Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter) Paperback – 17 Dec 2007
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"Please don't buy this book! Once people start making better presentations, mine won’t look so good. (But if you truly want to learn what works and how to do it right, Garr is the man to learn from.)"
Speaker and Blogger
Author, Meatball Sundae
"Garr is a beacon of hope for frustrated audiences everywhere. His design philosophy and fundamental principles bring life to messages and can invigorate careers. His principles of simplicity are as much a journey of the soul as they are restraint of the mouse."
CEO, Duarte Design
"Presentation Zen is just fantastic. Best of all it's not another recipe book about “how to make slides” ― this is about re-imagining how your entire presentation will work together as a persuasive and integrated show, from conception through delivery. Awesome."
From the Back Cover
FOREWORD BY GUY KAWASAKI
Presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the net ― presentationzen.com ― shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making presentations with PowerPoint or Keynote. Presentation Zen challenges the conventional wisdom of making "slide presentations" in today’s world and encourages you to think differently and more creatively about the preparation, design, and delivery of your presentations. Garr shares lessons and perspectives that draw upon practical advice from the fields of communication and business. Combining solid principles of design with the tenets of Zen simplicity, this book will help you along the path to simpler, more effective presentations.
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Top Customer Reviews
You think you are an expert presenter? I thought so, until I read this book. Now I am getting closer. Reynolds doesn't just explain why some presentations are good and most are bad, he really makes you realize why this is so and gives you a fundamental insight into how you prepare and deliver messages which the audience will understand and remember.
This is a very practical and easy to read book, he explains and illustrates the power of simplicity and white spaces, simplify to amplify, good design principles, how to use pictures and where to place the text, contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. And when you have made your presentation, he tells you how to deliver it, how to connect with the audience and be completely present. Your presentation will never be the same
But I was expecting more given the price. "Leave them wanting more" is one of Garr's principles and he does urge us not to judge a presentation by its length alone. Quite right, but in the case of the book, many more examples to illustrate his points would have been helpful.
However the main reason I have rated this 2 stars is the number of careless errors in the Kindle edition. Some of the images described in the text are missing, and the promised stock photo credit is absent. These are slapdash errors that would not bother me in a cheap or free e-book but they are unacceptable in an e-book at this price.
I was not disappointed. From the Foreword by Guy Kawasaki (done in slides) through to the 'Colophon' at the very end of the book (explaining technically how the book was put together), I found the content stimulating and the mere look of the book a delight.
'Presentation is everything,' they say. Well, not quite. There are some important observations on conventional business practice, about how it uses and abuses PowerPoint or Keynote, and about typical presentations in general. For example, the author comments on the convention by conference organisers, who ask for a speaker's slides in advance - the assumption being that all content is, or should be, in those slides. Or how about the practice common in Japan and elsewhere where lights are dimmed at the start of a presentation? If you have always assumed that such things were good practice then I recommend this book.
Also, I was delighted about how Garr Reynolds referenced people whom I admire: Daniel Pink, Seth Godin, Kathy Sierra, Dan and Chip Heath, Guy Kawasaki, Merlin Mann and Nancy Duarte. This gave me the confidence that here was someone who has 'got it', as a progressive thinker and presenter.
This book is a healthy antidote to 'Death by PowerPoint', and I shall continue to read Garr's blog with interest.
By comparison, my dentist has always covered his walls with beautiful bleed images of gorgeous places combined with intriguing sayings about life. Those posters are the only uplifting thing about my trips to the dentist's office. He doesn't tell me any entertaining stories.
In presentationzen, Garr Reynolds shares with us that today's audiences like a standard PowerPoint presentation about as much as I like going to the dentist (I doubt if you are surprised by that). His prescription is to turn the typical presentation into a series of stories aided by exhibits that remind me of those dental posters while being very responsive (present . . . in his terminology) to the audience.
The book's main strength, and one that makes it well worth reading and following, is in describing a process that can be used to create a presentation that will be compelling. Even when I see a presentation that I like, I don't learn much from the example because the presenter doesn't share the process behind the result.
The examples almost all showed someone in a black turtle neck, black pants, and black shoes who looked like a Steve Jobs acolyte. As a result, there's an Apple versus Microsoft tone to the book that didn't match any environment where I ever see or give presentations (usually board rooms and senior corporate conference rooms).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's good but I wouldn't say groundbreaking. There are some nice design examples but it didn;t really teach me anything new.Published 21 months ago by Helen.
Excellent book focussing on the visual aspect of presentation design.
Builds on Daniel Pink's "A Whole New Mind" book - encouraging you to think though a presentation in... Read more
Even though Garr is sometimes unsure whether to write about him self and his passion for Japan or actually the presentation skills, it's still a good resource, especially for those... Read morePublished on 7 Sept. 2012 by joooc
I bought this book for some general guidance on avoiding "death by Powerpoint" and I can recommend it. Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2012 by croftonstorage
This book contains essential design considerations for making a slide show. It all seems so obvious now that I had read it; this is stuff everyone should realize but sadly they... Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2011 by Joakim Öfverholm
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, ePub
A lot of inspirational ideas but too bad the author didn't follow his own advice of simplicity,... Read more
Purchased this book after hearing about it at a technical conference. Well worth the price. It shows how some simple changes to the way you approach and design presentation can... Read morePublished on 1 Mar. 2011 by MichaelJ
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