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Advanced Presentations by Design: Creating Communication That Drives Action Paperback – 17 May 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 2nd Edition edition (17 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118347919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118347911
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 1.2 x 27.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 818,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Based on extensive research studies from the fields of communication, marketing, psychology, multimedia, and law, Advanced Presentations by Design, Second Edition , provides fact-based answers to the most-often-asked questions about presentation design. The book shows how to adapt your presentation to different audience personality preferences, what role your data should play and how much of it you need, how to turn your data into a story, and how to design persuasive yet comprehensible visual layouts. The book's accessible 10-step Extreme PresentationTM method has been field-tested in organizations such as Microsoft, ExxonMobil, HJ Heinz, PayPal, and the Executive Office of the President of the United States. Written from the perspective of a marketer and business manager, this new edition offers practical, evidence-based advice for bringing focus to problems and overcoming challenges. The book offers practical guidelines for: Structuring Stories: The book presents the SCORE method for sequencing data (Situation, Complication, Resolution, Example) into a powerful story that grabs the audience's attention at the beginning and holds it through to the end. Using Graphics: The author provides numerous examples of charts and other graphics, explaining which can help you best present your data. Setting Goals for Presentations: The book reveals why it's important to set measurable objectives for what you want your audience to think and do differently after your presentation. This comprehensive resource offers a proven process for creating a presentation that gets noticed and compels your audience to take action. Praise for Advanced Presentations by Design "Shocking but true: You don't have to be Steve Jobs to create presentations that your audience will enjoy and that will also get you results. Even for everyday presentations, I've found that Dr. Abela's unique approach helps you replace crushingly dull and overlong presentations with fresh work your audience really cares about and that you actually enjoy creating!" —Sanjay Acharya, Vice President, Akamai Technologies " Advanced Presentations by Design is the best researched book on presentation design that I've ever had the privilege of reading. I recommend it for those of you who want the confidence of knowing how best to plan and design successful presentations." —Gene Zelazny, author, Say It with Charts and Say It with Presentations "This book is essential for any executive who doesn't have time to wade through sixty-page PowerPoint decks. You will want to make this book required reading for all your staff." —Stew McHie, Global Brand Manager, ExxonMobil

About the Author

Dr. Andrew Abela is the Dean of the School of Business & Economics at The Catholic University of America. He contributes to a wide-range of publications and consults to several major corporations on marketing and internal communications issues.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dapto on 19 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This book stands out from the many other books on presentations by:
-Acknowledging that there are huge differences between presenting to 100 people in a seminar and presenting to 10 in a work meeting.
-Acknowledging that a significant group of humans are not excited by visual metaphor and are far more persuaded by data (hands up all the engineers in the room}
-Working towards getting your audience to DO SOMETHING - not just be entertained.
-Recognizing you probably weren't employed to be a graphic designer
-Basing all its recommendations and conclusions on scientific research - not what just works for some rare CEO's with charisma overloads
-Questioning, and debunking where necessary, common communications myths.

The book has no colour photos, no cute quotes in big text and a really plain cover. The thinking inside though turned my presentations completely around and helped me as a professional communicator like no other book I've read. Essential reading for the corporate communicator, especially in science or engineering based industries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Marlow on 16 Sep 2009
Format: Paperback
Like many management consultants, my formal presentation skills training emphasised left-brained logic at the expense of right-brained rhetoric and storytelling. Andrew Abela strikes a much better balance. When reading business-books, I'm from the 'scan first, read later if it seems worth the effort' school. Abela's magnum opus is one of those books I've not only read from cover-to-cover but will come back to again and again. It's a very accessible guide and definitely the best book on presentations that I've encountered. I know that's what Gene (Say It with Charts) Zelazny and Jeff (Stanford Professor) Pfeffer say on the back cover, but jacket endorsements aren't always a good guide and you're never quite sure until you dive in. I'd recommend this if you're an experienced presenter who feels that 'pyramid' presentations leave out much of your personality, or if you're a relative newbie who wants to start off on the right track from the get go.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harry James on 20 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
The most eloquent and sophisticated book on presentation design on the market today. This gives presenters a new way of thinking about presentation design. Andrew Abela has achieved this by distilling the essence from a mountain of books and research on graphics, story telling, influence and logic in an easy to follow ten step process that drives action. Other books focus on one or two of these topics - this book incorporates all four. After you read this you will present your last bullet point and start using PPT / Keynote to create simple designs that can communicate complex information persuasively and effectively. Brilliant!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps I expected too much, but overall I was a little disappointed with this book. Lots of good stuff, but not as well put together, or as accessibly as I hoped.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A Practical How-To Guide To Planning and Developing Compelling Presentations 17 Jan 2009
By August Jackson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Professor Abela has compiled a step-by-step guide to how to plan and deliver compelling presentations. Let me dissect that praise:

* Plan: Professor Abela walks you through the important questions you need to consider before you open up PowerPoint and begin pulling your slides together. This includes analyzing your audience, enumerating your objectives for the presentation and establishing a story structure through which you can marshall and convey your evidence. This is far and away the best framework of the many I have seen for pre-design work. The great thing about Professor Abela's framework for planning is that the framework is just as useful for meetings and speeches in which you will not be speaking to slides. Clearly the objectives, story and evidence are more important than the content of your PowerPoint slides. Wouldn't it be great to have a way forward if you are left with only 5 of your scheduled 30 minutes to present or the projector breaks down? Use Professor Abela's planning framework and you'll be ready.

