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The Non-Designer's Presentation Book [Paperback]

Robin Williams
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Oct 2009 Non-Designer's
These days, it's not just corporate marketing directors tasked with giving computer-based presentations—anyone forced to stand in front of a crowd and talk for more than three minutes had better know how to put together a slide presentation. You're not a professional designer, but you want your slides to look professional. What do you do?
 
Enter Robin Williams, the beloved, best-selling non-designer's designer (with over 850,000 copies of The Non-Designer's Design Book in print!) who has taught an entire generation the basics of design and typography. In The Non-Designer's Presentation Book, Robin expands upon the design principles introduced in her award-winning Non-Designer's series. She explains four fundamental principles of good design as applied to digital presentations, and adds four more principles specific to clear communication with slides.

Whether you work with a Mac or PC, PowerPoint or Keynote, let Robin guide you, in her signature, light-hearted style, through the entire process of creating a presentation—from using the right software to organizing your ideas to designing effective, beautiful slides that won't put your audience to sleep.

In this essential guide to presentation design, you'll learn:
  • What makes a good presentation or a bad one
  • How to plan, organize, and outline your presentation
  • Four principles of designing effective presentations
  • Four principles for designing beautiful slides that communicate clearly
  • An exhaustive list of timeless presentation rules...that you should totally ignore

Frequently Bought Together

The Non-Designer's Presentation Book + The Non-Designer's Design Book + Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter)
Price For All Three: £51.81

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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (15 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321656210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321656216
  • Product Dimensions: 25.5 x 17.8 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 709,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

These days, it's not just corporate marketing directors tasked with giving computer-based presentations—anyone forced to stand in front of a crowd and talk for more than three minutes had better know how to put together a slide presentation. You're not a professional designer, but you want your slides to look professional. What do you do?
 
Enter Robin Williams, the beloved, best-selling non-designer's designer (with over 850,000 copies of The Non-Designer's Design Book in print!) who has taught an entire generation the basics of design and typography. In The Non-Designer's Presentation Book, Robin expands upon the design principles introduced in her award-winning Non-Designer's series. She explains four fundamental principles of good design as applied to digital presentations, and adds four more principles specific to clear communication with slides.

Whether you work with a Mac or PC, PowerPoint or Keynote, let Robin guide you, in her signature, light-hearted style, through the entire process of creating a presentation—from using the right software to organizing your ideas to designing effective, beautiful slides that won't put your audience to sleep.

In this essential guide to presentation design, you'll learn:
  • What makes a good presentation or a bad one
  • How to plan, organize, and outline your presentation
  • Four principles of designing effective presentations
  • Four principles for designing beautiful slides that communicate clearly
  • An exhaustive list of timeless presentation rules...that you should totally ignore

About the Author

Robin Williams is the author of dozens of best-selling and award-winning books, including The Non-Designer’s Design Book, Robin Williams Design Workshop, The Little Mac Book, and so many more. Through her writing, teaching,  and seminars, Robin has educated and influenced an entire generation of  computer users in the areas of design, typography, the Mac, and the web.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have two of Robin's other books, which have been influential in my amateur efforts at work designing flyers, proposals and presentations.

My presentations have evolved considerably since discovering Garr Reynolds work (Presentation Zen), which is superb, and I was looking forward to this title from Robin to provide me with new ideas and more options beyond Reynolds' 'zen' approach.

Robin's conversational and lighthearted writing style makes this an easy read, and she also packs the book with great content. It's full colour throughout, which was pretty much essential given the subject matter.

As with her other titles, she gives loads of before and after examples, and the book closes with a quiz chapter asking the reader to identify what's right or wrong with various slide decks, which really hones the eye and forces an understanding of the core principles.

In this book, she applies the four principles from 'The Non-Designers Design Book' (Contrast, Repitition, Alignment and Proximity) in the context of presentation design. If you already have that book, this will be a great refresher and deepen your understanding of the application of these principles to slide design. If you haven't read that book, this will be a great introduction to the principles and will provide you with a fantastic toolkit to instantly improve your slide design (you should also get her Non-Designers Design Book for a great primer on typography).

