Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
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Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  7,105 ratings  ·  314 reviews
FOREWORD BY GUY KAWASAKI
Presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the Net -- presentationzen.com -- shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making prese...more
Paperback, 229 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by New Riders Publishing (first published 2007)
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Alexander Fontana
Preparation
The six aptitudes are:
Design (not only function)
Story (not only argument - Mike Meyers type delivery)
Symphony (not only focus)
Empathy (not only logic)
Play (not only seriousness)
Meaning (not only accumulation)

How to improve immediately:
1. Make slides that reinforce your work not repeat them. -
NO MORE THAN SIX WORDS EVER!
2. Don't use cheesy images. Instead of four bullets on EPA pollution data just use a picture of dead birds and state the data
3. No dissolves, spins or other t...more
Lance Greenfield
Jul 08, 2013 Lance Greenfield rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lance by: tony greenfield
There are over four thousand reviews of this book on Goodreads, so it is unlikely that I can say anything fresh about the content and style of this superb book, so I am not about to try. I'll just tell you a little story of how it helped me at a most opportune time.

I have been presenting and instructing for well over three decades, and I am still learning something new every day. We should all be open to that and never believe that we hae actually arrived at the perfect state. Strive for perfect...more
lindn
Sep 05, 2008 lindn marked it as to-read
Shelves: ux
Why I should read this from HFI email newsletter:

If you haven't "read" this book you should definitely get your hands on a copy. It's full of pictures and lots of examples. It's not about usability or user interface design per se, but it is all about how to display information and present your ideas visually.

We know that showing PowerPoint slides with tons of bullet points is not a good idea, but exactly what ARE we supposed to do instead. This book shows you what the alternatives are and gives...more
Josh Brown
I learned more about presentations from this book than I ever thought possible.

The audience is there to hear you speak, not to read your slides. You should be selling something to them - convincing them of something. If you're just giving them information, why didn't you just send them a document?

Give presentations like Steve Jobs, not Bill Gates. Bill Gates is unremarkable.

Keep the text on slides to a minimum - no more than six words on a slide.

Rather than embedding a small image in the slide,...more
Nat
Apr 15, 2008 Nat rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: pastors, speakers, designers, marketing, EXECUTIVES
Less is more.

Use full screen imagery to convey your point.

Use pleasing color schemes.

Use san-serif fonts.

Those four sentences sum up what Presentation Zen is all about. I know some may say I don't get it. I do. I just don't think all the zen info helped. The author really didn't need to use them to prove his point. Just the comparison of slides was enough.

However, this book did change the way I present my messages and talks to teens as a youth pastor. I believe it is true that people remember mo...more
Trevor
This was quite a good little book, if a bit over long. Which, in itself was quite amusing given that the main message is ‘keep it simple’. I think The Non-Designer's Presentation Book does a better job, but there were things in this one that really worked. His comparisons of cluttered and uncluttered slides on pages 123-125 ought to be enough to give people who spot this in a bookstore an idea of what needs fixing in their presentations.

But overall there is too much guff about things that don’t...more
Xiaofei Guo
This book summarize the key elements of a presentation in a different way from the "craft of scientific presentation". However, many of the principles are overlapped. I find this book one of the must read for presentation along with "the craft of scientific presentation" and "slide:ology".


Chapter 1 Introduction
Presentations in Today’s World

Design:
Decoration, for better or worse, is noticeable -- sometimes enjoyable, sometimes irritating, but it is unmistakable there. However, the best designs ar...more
Megan
Sep 07, 2010 Megan rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Megan by: Shirley
This Friday I'm heading a workshop for 11 librarians in the county, on how to use social media. I am a little bit nervous about this, not because of going up in front of a group of people (I have little fear of this, which is really surprising), but because I'm afraid I won't be able to get my point across, speak loudly enough, or be clear enough for people unfamiliar with new technology. I had written up a standard PowerPoint with bullet points, clipart, and gradient backgrounds, and it all fel...more
Newengland
For its purpose, this book can't get much better than it is. Garr Reyolds uses plenty of gorgeous photos and example slides to show you how to make a better slide show presentation. But it's more than that. There are touches of self-help -- bits of advice that have as much to do with making yourself a better person as they do with making yourself a better presenter. There are touches of how-to -- tracts that show you where you've gone wrong in the past and why you are on the "Most Wanted List" i...more
Terry
I like the idea that slideware is a sufficiently developed form that there's an ecosystem of tools made to make one suck less at its usage. This book dips a toe in the water of improving ones tool usage but there are several things that get in the way.

