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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Presentation Zen - Review
Presentation Zen is a MUST-READ book for any teacher, presenter, or preacher.

I cannot convey the frustrations I’ve had sitting through countless lectures, workshops, or sermons where the presentation slides have been slowly killing my mind and my soul. Thank God for Garr Reynolds, one of the best evangelists for presentation design and delivery. I love...
Published on June 10 2008 by Yu Ling Lee

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2.0 out of 5 stars Life's too short
I bought this book, started reading it, and then promptly returned it. Reynolds presents some good, simple ideas, but he takes far too long to do so. His long-windedness and writing were too hard to take. I also found his riff on zen annoyingly pompous. If all he means is simple, he should say just that. As it is, he says simple and then goes on about zen. This is...
Published on May 22 2010 by Fiona Miller


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Presentation Zen - Review, June 10 2008
By 
Yu Ling Lee (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
Presentation Zen is a MUST-READ book for any teacher, presenter, or preacher.

I cannot convey the frustrations I’ve had sitting through countless lectures, workshops, or sermons where the presentation slides have been slowly killing my mind and my soul. Thank God for Garr Reynolds, one of the best evangelists for presentation design and delivery. I love his heart for all things design, presentation, and art related.

I devoured this book in a few hours (it’s quite simple… but not simplistic). Very practical steps on how to prepare, design, deliver, and take the next steps for your development in presentation design and delivery. This book is also (probably) the ONLY book that the foreword was written in SLIDE format (done by Guy Kawasaki).

If you don’t want to get the book, check out Reynolds blog: P[...]

For an idea of the presentation design offered by Reynolds, check out the following video (part of the google talks series): [...]
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Replace Bullet Points with Dental Posters That Evoke Positive Feelings, Tell Stories, and Be Mentally Present, Oct. 21 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
Long before there was PowerPoint, most presentations contained more columns of numbers and bullet points than pictures. PowerPoint seemed designed to capture the essence of those transparencies and make it faster to create them . . . while adding color. Compared to those ugly transparencies, PowerPoint seemed like an improvement.

By comparison, my dentist has always covered his walls with beautiful bleed images of gorgeous places combined with intriguing sayings about life. Those posters are the only uplifting thing about my trips to the dentist's office. He doesn't tell me any entertaining stories.

In presentationzen, Garr Reynolds shares with us that today's audiences like a standard PowerPoint presentation about as much as I like going to the dentist (I doubt if you are surprised by that). His prescription is to turn the typical presentation into a series of stories aided by exhibits that remind me of those dental posters while being very responsive (present . . . in his terminology) to the audience.

The book's main strength, and one that makes it well worth reading and following, is in describing a process that can be used to create a presentation that will be compelling. Even when I see a presentation that I like, I don't learn much from the example because the presenter doesn't share the process behind the result.

The examples almost all showed someone in a black turtle neck, black pants, and black shoes who looked like a Steve Jobs acolyte. As a result, there's an Apple versus Microsoft tone to the book that didn't match any environment where I ever see or give presentations (usually board rooms and senior corporate conference rooms).

Most presentations should be much shorter, should have a lot less material, and should be much easier to grasp. This book will help you if that's the way you want to go. Beware, however, that you don't go over the edge into becoming an "artiste" in your presentations. This book will probably push you a little too far in that direction.

For those who cannot imagine how an image might fit into a presentation, this book will be a great breath of fresh air. To those who want to copy the advice closely, keep your audience in mind. You might try to take them places where they don't want to go.

In my 30-plus years of presentation experience, I find that the story is the key to success. One good story will more than carry the day. You can draw on a chalk board with your fingernails for graphics and a good story will still work just fine. To me, the weakness of this book is that it doesn't pay enough to the story telling aspect of successful presentations.

I recommend Stephen Denning's books on story telling to help you with that aspect of presentations.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not appropriate for content-driven presentations, Nov. 22 2011
By 
M. Lund "Mellbell 416" (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
I have to say that I was sorely disappointed with this book. It's all about making glossy, simplistic presentation slides. That's it. That might be fine when you are marketing some product using emotional appeals, but when you are trying to convey real ideas with some complexity, it's totally useless. There's an example at the end of the book where a biology teacher uses this 'Zen' approach to teach concepts to university students. Each of his slides comprises of a couple of words and a glossy picture of a molecule - I felt SO sorry for his students! People learn concepts in different ways - some learn through hearing someone explain something, and others learn through seeing something written down, and to assume that everyone will 'get' it by hearing someone ramble on while pointing to these useless slides is just silly.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Life's too short, May 22 2010
By 
Fiona Miller (Toronto) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
I bought this book, started reading it, and then promptly returned it. Reynolds presents some good, simple ideas, but he takes far too long to do so. His long-windedness and writing were too hard to take. I also found his riff on zen annoyingly pompous. If all he means is simple, he should say just that. As it is, he says simple and then goes on about zen. This is his typical approach, one that expands his text to at least twice its needed length. To pretend he's some sort of zen master and have his reader wade through fuzzy explanations of his ideas causes the sort of "suffering" he says his books aims to minimize.

If you've discovered that life is too short for long-winded books and are looking for a straightforward, no muss, no fuss guide to presentations, one that is well written and well designed, (apart, perhaps, from the cover, which I find much less attractive than any of the layouts inside the book) and gives lots of examples so that you can see exactly what the author means and why it makes sense, try Robin Williams' The Non-Designer's Presentation book. It's not only better; it's also cheaper. The Non-Designer's Presentation Book
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Helpful but a little pedestrian, Feb. 17 2009
By 
Alec Melkonian (Toronto, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
I found this to be a helpful head shake to remind to keep things simple but like most "advice" oriented books it had a few simple messages that got drawn out a little too long.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it set out to do, Dec 17 2009
By 
nomad777 (Windsor, Ontario) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
Being in my last year of university, I began to notice the importance of effective communication and how it has helped me succeed over other students... but my power points always seemed to lack a certain something.

After reading this book, my whole view on power points has changed and I find myself throwing slides together with ease for my last few school projects (and my business on the side) with the intended result of having an engaged audience realized in every setting.

Highly recommended if you think you will be using power points on a frequent basis.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for presenters and designers, April 25 2009
By 
Dobes Vandermeer "Software Engineer, Enlighte... (Vancouver, BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
If you need to do presentations as part of your work, this is an excellent book on creating presentations.

Many people have the misconception that presentations are about giving a bunch of information to people for their use. However, studies have shown time and time again that most people really remember very little from a presentation.

So - what ARE presentations about? They are about persuasion, discussion, and transmitting ideas.

You will definitely have a new perspective on the art of giving presentations after reading this book.

Note: if you don't plan to give any presentations, you may want to avoid this - your new perspective will make most presentations you watch afterwards seem like a big waste of time!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A new way to present, March 24 2009
By 
Francois Lavallee "Aliter Man" (L'Assomption, Quebec Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Paperback)
This is simply a must for all who prepare presentation. Easy to read and to understand this book is a wonderful experience, an enlightening experience. The concepts are adaptable instantly to your presentations. You will be shocked to discover that your current presentations are not very good. But the book is the way to improve them....FAST ! Comments from participants will corroborate this !
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