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Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery Paperback – January 4, 2008
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Speaker and Blogger
Author, Meatball Sunda e
"Garr is a beacon of hope for frustrated audiences everywhere. His design philosophy and fundamental principles bring life to messages and can invigorate careers. His principles of simplicity are as much a journey of the soul as they are restraint of the mouse."
CEO, Duarte Design
"Presentation Zen is just fantastic. Best of all it's not another recipe book about “how to make slides” — this is about re-imagining how your entire presentation will work together as a persuasive and integrated show, from conception through delivery. Awesome."
About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.07 pounds
- Paperback : 229 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0321525655
- ISBN-13 : 978-0321525659
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.13 inches
- Publisher : New Riders; 1st edition (January 4, 2008)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #683,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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spreads a few good ideas thinly across many pages. Even
with lots of redundancy, the book can be read in a couple
I agree with many of Reynolds' points, especially the problem
for the audience of trying to read slide text while listening
to the speaker, and the need for the presenter to clarify
the message "off line", before working on slides. But:
- much of the advice is targeted towards "pitch"-type
presentations (it wouldn't do for me to use a slide with
two words on it and a stock photo of a crying child)
- the frequent references to Japan and use of Japanese
words was gratuitous and distracting
It's ironic that the author decries "slideuments", but
the book itself straddles the line between a traditional
book and slideware.
If in doubt, get a used copy.
PRESENTATIONZEN is a lot like that commercial. You read it and feel as though four people, each intently oblivious in his own world, have crashed at a 4-way juncture, blending How-To with Self-Help, Philosophy, and Art. Let's start with Art. You can save five bucks and buy the Kindle version of this book if you wish, but I don't know why you would, so beautiful is the print version with its glossy photos of zen gardens and lovely slides showing many arresting images by way of example for those wishing to make Power Point presentations.
The philosophical aspect comes from the "Zen" you see in the title. Author Garr Reynolds, an expat resident of Japan himself, constantly weaves Zen-like wisdom into his advice by discussing the beauty of simplicity, the need for a less-is-more approach, and other bits of wisdom designed to thwart "death by Power Point" (we've all been there). This ties in with the "How-To." In simple steps, the book shows how you can make a live presentation, whether you work in business, education, or the public sector. Finally there's a dose of self-help to the book. Reynolds counsels would-be presenters on the need to get in touch with the child within all of us, the need to take risks, the necessity of connecting with the audience by ignoring negative voices that whisper fears of failure.
Each chapter ends with a section called "In Sum" which offers the highlights of what you read. Many visuals are provided as well. The only annoyance is that, sometimes, they are crowded together on a page with copy that you can barely read.
Overall, a wonderfully simple book with complex considerations. It should be required reading for all businessmen especially. By the nature of their job and its expectations, they are the worst offenders when it comes to carnage through Power Point (Professor Plum did it in the board room with a slide show). If their boss's won't buy them a copy, maybe their beleaguered audiences will. It's all in the name of mercy and Zen.
I periodically require an intellectual Red Bull on this topic of "Presentation" after delivering a string of Power Points that just seemed to be so great when you created them, but the reception feels underwhelming. If you sense the feeling I'm talking about, this nagging self-assessment that happens in your head, it needs sating. Presentation Zen does a great job re-centering the process.
You can get very screwed up listening to the opinions of the picayune professional that confuse the quality of `bullet points' for the forest of the total. Opting to self-tune method and skills is my preferred choice to yield the greatest payback.
"Zen" is a very good opportunity to reflect on your method.
Top reviews from other countries
Builds on Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind" book - encouraging you to think though a presentation in terms of Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning.
The main focus here being on Design - and encouraging simplicity, and the application of the CRAP principles of graphic design (Contrast, Reepition, Alignment, Proximity).
We all can do better and bore the others less ;)