GitHub Inc. He is honored to be part of such an energetic team that is helping advance the software industry to a more collaborative and creative mode of working. Matthew’s past as a co-founder of a U.S. consultancy allowed him to have the job freedom to become a world-traveling open source educator, with the support of many businesses, conference organizers, and friends making it viable. Matthew is a contributing author to the Gradle, Jenkins, and O’Reilly Git books, creator of the Git Master Class series for O’Reilly, speaker on the No Fluff Just Stuff conference tour, author of three of the top 10 DZone RefCards, and volunteer President of the Denver Open Source Users Group. He can be reached via email at or on Twitter at @matthewmccull.


Nathaniel Schutta is a senior software engineer in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with extensive experience developing Java Enterprise Edition based Web applications. He graduated from St. John’s University (MN) with a degree in computer science and has a master’s of science degree in software engineering from the University of Minnesota. For the last several years, he has focused on user interface design. Nathaniel has contributed to corporate interface guidelines and consulted on a variety of web-based applications. A long-time member of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group and a Sun-certified web component developer, Nathaniel believes that if the user can’t figure out your application, then you’ve done something wrong. Along with his user interface work, Nathaniel is the co-creator of the open-source Taconite framework, has contributed to two corporate Java frameworks, has developed training material, and has led several study groups. During the brief moments of warm weather found in his home state of Minnesota, he spends as much time on the golf course as his wife will tolerate. He’s currently exploring Ruby, Rails, and (after recently making the switch) Mac OS X. Nathaniel is the co-author of the bestselling book, Foundations of Ajax. Nate can be reached via email at and on Twitter at @ntschutta.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
The authors speak our language and have laid the book out in a very comfortable format.
T. Anderson
If you're going to give a talk, Presentation Patterns can help you make it something you and your audience will enjoy.
Burkhardt Hufnagel
I heartily recommend this book to anyone who needs to build presentations that engage and educate.
shane Hastie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy T. Deane on September 11, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a technologist, speaker, and author I find myself presenting in a variety of forums from C-Level Executive Overviews to Technical Conference Sessions to Software Design Reviews. Incorporating presentation feedback from fellow speakers, such as Mark Richards, and attendees from the No Fluff Just Stuff (NFJS) Tour has dramatically improved my presentations and has made me a better public speaker. This invaluable advice has now been packaged concisely into Presentation Patterns.

The contribution of these patterns (and anti-patterns) to the software engineering community cannot be understated. For anyone wishing to make the jump from Software Engineer to Software Architect this is a must read. I put this work in the same category as other must have non-technical references such as The Elements of Style (Strunk & White) and Diffusion of Innovations (Rogers).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Being a consultant has landed me in a ton of different roles. Sometimes those roles required giving a lot of presentations and some of them did not require me to give any. A few of those positions had me using PowerPoint more than Visual Studio. There were also a few that wanted the presentations recorded live and some made without an audience.

I have presented enough now that I don't mind presenting at all, but that doesn't mean my audience always likes sitting through the presentations I create. I have never had food thrown at me, but I have seen the zombie gaze staring back at me as though I had successfully pulled off mass hypnosis. This usually happens when I have a mixed audience and I am not targeting a mixed audience. Sometimes things are too technical, boring the end user and managers, and sometimes they aren't technical enough boring the developers.

This book offers a ton of advice on how to not to preform mass hypnosis on your audience. It is a well organized catalog patterns that provides sound advice for designing, creating, and delivering your presentations.

It is broken down into three parts. The parts of the book coincide with the parts of the recommended process to follow when creating presentations. I have listed the parts and the chapters they contain below.

Part I: Prepare
Chapter 1. Presentation Prelude Patterns
Chapter 2. Creativity Patterns

Part II: Build
Chapter 3. Slide Construction Patterns
Chapter 4. Temporal Patterns
Chapter 5. Demonstrations versus Presentations

Part III: Deliver
Chapter 6. Stage Prep
Chapter 7. Performance Antipatterns
Chapter 8. Performance Patterns

I like the way the book is structured.
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Baruch Sadogursky on October 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Well, you start to read the book, and you think to yourself - the front page lacks one more co-author - Captain Obvious. But as the time passes, you realize how important it was to unscramble all that intuitive knowledge you have about what good presentation consists of. Suddenly, your preparation is structured, you look at your slidedeck from a different angle, you pay special attention to things you bypassed.
This book reassures your hunch about what's good and what's not in presentation and delivery, so thanks, Matthew, Neal, and Nate, it was both pleasant and useful reading.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Eric M. Wendelin on August 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors present a large collection of patterns and anti-patterns for presenting. Some of the patterns weren't patterns at all, but major factors that affect a presentation, along with possible consequences and ideas for improvement. As someone with some (but not a lot of) experience doing technical presentations, I found several patterns that I intend to work into my presentations in the future.

The unfortunate side effect of the organization of the book (into 1-5 page patterns) is that the importance of any given topic does not necessarily match the focus it's given. For example, I would have liked to see more content about the all-important "Narrative Arc", perhaps more examples or a larger how-to-create section. Similarly, the Ant Fonts anti-pattern received more detail than necessary. The title is almost sufficient.

Overall, I would recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eugene on June 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
Creating a killer technical presentation is hard. If it were easy, we would not see so dramatic a difference between presentations. Some of them are engaging and entertaining, have a long lasting impact and get the message delivered and some are dull and boring and your mind starts wandering and you start looking at your watch to see how long you have left to suffer sitting here.
Of course it takes some talent and experience to be a better presenter, but you can vastly improve if you know how to do it.
I had no previous experience at any big conference and I was very nervous for my first talk.
I am glad I came across this book. By implementing ideas from this book I was able to deliver good, solid talk. Without this book it would be complete disaster.
At the end, my talk was received very well, with almost all positive feedbacks, people asked questions after the talk, connected with me later,
told me they remembered what I was talking about. Of course, there is a long road to improve my presentation skills, make my talks more engaging and entertaining, but it comes with practice and experience.
I am very happy I came across this excellent book. There are many other patterns in this book that I am planning gradually to master and introduce into my presentations. This is one of the rare books that every software professional should have.
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