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on 21 January 2011
Not good at all. Reynolds' strength lies in design and he should stick to the knitting. He is not a speechwriter and not a presentation coach, so his advice - while fundamentally sound - rings hollow to me throughout this book. There are no new ideas here and the ideas he does propound are not particularly well-written. Also, the book lacks examples - say, of of a presentation evolving from an early draft to a strong final version with the reasons for the changes clearly highlighted.

There is another problem with this book. Reynolds is deeply fascinated by Japanese civilisation and clearly believes it has many lessons to teach us and his minimalist, Zen aesthetic on the design side is what has rightly made him famous in the presentation world. But in this book, he reminded me of Alison Hannigan's character in the American Pie films who begins every other sentence with the phrase, "This one time, at band camp ..."

Garr spends a LOT of time using at-best tenuous analogies from Japanese culture to make his points about presentations - so apparently, a presentation is like taking a Japanese bath, should be like a bamboo, must overcome the 10 evils of Budo, could be like Aikido (and Judo!) and should have P.U.N.C.H. (yet another lousy acronym) too.

Garr's fascination with all things Japanese is even starting to pollute his slides. I have noticed now that he regularly has his usual beautiful image, along with the pull quote or tightly phrased idea, on his slides - PLUS Japanese subtitles for the verbiage. What!? That's called clutter! If you're presenting to a Japanese audience, you use the yokogaki, for everyone else, that is just indecipherable clutter taking up room on your slide.

If you're looking for a good text on crafting the narrative of your presentation, try Nancy Duarte's Resonate (Nancy works with presenters every day and it shows on every page) and if you want to get into the meat and potatoes of oratory and rhetoric for your delivery, go to the Master - Max Atkinson. No cutesie ideas, no silly acronyms or self-indulgent analogies, just solid, example-driven advice from the trenches.

This book? Not worth your time.
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on 2 August 2011
I loved this book and recommend it to all my students at university. I bought it for work, but read it happily in bed, it is so readable and enjoyable (as can be said for Garr's other books too). As an ICT adviser I am obliged to make sure people can use presentation software well - this book emphasises that relying on technical skills is not enough, that making a connection with the audience, applying restraint and being your natural self are actually more important. Do both well and you are rocking!
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on 4 November 2013
Found this book really good. Good advice for anyone who has to stand in front of groups and wants to make it engaging. The book takes you back to the simple steps in order to avoid over-complicating.
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on 25 April 2014
went down very well not using powerpoint!
more relaxed as well - audience had to stay engaged throughout the time
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on 26 March 2014
Good read on how to connect with your audience and keep it real. It's not about the PowerPoint, it's about you!
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on 29 December 2010
I enjoyed a lot to read the book, lots to study so I'll have to re read it again and again. I am sure I will use more and more of its tips and advices as I go along my storytelling and public speaking.

Present to public 'naked' is a great metaphor for openness and going near and authentic.

This book is full of good tips for new public speakers as for experiences ones, easy to read, all can learn from it, be inspired by it

For example, the second chapter is about preparation. Giving us the steps to do it. From the time alone, to reflect, and the advice to "unplug ourself" from the computer. Begin with pen and a notebook; to the advice to edit and cut (difficult for me but yes very useful) and then rehearse, practice and practice again to be able to be confident when the time arrive.

I also liked how he tells us, in detail, why telling is so important.

So much to absorb and use from this book!

Now, I attack the 3rd chapter, again...
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on 15 February 2011
I am very satisfied by this book. I am quite a novice in presentations. Got the book just in time to read the first chapter before a presentation last week; it did have an impact! Now I am working through the rest of the book. Overall very helpful.
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