1) Walls of Text - Many of the words are wasted and several times I'd find that I'd skipped a paragraph, reread it and gain nothing.

2) References to Asian Culture - Many of these asides simply got in the way. I got the constant feeling of "this is...more
Lucy Park
Jan 07, 2013 Lucy Park rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lucy by: Cheol Kang
이 책을 처음 집었을 때는, 프리젠테이션에 대한 '사상'을 담고 있을 줄 알았는데, 사실은 '젠 스타일의' 프리젠테이션에 대한 얘기에 더 가까운듯하다. 모든 프리젠테이션이 젠 스타일이 되어야 하는가에 대해서 나는 저자만큼의 확신은 할 수 없지만 젠 스타일의 프리젠테이션에 관해서만큼은, 아주 명확하고 간결하게 지침들을 전해준다. (아무리 SNR을 높인다고 해도, 학술적인 내용을 그림 하나로 전달하는 일이 언제나 가능한 일일까?) 많은 부분이 뻔하게 느껴질 수 있지만, 이미 아는 것도 언어로 재정의돼서 머릿속에서 한 번의 loop를 더 돌면 생각은 아주 명확해진다. 이 책에서 제일 좋았던 것은 다음과 같다.

1. 언행일치가 된다. (ex: 예제를 활용해서 스토리텔링을 하는 것)
2. 좋은 예와 좋지 않은 예를 대비해주면서 보여주기 때문에, 말하는 바를 명확히 파악하기 쉽다.

좋은 책을 추천해준 철에게 감사를!
John Mangan
After reading this book you'll realize why 99% of presentations you have ever seen have been done all wrong, and it all makes perfect sense. You'll also realize how applications such as "PowerPoint" are misunderstood and misused in most business environments today.

Finally, in retrospect you can easily compare the tips for success in this book with very famous and high impact presentations such as those given by Steve Jobs and other industry leaders.
Randy Ingermanson
I was worried that this would be a breezy feel-good book without much content.

No worries. The book turned out to be brilliant. The examples were the most useful part. It's one thing to tell me how to do it. It's another to show me.

I've been doing presentations for a long time, and this book has lit a fire under me to do better. Looking forward to my next teaching gig to see how well it all works out for me.
Andrew Neuendorf
I want to throw everything else away and shave my head and follow the teachings of this book and tattoo my favorite PowerPoint slide on my face, which would be a single brush stroke on a white background, arcing like a swan's neck. (My body is the white background...I am white)
Joshua Smith
Good theoretical foundation for presentations. I liked how Reynolds subordinated slide deck software to the human aspects of presenting. There's information in here to which I will likely refer in the future.

Not surprisingly, Reynolds does not give detailed information about how to create and deliver a highly technical presentation like the ones I typically deliver. There was no reason to expect this book to contain that information, but the book I really want is still conspicuously absent from...more
Omar Halabieh
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "If we desire to communicate with more clarity, integrity, beauty, and intelligence, then we must move beyond what is considered to be "normal" to something different and far more effective. The principles I am most mindful of through every step of the presentation process are restraint, simplicity, and naturalness: Restraint in preparation. Simplicity in design. Naturalness in delivery. All of which, in the end, lead t...more
Anton
Jun 04, 2012 Anton marked it as to-read
Loved the book - I still don't always do as he says (I still use the cursed bullet points too much :-)), but it affected how I present and speak.
Leader Summaries
Desde Leader Summaries recomendamos la lectura del libro Presentaciones Zen, de Garr Reynolds.
Las personas interesadas en las siguientes temáticas lo encontrarán práctico y útil: habilidades directivas, hablar en público y hacer presentaciones.
En el siguiente enlace tienes el resumen del libro Presentaciones Zen, Cómo convertirse en un maestro de las presentaciones transmitiendo un mensaje claro y nítido: Presentaciones Zen
Samuel Titěra
čtěte v angličtině, český překlad je velmi špatný
Colleen Vincent
Death to PowerPoint! Or at least to the old way of using PowerPoint-using too much text with the same boring clip art and banners. Step-up your PowerPoint presentation slides with the design tips and examples found in this book because Presentation Zen lifts presentation design to an art. There are plenty of design tips and illustrations to engage and inspire the reader. The premise of the book is that the content of your slides should accompany the story you're telling with well-thought out pic...more
Jess
Dec 08, 2009 Jess rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: executives, students
Shelves: instructional, tech
Funnily enough, although Reynolds champions simple, concise presentations, this book is anything but. I thought the book had too much unnecessary padding. All that stuff about zen, and achieving balance and all that? I forced myself to skim through it.

