Review: Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

Web 2.0.  Visual imagery.  Story-telling.  Message branding.  Mastering the art of presentation is very tough and the new concept of story-telling is fast becoming pervasive within the speaker community.  How often do you remember a story?  Most of the time I would guess.  Stats and figures are often lost in translation or rather memory, but a story or an image has the power to bring to life your message.

In Garr Reynold's book, Presentation Zen (blog by the same name), he leads the reader on a journey of understanding the fundamental reasons for developing a visual presentation.
Presentations need to inform and engage the audience.  Our brains cannot process the words we hear and read at the same time; which means you (the audience member) need to choose which is more important so your brain can focus.
Here are a few key takeaways from the book:
  • Paper and Pen are always a great beginning
  • Storyboard your thoughts
  • Use visual impact for your slides
  • The images should support your message
  • The message must be clear
  • Less is often more
  • Practice, practice, practice
  • Understand your audience

The examples in this book serve to illustrate styles of presentation creation & development.  In addition, the way the book is laid out is an art form itself.  This book should be on everyone's shelf, but especially those who give presentations regularly – potential roadblock – the culture may need re-shaping.

Food for Thought:  Is the culture ready for a new presentation style?  Do corporate templates support information or impact?

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I help facilities manager and planner create spaces that are backed by research, engage employees of all generations, and drive business objectives. I am also the founder of Dave's Book Club – a once per month reading experience designed to help professionals grow their influence.

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