Top positive review
Excellent guide to presentation skills
on 9 March 2015
I like this book a lot. As it says in the subtitle, it explains "the art and science of creating great presentations" in a clear and simple way. The text is direct and engaging, sometimes employs a little humour, and the use of case studies, showing principles in action, is an inspired touch that adds an extra dimension to what would otherwise be a well-written, but theoretical text.
Some of the reviews have been disparaging, as if the ideas shown here are somehow "obvious", or this book offers "nothing new". Well, they may be like that to some people, but sit through almost any business presentation, and it's clear that the vast majority of presenters haven't got a clue. This book is not for people who already know how to do it. It's for people who want to improve. As I teach presentation skills professionally, I bought it as both reference and professional development - I knew a lot of it already, but as I have never attended an art or design class, I also learned a lot. And although it focuses on slides, that's not all it looks at - there are many other aspects of presentations discussed that make it a far more rounded text. Ms Duarte reminds her readers again and again that a presentation is much more than just the slides.
There was only one thing that grated: some of the sample slides were very small, written in a miniscule font that was nearly impossible to read, even when the slide was clearly meant to be an improvement. Since there was plenty of space on each page, there was no clear reason why they had to be this tiny, and it went against the principle that was clearly espoused for presentations: make the font large and fully legible to your audience! So for this, I have deducted one star from my rating.
Otherwise, this book is excellent, and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to improve their presentations.