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Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) Paperback – December 18, 2011
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About the Author
Garr Reynolds is the best-selling 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 Associate 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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The majority of busy professionals suffer from the term Linda Stone coined "Continuous Partial Attention." Those who design and present professionally it's critical to capture and hold the attention of an audience quickly or else you will have wasted their time. I often think of Garr's quote after leaving a very "less than splendid" presentation: " I wanted my hour back."
For those who are still creating the standard bullet point presentations you are damaging your credibility. Period. For those who are serious about creating professional presentations that will give you and your audience the results you are seeking Presentation Zen 2nd Edition is simply a "must buy."
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.