- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Pfeiffer; 1 edition (September 22, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0787996599
- ISBN-13: 978-0787996598
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,401,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Advanced Presentations by Design: Creating Communication that Drives Action 1st Edition
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From the Back Cover
If you've ever wondered why your presentations do not get enough of your audience to act on what you present, then spend 20 minutes with this book.
Advanced Presentations by Design overturns much of the conventional wisdom and practice for creating presentations. Based on over 200 research studies from the fields of communication, marketing, psychology, multimedia, and law, it provides fact-based answers to critical questions about presentation design. The book shows how to adapt your presentation to different audience personality preferences, what role your data should play and how much of it you need, how to turn your data into a story, and how to design persuasive yet comprehensible visual layouts.
All this is delivered via the succinct 10-step Extreme Presentation method, which has been field-tested extensively in leading corporations such as Microsoft, Kimberly-Clark, eBay, ExxonMobil, HJ Heinz, and Motorola. Advanced Presentations by Design takes you, step by step, from a stack of information to a finished presentation that will compel your audience to take action.
Expert Praise for Advanced Presentations by Design
"Advanced Presentations by Design is the best researched book on presentation design that I've ever had the privilege of reading. I recommend it for those of you who want the confidence of knowing how best to plan and design successful presentations."
Gene Zelazny, author, Say It With Charts and Say It With Presentations
"This book is essential for any executive who doesn't have time to wade through sixty-page PowerPoint decks. You will want to make this book required reading for all your staff."
Stew McHie, Global Brand Manager, ExxonMobil
"Like much of what goes on inside organizations, those ubiquitous presentations have a look and feel based more on custom and what others do than on the evidence of what works best. In this practical and evidence-based book, Dr. Abela has outlined a set of principles that will make your presentations more memorable and persuasive."
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor, Stanford Business School, and coauthor, Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management
About the Author
Dr. Andrew Abela is an authority on designing presentations of complex and controversial information. He is currently an associate professor of marketing at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He was the founding managing director of the Marketing Leadership Council, and is a former McKinsey and Company consultant. He provides presentation training and consulting to leading corporations and governmental agencies.
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Also, the author very wisely advises thinking through the content and organization BEFORE starting to make actual slides; he says in so many words do NOT even open PowerPoint until Step 8 for several reasons. First, planning first will probably lead to a better presentation. Second, planning first may prevent wasting time making slides that don't end up getting used. Third, and perhaps most important, he says if one belatedly realizes a slide that took two hours to make doesn't work for the purpose of this presentation, there is a strong temptation to keep it anyway simply because of all the work one has invested in that slide. I have been there and done that; it's very hard to give up on a slide that no matter how elegant just does not work for this situation!
* Plan: Professor Abela walks you through the important questions you need to consider before you open up PowerPoint and begin pulling your slides together. This includes analyzing your audience, enumerating your objectives for the presentation and establishing a story structure through which you can marshall and convey your evidence. This is far and away the best framework of the many I have seen for pre-design work. The great thing about Professor Abela's framework for planning is that the framework is just as useful for meetings and speeches in which you will not be speaking to slides. Clearly the objectives, story and evidence are more important than the content of your PowerPoint slides. Wouldn't it be great to have a way forward if you are left with only 5 of your scheduled 30 minutes to present or the projector breaks down? Use Professor Abela's planning framework and you'll be ready.
* Deliver: Not all venues are alike, and Professor Abela takes the best of Tufte and other visualization experts to lay out guidance for designing presentations for a ballroom and a boardroom setting. Abela provides workable guidelines for using charts and layout to visually augment your message. This book includes a number of standard charts that easily and clearly represent the basic concept you are trying to convey on each slide. As much as I enjoy Tufte, Abela's book gave me direct actionable guidance that I needed to augment my spoken message with visual evidence.
Recently I applied the "Extreme Presentations" methods to a talk at a professional conference. The presentation itself (ballroom style) stood out as more visually informative than the standard corporate fare delivered by the other presenters. More important, though, is that I had clearly mapped out the change in mindset that I wanted to see in my audience. I had properly structured my talk to marshall the appropriate evidence in sequence and make the case successfully. As I created my problem-solution and anecdote outline I actually became excited for the opportunity to make my case to my audience. Following the presentation several attendees approached me to comment that I had changed their mind on the critical insight that was my goal.
Using "Extreme Presentations" to create a presentation takes longer than the standard corporate presentation (at least my first presentations developed in this model have taken longer). The quality of the visuals and the reception by the audience really does deliver a worthy return on that time investment. It's clear to my audiences that I've taken the time to think about them, consider their interests and taken care to create a good-looking and relevant set of visuals. This quality makes it clear to my audiences that I care about them, and that goes a long way towards making the audience care about what I am communicating.
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