PresentationZen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter) Paperback – December 8, 2011
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From the Publisher
About the Author
- Paperback : 296 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0321811984
- ISBN-13 : 978-0321811981
- Dimensions : 9 x 7.4 x 0.6 inches
- Item Weight : 1.65 pounds
- Publisher : New Riders Pub; Revised, Updated edition (December 8, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #163,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It's somewhat ironic that the first testimonial in the book states that "it's often the slim books that have the most impact" when the second edition of Presentation Zen is noticeably thicker than the first. 60 additional pages or 25% more, to be exact.
At a first glance, there are still the same 5 sections as in the first edition:
5. The Next Step
On closer inspection, the Delivery section has gained an additional chapter, The Need for Engagement, which accounts for about half of the additional pages. The rest are distributed over the other chapters, some of which gained a few more pages that way. Most of those changes are subtle and you often won't notice them unless you compare both editions side by side. References to iPads and Prezi (both of which only came out after the first edition) or photos from TEDxTokyo 2011 are also signs of a discreet update. You'll also find content that Garr published on the Presentation Zen blog during 2011, e.g. from an article on the power of faces.
The Need for Engagement, the new chapter, picks up some thoughts from The Naked Presenter , Garr's third book. In fact, it very much resembles chapter 4, Engage with Passion, Proximity, and Play from that book in that it talks about emotions, mirror neurons, and the need to remove barriers. It's not a straight copy, though, but the same ideas re-explained.
Obviously, this second edition of Presentation Zen is not a radical rewrite but a careful update. Things have been made clearer or explained in more detail where necessary, new content has carefully been injected where appropriate. If you know the first edition, it still feels like the same book and you're only left wondering if some specific nugget is really new or if you've overlooked it the last time you read the book. I seem to remember Garr stating that "It's the same book, only better" or words to that effect. That about sums it up.
All subtle and more obvious changes aside, Presentation Zen is still THE book to read on modern presentation design and delivery. Presentation Zen is an approach, not a method or blueprint that you have to follow slavishly. The idea is to create and deliver the best possible presentation for your specific audience. And while that obviously means more work in preparation, Garr provides the encouragement that it's worth it if you want to really reach your audience. The Presentation Zen book contains all that you need to make this happen, backed up with scientific evidence where needed and supported with real-life examples. On top of that, it's easy to read and Garr's passion for his topic and his roots in Zen come across as honest without resorting to superlatives or over-the-top wording that plague so many nonfiction books by American authors. It's a joy to read and encourages you to give the Presentation Zen approach a try. What more can you expect?
What has been true for the first edition is even more so for the second one: If you're only going to buy one book about presentations, this should be it. It will provide you with all the necessary guidance for creating great, effective, and memorable presentations. When I'm working on a new presentation, I often open up the book at a random page and start reading. It always helps to either reinforce an aspect I was already working on or reminds me of something I need to think about. In other words, it's a great source of inspiration, even 4 years after its first publication and after having re-read it (in whole or in parts) numerous times.
The second edition feels more "complete" now, by which I mean that the extra pages all add useful information and don't feel bolted on. The only downside, I guess, is that there's less need for buying The Naked Presenter now - but that's Garr's (and his publisher's) problem, not yours ;-) This, I guess, also answers the question what you should do if you already own the first edition. If you already have the first edition and The Naked Presenter, there's probably no need to rush and buy the second edition - unless your copy is beginning to fall apart from heavy use. But if you held back from buying Presentation Zen until now - don't wait any longer. Your audience will be grateful.
Well, you did it wrong. If you don't believe me, buy this book. You'll learn all the secrets to keeping your audience engaged and making sure the important points are whats remembered. Work Assignment = Promotion. Group Project = A+. Dog Pee = it's too late your carpet already smells like piss.
Buy this book
Such is the case for me with Presentation Zen 2nd Edition revised and updated by Garr Reynolds. I read the 1st edition as a checked out book from the library a few years ago. I had been to a conference and had been amazed by the presentations. Instead of death by power point, I became a visual learner. Even more I became an engaged advocate. I wanted to begin to learn how to create presentations that brought people to life and action. I am in the resurrection business.
I can't tell you the specific differences between edition 1 and edition 2 except there seemed to be a bit more depth and mroe examples.
While I love Garr's own insights, I appreciate his willingness to include others. Guy Kuwasaki writes or presents the perfect foreword or perhaps now its forepicture of Presentation Zen. Seth Godin. Nancy Duarte and others along with Garr gives the best practices / best picture view of presentations.
Garr's insights are simple ideas on presentation design and delivery. Most importantly he taught me to think through first the message i want to share and the response I seek, even before I look for the pictures I want to show.
And when picture time comes, rule of thumb is no more than 6 words per slide. Once you embrace this rule, it makes it tough to watch presentations with more than 16 words per slide and not muttering under your breath, "Death by Powerpoint".
I give Presentation Zen 5 out of 5 stars. Garr provided a great introduction and overall process to developing presentations. It's a guide I return to again and again.
Top reviews from other countries
I have been presenting and instructing for well over three decades, and I am still learning something new every day. We should all be open to that and never believe that we hae actually arrived at the perfect state. Strive for perfection.
I got a lot out of this book. I read it on a plane from England to my company HQ in Florida. I was due to co-deliver a two-week induction class for new joiner technical staff from all over the world. As you can imagine, we had put a lot of effort into the planning and preparation for the ten days of intense instruction.
Despite the experience of the new people, I have always felt that everyone could do with a few tips and hints on good communication, public speaking and, in particular, delivering powerful presentations and demonstrations to our customers. So I had two hours dedicated to these topics.
I mostly knew what I was going to do with the two hours, but reading
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery inspired me to change my content and delivery.
I was able to use the three main guiding principles of the book: restraint, simplicity and naturalness , to construct a session to illustrate the power of those three guiding principles to the participants on my course.
I went analogue! I minimalised! I told my story!
This book really helped me to do that.
Was I rewarded?
Yes, I was.
At the end of the course, all of the participants were assessed on a presentation and demo which they had to prepare during the two weeks. My presentation on good communication came on day one, shortly followed by the assigning of course assignments.
All of my students used the guiding principles of Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery to great effect. It was a joy to watch!
Thank you very much Garr Reynolds.