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Two books offer insights on modern, engaging presentations

Two books offer insights on modern, engaging presentations

"Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations" by Garr Reynolds; New Riders.
I really liked Garr Reynolds' "Presentation Zen," which provided a very smart way of thinking about PowerPoint and other ways that we convey information to persuade, inform and inspire groups and individuals. Unfortunately, we still encounter too many people who didn't get the memo. The presentations and "decks" are dense, wordy, convoluted and soulless.
Reynolds' understanding of the need to establish an emotional connection between the audience and the subject, and not to throw piles of stultifying data and glitzy images at them, was refreshing. But the author - a corporate veteran - has a powerful sense of whimsy and valued creativity in all its manifestations. This new book is a really worthwhile continuation of the "Presentation Zen" theme.
"The Backchannel: How Audiences are Using Twitter and Social Media and Changing Presentations Forever" by Cliff Atkinson; New Riders. If you remember passing notes in class during boring lectures and lessons, you'll easily understand how audiences armed with laptops, BlackBerrys and iPhones now Tweet, post and e-mail back and forth during presentations and events. This poses some extraordinary obstacles, but it also opens up some new opportunities for all involved.
Atkinson, who, like Reynolds, wrote an earlier book on PowerPoint, shows how savvy presenters, hosts and participants can use this crosstalk, chatter and snark to extend and expand their own presentations into full-blown participatory multimedia experiences. Some of the material herein is pretty basic, since it's necessary to establish and define terms, conditions and technologies, but once past that, "The Backchannel" is a very helpful and smart resource.


Updated : 2020-12-02 13:48 GMT+08:00