Jan 12 2011

Presentation Zen

Garr Reynolds is the acknowledged master in the world of presentation design and delivery.

Garr is the Professor on Management at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan, and the author of the book, Presentation Zen, which is based on his blog of the same name. He writes about how one can best connect with an audience, and deliver a message that sticks.

He has recently released his third book, ‘The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides’. I downloaded this on my Kindle for iPad today, and am looking forward to reading it. (Although the design of the original Presentation Zen book is beautiful – it is a pity not to get it in hardcopy)

In 2008 Garr delivered a talk to the Google staff which summarised many of his principles, and you can view this in full here

His key points :
Preparation – 
Three words to keep in mind – Simplicity, clarity, brevity.
‘Start with the Beginner’s Mind’ by  looking at things from the point of view of your audience. 
‘Plan Analog’ – plan your talk away from your computer, on paper.
What is your absolutely central point? Why does it matter.
“If the audience could remember only one thing (and you’ll be lucky if they do), what do you want it to be?”
Remember that you are crafting a story – Keep things simple, using examples and stories. A presentation is never just about the facts.

People cannot read a slide and listen to you at the same time. 
If your slides consist of bullet points with everything you are going to say, people will not listen to you. (they can read faster than you can speak).
The purpose of a slide is to enhance, but not replicate, your narrative. If used, slides should consist of strong visual images.
Presenters too often use their slides for two functions that are better fulfilled by other means – they use them as speakers notes, and to be handouts or lecture notes. (”I know you can’t read this slide, but…..“)It is better to have written notes to prompt you to remember the flow of your talk, and to prepare separate handouts containing detailed information that you want people to know, (or provide a web link). 

Be completely present – Presentation requires your full presence at that time and place.
You need solid content and logical structure, but you also have to make a connection with the audience.
We all end up sitting through a lot of long talks, (at least with smart phones we can check our emails) As Guy Kawasaki writes in the forward  to Presentation Zen, we all want to see presentations that are short, simple, legible and engaging. I think it would be good if more people were exposed to the ideas of Garr Reynolds.

What I Learnt On 12th January in other years

12th January 2016 I found this humerus…

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