Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007 to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire Paperback – 13 Oct 2007
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Unlock the amazing story buried in your presentation and forget boring bullet points forever! Now updated for Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, this widely-acclaimed book includes seven new examples of compelling presentations from board room to classroom. Communications expert Cliff Atkinson guides you, step by step, through his revolutionary three-step method for increasing the impact of your presentations. You ll discover how to combine classic storytelling techniques with the power of visual media to create a rich, engaging experience. Transform the way you create and deliver your critical message and quickly bring your ideas to life! FOCUS Learn how to distill and shape your best ideas into a crisp and compelling narrative. CLARIFY Use a storyboard to illustrate your ideas, creating the right blend of message and media. ENGAGE Move from merely reading your slides to creating a rich, connected experience with your audience and increase your impact! CD includes: Cliff s custom templates build your story! Quick reference checklists for compelling presentations Complete eBook plus bonus content!
About the Author
Critically praised author and presentation expert Cliff Atkinson is revolutionizing the way people use Microsoft PowerPoint to communicate. He is a popular keynote speaker and consultant—teaching his innovative three-step method to Fortune 500 companies, law firms, government agencies, and business schools.
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I read the 2008 edition of this book.
You can then sit and smugly codify precisely why his presentations are flat, dull and lifeless affairs. Then, your own presentations will take wings when you use some of the ideas from this book.
Should be compulsory reading for powerpoint users.
Cliff has a method. A pretty rigid format and process to create slides that look OK - certainly an improvement on 90% of what's out there - but it just doesn't have that magic or the creative edge. It's no surprise that this is a Microsoft book, lots of processes to follow to use the software and not a lot on creative design.
Plus I'm looking for more versatility and design inspiration than Cliff's one big idea - I don't want every one of my presentations to look the same.
I give it two stars for two good points: his use of visual motifs to link a presentation and help it flow (which, to be fair, isn't covered in the other two books above); and his explanation about how to get the best out of Presenter View (contained in the appendices on the CD).
If you really want to power up the impact you can make with PowerPoint, look at the designers' books first (Robin Williams 'Non-Designer's Presentation Book' is another good one just published).
Of all the books I read, including:
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations: The Art and Science of Presentation Design
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter)
Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations (Voices That Matter)
I would say this one by Cliff Atkinson was the best.
Firstly, it explained the fundamental principles of what makes PowerPoint effective, drawing on Cognitive Psychology. It then goes on to use this as a basis for a useful, over-arching methodology for creating PowerPoint Presentations, which I have been able to adapt to a wide range of needs in practice.
The book can be a bit "American" in parts, and far from all of it will be relevant to everyone, but it's full of useful tips and is probably the most important of the books I've read on PowerPoint.
If you only buy one book, I'd recommend this. If you buy 2, buy this and Slideology by Nancy Duarte. (I wouldn't bother with Presentation Zen at all, if I were you.)
Another excellent tip (I'm only on the 2nd chapter but it's super - not just for PowerPoint but reports and business documents in general) is: How to Make an IMPACT: Influence, Inform and Impress with Your Reports, Presentations, Business Documents, Charts and Graphs: Influence, Inform and ... Business Documents (Financial Times Series) - I haven't finished it yet, but I've got a feeling it's going to be more essential reading than all the rest put together.
On the downside it's a slow, pedantic read and you really do have to skim some of the verbage. Also the examples given are shallow, the structure is a bit didactic, and the software is a bit clunky.
But get over that. The presentation approach is quite radical and it really WORKS. It forces you to clarify your thinking; to focus on the big issues; to use rational sensory and emotional communication to make your points; and to keep it succinct. And it makes all this relatively easy! On top of that it does half the work of creating the final Powerpoint slides for you.
If you spend any of your time making presentations to present thinking, persuade, or to teach, I recommend you take a look.