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

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,953 Ratings  ·  361 Reviews
Presentation designer and internationally acclaimed communications expert Garr Reynolds, creator of the most popular Web site on presentation design and delivery on the Net -- -- shares his experience in a provocative mix of illumination, inspiration, education, and guidance that will change the way you think about making prese
Paperback, 229 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by New Riders Publishing (first published 2007)
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Alexander Fontana
Apr 28, 2013 Alexander Fontana rated it liked it
Shelves: business
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. -
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
Lance Greenfield
Jul 08, 2013 Lance Greenfield rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Josh Brown
Apr 06, 2009 Josh Brown rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
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,
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
Oct 15, 2010 Trevor rated it liked it
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
Apr 15, 2008 Nat rated it liked it
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
Randy Ingermanson
May 22, 2013 Randy Ingermanson rated it it was amazing
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.
Xiaofei Guo
Jul 25, 2012 Xiaofei Guo rated it liked it
Shelves: presentation
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

Decoration, for better or worse, is noticeable -- sometimes enjoyable, sometimes irritating, but it is unmistakable there. However, the best designs ar
Sep 07, 2010 Megan rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 09, 2011 Ken rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 14, 2010 Terry rated it it was ok
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
Barry Davis
Feb 16, 2016 Barry Davis rated it really liked it
Subtitled, “Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery,” the author of this exceptional book is a writer, designer and musician who lives and works in Japan. Drawing upon zen principles throughout the book, each of the three key chapters (Preparation, Design and Delivery) is full of practical insights and examples of the primary principles for enhancing the reader’s ability to make their points powerfully and concisely. Multiple topics close with an “In Sum” page that repeats the key princ ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Joao rated it really liked it
Best-selling author and popular speaker Garr Reynolds is back in this newly revised edition of his classic, best-selling book, Presentation Zen, in which he showed readers there is a better way to reach the audience through simplicity and storytelling, and gave them the tools to confidently design and deliver successful presentations.

In this new edition, Garr gives his readers new, fresh examples to draw inspiration from, with a whole new chapter for those who present on more technical a
박은정 Park
Jan 07, 2013 박은정 Park rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to 박은정 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!
Sep 21, 2015 Sadaf rated it really liked it
This is an extremely informative book that combines principles of Zen philosophy and Design principles to come up with ways to give good, memorable and uncluttered presentations. It can be used to do well in other forms of communication as well. As I was reading it, I thought I could use it in painting, writing and even counseling.
It dispels the myth that ppt has to be loaded with words and bombards information. The point of a presentation should be an aid to the speaker and highlight on salien
John Mangan
Jan 11, 2012 John Mangan rated it really liked it
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.
Cassie Cox
Oct 16, 2014 Cassie Cox rated it it was amazing
One of my teacher friends highly recommended this book, and today I add myself to the list of readers who highly recommend this book! If you are a teacher or a public speaker or if you find yourself in positions where you are called on to present to others (especially using technology like PowerPoint for assistance), this book is a must-read. Though I'm always nervous--initially--I consider myself to be a fairly good presenter. I've been doing public presentations for many years now; however, Pr ...more
Andrew Neuendorf
May 04, 2011 Andrew Neuendorf rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 29, 2014 Joshua Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 23, 2016 Juha rated it liked it
Presentation Zen is useful for getting you to think about how to make better presentations, but its content is almost painfully superficial. It doesn't go into very much depth on the technical side –on how to develop slides that support your speaking – and adds even less value on other subjects. The latter third of the book, the “delivery” part, will not bring in anything new if you already know the basics of communication and public speech.

Thus, the information you get from the book is barely a
Apr 10, 2016 Lorilee rated it it was amazing
This book is close to everything needed and hoped for in a book meant to enlighten as to not cause "death by Power Point," a faux pas too many make thinking they are giving the audience exactly what is needed. As I seek to connect with others, this book helps me to remember that connection, after all, is the goal. Slide shows can be the make or break point of the message. Either they contribute positively or the hinder the message. I want to be inspiration, humane, and vital as I present. this b ...more
Omar Halabieh
Jan 11, 2014 Omar Halabieh rated it really liked it
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
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.
Dec 03, 2015 Aniela rated it it was amazing
Despite the obvious help in reviewing what the reader (who has made a few power point presentations in her/his life) already knows about the tips and tricks of a good presentation, the book brings some unexpected (at least for me) commone sense points that can really make a difference in a good PPT. After reading this book, I will never again start my presentations by opening the PPTs, instead of working in a creative and flexible way on the content and the message I want to convey to the audien ...more
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
Jul 04, 2012 Samuel Titěra rated it really liked it
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
Dec 08, 2009 Jess rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2013 Greg rated it really liked it
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
Sep 17, 2010 Julie rated it really liked it
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
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