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Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks Paperback – November 15, 2016
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Many smart people often become selfish idiots when they give a presentation. Jon's much-needed book is a must read for just about anyone asked to share some slides. (Seth Godin, author of Really Bad Powerpoint)
Do us all a favor: read this book before your next presentation. From font size to data visualization, Schwabish guides you through creating a presentation that will both hold your audience's attention and effectively deliver information. (Susan Dynarski, University of Michigan)
Modern scholars spend many hours a week watching or giving presentations; every one of us should be forced to practice the wisdom of Jonathan Schwabish's wonderful short book. I thought I had mastered this craft and imposed my mastery on others, but I learned so much from Better Presentations that from now on, I'll just say "Read the book!" (Robert E. Hall, Stanford University)
Your work can shape the future only when others understand you. You can show how your ideas matter if you master the fundamentals of communication, and this book shows how to do just that. (Carmen Simon, author of Impossible to Ignore)
If you are a scientist or scholar who doesn't care about designing beautiful slides for your presentations, you are doing it wrong. Elegance, clarity, and good visual composition make your messages understandable. In this concise book, Jonathan Schwabish outlines simple but essential rules of design and data visualization that anybody can benefit from. Apply them, and I guarantee that you will never again see a bored face in your audience. (Alberto Cairo, University of Miami, author of The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication)
Data visualization has provided a new set of powerful tools to help analysts communicate their ideas more clearly and effectively. Jon Schwabish helped to pioneer the use of these tools in the policy community, and Better Presentations is full of valuable insights that teach his approach to others. Both new and experienced analysts would benefit immensely from reading this book. (Douglas Elmendorf, former director of the Congressional Budget Office)
Designed for presenters of scholarly or data-intensive content, Better Presentations details essential strategies for developing clear, sophisticated, and visually captivating presentations. With a range of clear examples for what to do (and what not to do), the practical package offered in Better Presentations shares the best techniques to display work and the best tactics for winning over audiences. It pushes presenters past the frustration and intimidation of the process to more effective, memorable, and persuasive presentations.
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Edit: I just got back from a conference where I used these tips in my presentations, and I got SO much positive feedback. It was crazy. Suddenly I have a reputation as being a good presenter! Pretty amazing. I think people see so many dry, text-heavy, not-practiced presentations at conferences, that people who make a little effort really stand out. Yeah, so anyway, buy this book!
Jon does an excellent job laying out an easy-to-follow framework for approaching presentation design, from overall flow to simple tweaks anyone can make to a slide to make it easier for your audience to connect to your story. Unlike many other presentation and visualization design books that focus primarily on examples from business (sales, profit, KPIs, etc.), I've found his book to be highly relatable for those working in social sector programs and would recommend it to anyone looking to rock their next big presentation.
It gives the presenter a good foundation to build on. After working with these ideas, a presenter would improve their skills and be ready to tackle Edward Tufte's more theoretical ideas on presentations.