* Deliver: Not all venues are alike, and Professor Abela takes the best of Tufte and other visualization experts to lay out guidance for designing presentations for a ballroom and a boardroom setting. Abela provides workable guidelines for using charts and layout to visually augment your message. This book includes a number of standard charts that easily and clearly represent the basic concept you are trying to convey on each slide. As much as I enjoy Tufte, Abela's book gave me direct actionable guidance that I needed to augment my spoken message with visual evidence.

Recently I applied the "Extreme Presentations" methods to a talk at a professional conference. The presentation itself (ballroom style) stood out as more visually informative than the standard corporate fare delivered by the other presenters. More important, though, is that I had clearly mapped out the change in mindset that I wanted to see in my audience. I had properly structured my talk to marshall the appropriate evidence in sequence and make the case successfully. As I created my problem-solution and anecdote outline I actually became excited for the opportunity to make my case to my audience. Following the presentation several attendees approached me to comment that I had changed their mind on the critical insight that was my goal.

Using "Extreme Presentations" to create a presentation takes longer than the standard corporate presentation (at least my first presentations developed in this model have taken longer). The quality of the visuals and the reception by the audience really does deliver a worthy return on that time investment. It's clear to my audiences that I've taken the time to think about them, consider their interests and taken care to create a good-looking and relevant set of visuals. This quality makes it clear to my audiences that I care about them, and that goes a long way towards making the audience care about what I am communicating.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A must read for every presenter, manager, and leader 19 Jan 2010
By gnomic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book lays out a methodology to create presentations that make a real difference. And the method works - my company subscribes to Corporate Executive Board, a industry best practice research service that follows the methods in this book. CEB is one of the few companies that I make time to attend their presentations because they are worth my limited time. And not only is the research solid, the information is presented in a way that makes it understandable and makes an impact with executives and managers. The method is repeatable, simple, and can make a difference right away.

I know. I've given a half dozen presentations using just some of the methods and have noticed my feedback scores increase. I've had people ask me for advice on presenting. That's results.

This book isn't about presentations, flashy graphics, or even the Zen of presenting. It about communications. And it debunks a lot of presentation myths with solid research. Its worth its weight in gold (even at today's prices!) to people who need to get their point across to groups of any size.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A must-have for developing evidence-based presentations. 18 Dec 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's not every day I see a book offering chapters with names like "Marshalling your evidence" and "Assembling the anecdotes that will illustrate your evidence". Abela answers the question "What does the evidence say about presenting evidence?" This book analyzes the building blocks of effective presentations in a way I've never seen.

Abela provides specific evidence of what's most likely to work, and why, when you want people to *act* on something you present to them. But the book is more than a recap of scientific findings: It's written from the perspective of a marketer and business manager, offering practical, evidence-based advice about how to focus on a problem your audience has, and how to show them you can help solve it. Three key topics are:

1. Structuring stories. Abela presents a SCORE method for sequencing evidence: Situation, Complication, Resolution, Example. The aforementioned "Assembling anecdotes" chapter talks about three types of stories we can use: 1) One that relates directly to our situation, 2) a hypothetical story, or 3) a more metaphorical one.

2. Using graphics. The book provides numerous examples of charts and other graphics, explaining which can help you best present your data. I've heard plenty of discussions of visual presentation -- Abela goes into more detail than most, staying focused on interpreting the hard evidence about how to engage an audience.

3. Setting goals for your presentation. Abela talks about setting measurable objectives for what you want your audience to think and do differently after your presentation.

I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to present convincing evidence in a business environment.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Should be extremely useful 25 May 2010
By M. D. HEALY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read many books on how to present complicated information, but on first reading this looks to be among the best. Its approach should be especially useful to me because of its emphasis on understanding the personality types among your audience, using the Myers-Briggs types. In particular it makes clear how I, an INTJ who loves exploring all the details, need to bring out the big picture for those in my audience with different personality types. I look forward to trying the approaches recommended in this book for my next presentation at work.

Also, the author very wisely advises thinking through the content and organization BEFORE starting to make actual slides; he says in so many words do NOT even open PowerPoint until Step 8 for several reasons. First, planning first will probably lead to a better presentation. Second, planning first may prevent wasting time making slides that don't end up getting used. Third, and perhaps most important, he says if one belatedly realizes a slide that took two hours to make doesn't work for the purpose of this presentation, there is a strong temptation to keep it anyway simply because of all the work one has invested in that slide. I have been there and done that; it's very hard to give up on a slide that no matter how elegant just does not work for this situation!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A different book about presentations 27 Sep 2008
By Carlos Cruz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book and I think it was a very good investment of my time and money.
I think it is a very different book because:
* It is very well supported, it has an admiring list of references about research made on all sorts of ideas and rules of thumb regarding presentations;
* It help us think deeply about the objectives of a presentation (before this book, most of the time, when I thought about objectives I came out with a list of things to do, to present, a kind of agenda for the presentation. Abela reminded me "But what we need is a way to set objectives that are all about the audience, not the presenter.")
* It help us sequencing our information to tell a compelling story (I loved the SCoRE method to define and sequence the main points of a presentation)
* It speaks, and I never saw anything of this kind in others books, about two kinds of different presentations: ballroom presentations and conference room presentations. Most of the books about presentations are about ballroom presentations, then, when we have meetings, when we have commercial presentations we tend to use the same kind of slides and techniques we use and see being used in ballroom presentations with audiences of more than one hundred persons ("Good ballroom style presentations should have minimal text, perhaps just a brief title, and rich, relevant visuals" on the other side "Good conference room style presentations should have lots of relevant detail and text, and should be handed out on paper, never projected"). This is great stuff, I never though about this, laptops and projectors are everywhere, so we tend to use them for whatever reason, for all kinds of occasions, but if we want to be effective we should think before on what kind of presentation style is the most useful.
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