Where the book really stands out though is Robin's inclusion of chapters on preparation, clarity of message, plot/storytelling and great insights into better use of the software (screenshots and instructions for PowerPoint and Keynote).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Let me start this review with my opinion about previous Robin Williams books: I love both "The Non-Designers Design Book" and "The Non-Designers Type Book". They are well-written and very entartaining and include advices that I have used several times.
But this new book lacks of the quality of the others. It seems that Robin has tried to apply her knowledge on presentations and I don't agree with some of the slides she shows. Anyway, the book has some interesting chapters as the ones about knowing your software, animations or breaking some rules. As her previous books, the style is entertaining and very clear, but the content is not as good as I expected.
It you want to do great presentations, I think "Slide:ology", "Presentation:Zen" or "Beyond Bullet Points" are better options.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK for some basic design principles 11 Oct 2011
By bb
Format:Paperback
I primarily bought it for presentation "design"/aesthetics. Some useful basic design tips, helped me to put into words why something looks pleasing to the eye or not. Most of the book however is about how to have slides to help give a verbal presentation, ensuring clarity, less is more etc. I would have likes more on aesthetics but perhaps that was covered more in the non designers design book.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  164 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to basic design principles! 2 April 2008
By Ted - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I started reading this book yesterday afternoon because I wanted to spruce up my business card. The author's introduction & explanation to basic design principles was clear, easy to understand, & illustrated with plenty of visual examples. I've always been a hobbyist designer, initially relying on MS Publisher templates to put things together but then gradually started making my own designs from scratch over the years, so I thought my initial design for my business card was pretty good. But as I read through this book, the author gave several examples of amateur mistakes, many of which I was guilty of. But then the author also gave examples of how to fix these mistakes by employing the design principles she explains. This is probably one of the most useful books I've ever purchased!
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book that packs design essentials into a compact and easy to read book! 7 Nov 2011
By TruthSeeker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Robin has packed in a ton of experience and design principles into this easy to read book. Unlike some other books drone on and convey little, each page of this book seems loaded with tips and techniques that you can put into practice. For example, I learned more about type design from a single chapter in this book than from an entire book on type (Thinking in Type) that I had purchased simultaneously.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I needed 27 Dec 2011
By Brian Williammee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a software developer, and I have always felt sort of oblivious to anything involving aesthetics. I've been fortunate to work with good designers, but I decided it was time to learn a bit for myself. I asked a designer colleague for a book recommendation, and she suggested this one.

It was perfect for me. The book focuses on design as a means a effective communication rather than just a way to make pretty things, and that works a lot better for my brain. The examples are very clear, and the iterative improvements from one design to the next are so clear that even I can tell that they look better (and understand why). The writing is equally effective and easy to consume. It only took me 4-5 hours for my first pass through this book.

After finishing the book tonight, I set out to improve my resume. 90 minutes later, I'm shocked with the results. I used to think my old one looked fine, but now I can see so many design flaws in it. The new version, well, I'm sure there's still plenty wrong with it, but looks better than anything I thought I'd ever create on my own.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a presentation book that fills the void 3 Mar 2010
By Tom Carpenter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Most presentation books focus on how to present as a presenter and how to "not design" powerpoint slides. This book finally provides the non-designers out here, myself included, how to build great looking slides that also enhance the presentation.

First, I must admit to being a huge fan of the Non-Designer's Design Book and the Non-Designer's Web Design Book. I think they are two of the best books for us designer deficient business people out there. Now, this book does the same thing for presentation design.

Many of the concepts are similar to those presented in the Design Book and the Web Design Book; however, they are reformed to apply to presentation design.

The section titled "Ignore these Rules" is one of the best sections of the book. This section helps you understand the principles behind many "rules" like "Don't read the slides." When you understand the principles, you better understand when the "rule" applies and when it doesn't. Ultimately, you realize that the rules are guidelines and not really rules at all.

For example, if you have a slide that reads, "First quarter profits rise" and you avoid saying these exact words just because they're on the slide, you'll only feeling the pressure of presentation pundits, who, themselves, often err in educating their audiences anyway. I'd rather learn from someone who has given hundreds or thousands of presentations that are not on the topic of "Presentation Skills" than someone who has given almost exclusively presentations on how to give presentations. Robin Williams is not a "Presentation Skills" presenter, she's a design trainer and she knows what really works in real presentations. Robin, thanks for speaking for all of us non-Presentation Skills speakers out here who know that the pundits are often wrong.

All-in-all, this is a must book in the presenter's library.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mostly good info, poor design 8 Jan 2013
By J. Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I am a professional graphic designer and I use this book to teach Desktop Publishing for a 2-credit college course. The book is the best I've found, not too much information but covers the important parts. But it does leave a lot to be desired.

The color section is unnecessarily confusing, Williams makes up new names for the colors when they already have perfectly understandable color names. For example, she calls yellow-green, lime green, blue-green is aqua, violet is purple, and red violet is violet. Why? They don't need different cutsy names. I have my students use a color wheel and edit their books. Learning the incorrect names now will just confuse them later on.

Also if you are going to write a book about design then you need to prove you know what you are talking about with your examples. The cover? Yeesh. And many of the example designs make me cringe, see page 58 if you want proof. The whole book looks about 20 years old.

On type. There are way too many fonts used in the book. Over 300. There's no reason for that. Designs should have a max of 3 typefaces, 2 is better. And the majority of the typefaces Williams uses are nasty decorative fonts, which should be used sparingly, if at all. Students see all those fonts in the book and want to use them all. No.

I'd also like to swap chapter 9 on type relationships with basic kerning/leading/tracking lesson.

It does have good information and it's written in a way that is very easy to understand. Hopefully the 4th edition will have some improvements.
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