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Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations (2nd Edition) (Graphic Design & Visual Communication Courses) Paperback – December 5, 2013
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From the Publisher
"To change the world, you need to pitch. To pitch, you need to design. To design, you need this book."
-Guy Kawasaki, Co-founder of Alltop.com and former chief evangelist of Apple
"Whether you’re a professional preparing a talk, a student tackling an assignment, or anyone trying to craft a richer life, Presentation Zen Design is the most important book you will read this year."
-Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
"Garr has once again visually captivated readers with a book that will inspire millions to communicate effectively."
-Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte, Inc. and author of Slide:ology and Resonate
"In this increasingly competitive global economy, you're only as successful as your ability to persuasively sell your ideas. Garr's presentation design techniques have helped me elevate my own presentation slides and I know they'll help you, too. Garr's book is essential for anyone, in any field, who wants to be more, make more, and have more impact."
-Carmine Gallo, Author, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and Talk Like TED
About the Author
Garr Reynolds is the bestselling author of Presentation Zen, Presentation Zen Design, and The Naked Presenter, and a leading authority on presentation design and delivery. A sought-after speaker and consultant, his clients include many in the Fortune 500. A writer, designer, and musician, he is currently Professor of Management at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan. Garr is a former corporate trainer for Sumitomo Electric and worked as the Manager for Worldwide User Group Relations at Apple, Inc. His popular blog can be found at presentationzen.com.
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Garr's a great writer, and his first Presentation Zen book made a huge impact on how I create PPT slides. His new Zen Design book is unfortunately more of the same. He covers some art and design topics in detail, such as color selection, font kerning, recommended fonts, how to take your own digital photographs, symmetry vs asymmetry but otherwise it is more of the same.
I read through Zen Design and felt it did not add as much value as the first book. Sure, some of the topics are interesting but I've gotten the same lessons from other professionals in the area of photography and art. It felt like Garr ran out of new topics to discuss and fleshed out some of the earlier concepts - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Overall, I felt that you could just buy and read the first book and be well on your way. The Zen Design book isn't mandatory. It's good to read, but not as important as the first book.
Pros: Covers more design topics in detail, excellent tips abound
Cons: More of the same, nothing revolutionary, not as good as the first book
Overall: 3/5 stars
I bought 'Presentation Zen' by Garr Reynolds too and they are two of my favorite books on the bookshelf.
The title of the first chapter gives you a good idea of the focus of the book - Design Matters. As most people who create slides for workshops and presentations are not trained designers, Garr takes us on a journey through his design thinking, drawing heavily on the Zen design traditions of his adopted home, Japan. Slide design is Garr's passion, and to be honest, thank heavens it is, because his approach to presentation slide design may just save us all from having to sit through another slideshow chock-a-block full of bullets, complicated charts, corny clipart and flying text!
The book is divided into three key sections:
In this section the book covers the often ignored importance of Typefaces, particularly the choice of type and it's placement on the slide. Next Garr looks at Communicating with Colour. In addition to looking at some expected terms related to colour and it's use, for example hue, value, saturation, colour combinations, emotional connections and colour choices, Garr brings in aspects from the Zen aesthetic through a lesson in Sumi-e. In Using Images and Video to Tell Stories we enter the area that in many ways defines the PresentationZen style, the use of full screen images to complement and strengthen the spoken and written message - I particularly liked this area! Area covered here again include some technical aspects of image creation and editing as well as reviewing 10 things to avoid when using images. Finally in the component section Garr looks at how best to Simplify Data, how charts can communicate and indeed miscommunicate key messages, I know from experience that many presentations use charts that are barely readable, with far too much data, if all presentations followed the advice given here there would be less sleepy and bored learners and audience members!
So many slides used in presentations and workshops are full of text, bullet points, charts, and data. The first part of this section looks at Seeing and Using Space, beginning with a lesson in the Japanese art of flower design, Ikebana. Garr looks at the importance of white space, symmetrical/asymmetrical balance, Gestalt theory and the importance of 'less is more'. The use of focal points in slide design is illustrated through the Japanese room design feature known as a Tokonoma, in essence this part of the book, Creating Purpose and Focus, is about how to ensure the audience's eyes see what you want them to see. The section, Achieving Harmony looks at the 'rule of thirds' and grids in general when aligning aspects of your slides and working to connect the various elements to create balance and harmony. Garr must adore his food, especially a Bento Box, I've seen photos of his lunches uploaded via Twitter on more than one occasion! There is a point however, Garr sees harmony in a Bento Box, a balance of flavours, colours, sizes!
Finally Garr provides pages of examples of great Slide Samples that illustrate the principles outlined throughout the book. It is always good to see examples, as just as the book reminds us, visual messages trump the written word. The book concludes with a chapter on Continuous Improvement, a good way to end, reminding readers that improving your slide design is a journey not a destination, that through continually learning from the lessons that are all around you - Billboards, Advertising, TV, brochures, package design - your slide design will continue to improve.
Finally I really liked how the book was scattered with 'guest appearances' from Nancy Duarte, David Rose, Maureen C. Stone, John McWade and Scott Kelby. They add another layer again to the book.
So, do I recommend this book, well clearly, yes! PresentationZen Design provides many valuable lessons that can help you to design slides that will engage your audience, it should be on your book shelf!.
Still a very good book that points to where you can go and how to get there with your presentation.