Monday, March 23, 2009

Presentation Zen

One of my favorite books on presentations is Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds.This slim volume shows one how to make appealing, balanced,text lean powerpoint presentations.Garr has been a long time student of the Zen arts and tries to incorporate the same simplicity into creating meaningful presentations. In his book he says'.......the essence or the spirit of many of the principles found in Zen concerning aesthetics,mindfulness, connectedness, ......can be applied to our daily activities including presentations.'

If you have sat through your share of ghastly Powerpoint presentations with glazed eyes, this book is the dose of fresh air you need.It presents a totally different approach to creating Powerpoint presentations- rich on design and appeal with minimal text. Garr explains the basics of design which all presenters should be aware of and how we can implement them in our Powerpoint presentations.The results are presentations that take ones breath away.He goes through the basics of crafting ones talk and designing the powerpoint presentation, which in his opinion should support the speaker and not detract attention from him. He urges one to leave the mountain of text for handouts and keep the slides sleek and minimal supported by images. I found his tip of designing ‘analog’ or using pen and paper to begin designing the presentation very helpful.
All in all a fantastic book which can turnaround the way you give presentations. Aesthetic, appealing...this is not a method but an approach towards creating more compelling presentations-go for it!
Tara
P.S I also enjoy reading his blog where Garr writes on topics related to presentations.