This volume shows a lot of aesthetically pleasing sample slides, but after about a quarter of the book they start looking identical. Some of the content is pretty enlightening and has tips I never knew about, but there is also a lot of filler and m...more
Greg
An excellent book! One to keep on hand at the office for each time you are asked to do a presentation. The numerous before-and-after examples of Powerpoint slides were incredibly helpful.

It's not strictly a visual design book, but there is just the right amount of design information to empower the traditionally-trained Powerpoint presenter to improve his slides and presentations in the most important ways. In particular, he discusses composition, contrast, signal to noise ratio on the screen, ne...more
Julie
As part of my quest of becoming better at public speaking, I recently finished reading Presentation Zen. The first striking thing about the book is how beautifully designed it is all along (probably another one that wouldn't work well on an e-reader), which of course highlights the principles the book aims to impart.

The structure flows well, and every chapter contains lots of tips and clear steps to look at when preparing a presentation. Often a chapter will offer some background on why somethin...more
Paul Signorelli
In a world committed to effective training-teaching-learning, publication of Garr Reynolds'�� beautifully produced and engagingly written book "Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery" three years ago would have resulted in the disappearance of "death by PowerPoint." The world seems to have other ideas. We still suffer through poorly designed PowerPoint presentations, where far too much text is crammed onto slides that are then read to painfully bored and tuned-out lea...more
Darryl Pendergrass
Presentation Zen provides numerous ways to enhance presentations and delivery of presentations. Garr discusses the many things that most of us hate about many presentations but we still continue to see them used almost on a daily basis.

My own company is bent on developing "slidumentation." Like Garr, I agree this is poor approach to providing process documentation. Even before reading this book, I mentioned several times to senior management how the context of the documentation is lost the momen...more
Murray Irwin
Presentation Zen is a great book for keeping you thinking about what is the most important thing when presenting. How best to tell your story and get your message across. It covers the three key areas of planning, design and delivery. If you are looking for how to actually use presentation software such as keynote or powerpoint you need to look else wear.

I read this book coming in with prior knowledge from other books and practical experience so much of it was not new. Even so, I was engaged by...more
Helmut
Einfache Ideen mit wuchtigem Effekt
Zunächst war ich etwas kritisch dem Buch gegenüber, das ich aus einer Laune heraus angefangen habe zu lesen. Ich hatte von meiner Firma bereits vor einigen Jahren eine Schulung erhalten, wie man präsentiert, und dachte, ja, was gibts da noch groß zu lernen.

Ach ja, es ist immer wieder faszinierend, zu erleben, wie dumm und naiv man früher war. Dieses Buch hat meine Sicht auf Präsentationen völlig verändert. Alles, was in dieser alten Firmenschulung gesagt wurde,...more
John
A must read for anyone making business presentations. Garr Reynolds identifies the problems with the majority of business presentations today, and provides highly actionable solutions.

Common problems with business presentations:
1. Too much information on one slide - solution - simplify, examples shown
2. Lots of bullets - solution - don't do that... use pictures and few bullets
3. Lack of well planned presentation design - solution - plan ahead, on paper
4. Poor quality graphics - solution - use pr...more
Kayte Korwitts
This would have earned 4 stars if there hadn't been more than a few spelling and missing word issues throughout the entire book. Because of that, it felt a bit silly at times to readily jump on board with Garr Reynolds's many very insightful points and observations on design and the importance of paying attention to detail. Where were your copy editors, dude??

Otherwise, this book was super helpful to me as I was in the middle of creating a presentation on copyright law in proprietary schools for...more
Kyle
I have never been good at anything having to do with visual representation. I have some really, really, really awful publisher files and power point presentations to prove it. Up until this point, I erroneously believed it was because I simply wasn’t good at anything artistic. It was better to leave that stuff to those who are good at it. (Such as the Logos art department.) To a certain extent I still believe this is true. But like most anything, I can improve. I just need to know how to improve...more
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