Do you find most presentations mind-numbingly dull?
Do you want to break free from the status quo?
Do you wonder how you can leverage PowerPoint for maximum impact?
If your hand is waving excitedly at one or all of these ideas, grab a copy of copy of Presentationzen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery by Garr Reynolds. Once my copy arrived, I couldn’t put it down. I carried it with me wherever I went so that I could read a few pages in spare moments. It’s that good and that fast of a read.
Ready for your Zen moment?
Reynolds’ quest to end the use of PowerPoint as we know it today started when riding on the express train from Yokohama to Nagoya. He had his “ah-ha” moment while observing a Japanese businessman flip through a printout of poorly designed PowerPoint slides, appearing confused by the ambiguity of the content. It was in that moment that Reynolds decided to write this book and start a dialogue around the concept of “presentationzen” on his website.
Rather than offering a step-by-step tutorial on preparation, design and delivery, Presentationzen challenges the reader to identify what really needs to be communicated, and then how to present it so it will resonate with the audience (with meaningful examples, to boot!)
Actionable ideas by the truckload
According to Reynolds, live talks today must tell a story enhanced by imagery and other forms of appropriate multimedia to make an impact. Here are some additional thoughts from Presentationzen that resonated for me:
But wait, there’s more . . . (as the saying goes)
Presentationzen is packed with visual examples of great (and not so great) presentations, allowing you to see the difference. Key take-a-ways are summarized at the end of each chapter, and guests – from marketing guru Seth Godin and slide:ology author Nancy Duarte to Entrepreneur columnist Guy Kawasaki – also share their thoughts and experiences.
Are you ready to get Zen?
If you’re looking for few quick tips on how to do a PowerPoint presentation, don’t look here. The author’s analogies to the Zen philosophy and concepts can get annoying pretty quickly (I just skimmed over them).
However, if you bear with him, you will learn more than how to break free from the “death by PowerPoint” mold. Get ready to express yourself in a new way, be challenged to see the big picture from your customers’ perspective, and be inspired to be bold, different, and enthused while preparing for your next presentation.
Becoming a Zen master may not be easy, but it can pay big dividends when you reset the “presentation bar” for yourself and for your organization.