Presentation Zen…

Presentation Zen, written by Garr Reynolds, is a book which asks us to take a look at the type of presentations that are common in today’s world. And then change them.

We live in a world full of data. You can access just about any fact on the Internet, the TV bombards us with colors and information. And in our presentations we fill the pages with text, data and visuals that can obscure the message that we are trying to convey. Presentation Zen challenges you to strip the unnecessary out of the slides. The purpose of a presentation is for the presenter to tell the story, with the slides reinforcing the message.

The book is divided into five sections.

  • Introduction-discusses the state of today’s presentations
  • Preparation-This section walks  you through how to prepare and plan for your presentation. The key is telling the story.
  • Design-Here basic design elements are taught to help make each slide more meaningful and relevant to the story. Many of these principals are familiar to photographers but being used in a different context.
  • Delivery-After the presentation is built it has to be delivered to the audience. “Being completely present” is a major point. When presenting you are committed to the story and the audience. When committed you bring a different energy which gives the presentation more credibility.
  • Next Steps-This short section talks about what you can do to start following the path of Presentation Zen.

The text is easy to read with a high number of images to reinforce the points being made. After reading Presentation Zen I have really started to evaluate my slides more harshly to ensure that they don’t tell the story for me but help me tell the story.

This book was suggested by a former boss after seeing some of my presentation slides. I enjoy presenting and he knew I wanted to take them to the next level. I suggest this book for anyone that creates presentation or tells a story with images.

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