Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Review: Presentation Zen Design

Presentation Zen Design, unlike its predecessor, Presentation Zen gives practical and actionable tips on how to make a better presentation. While Zen and Japanese philosophy are still used as a method of teaching concepts, readers will find it much less distracting and much more integrated than its predecessor.

This book looks at the anatomy of your slides and how to make them supplement what you are saying as the presenter rather than being the focus of your presentation. Of course professional designers take years to learn these skills, but after reading this book I have much more confidence I can make a quality presentation without having Al Gore’s design team at my disposal.

Unlike typical tech books, practical examples and checklists are missing from this book. General ideas and viewpoints are presented instead, in short digestable sections, just like the Bento box the author describes - a wide variety of concepts put together in a neat package that gives you energy and nourishment for the day.

After reading this book and looking at my previous presentations, I now understand why I and others fell asleep during them. I saw where I made my mistakes and what to change for the future. I’ll be doing much much less on individual slides and will make the concepts I present “pop” off the screen and have a clear focus.

For those people looking for tips and tricks of PowerPoint and Keynote, move along. This book is about practical advice and overall concepts of using “slideware” to engage your audience and help them understand what you are presenting.

Pros: Excellent overall concepts of how to make better presentations with a holistic focus rather than practical teachings of software functions
Cons: None!

Five out of Five Dogcows.

Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here as well as other groups listed on the right