We’ve been asked by many of our customers for periodic, no-nonsense emails with just-in-time information for managers and knowledge workers on how organizations work. This is our 35th issue and we hope you enjoy it. Past editions are available on our website.
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I have a colleague who is one of the best in our field. When she sends me links or book recommendations, I look at them. Recently, she pointed me to the online presentation that Garr Reynolds did at the Google Author Series. I have been in the presentation business for over 30 years and have gone from using overheads, to slides in a carousel, to PowerPoint.
More than a year ago I was invited to give a presentation that I considered a great honor. I worked on it for over a month. It was pretty much a disaster for a number of reasons, many beyond my control. I took a look at what was in my control in an after-action review. And I learned a lot more of what to do differently as I read these books. Yes, I knew a lot about the topic but I did not edit myself. I threw everything I could at those poor people for 90 minutes. I had PowerPoint slides with bullet points. I had one picture in 40 slides. I gave the slides as handouts. My mistakes go on and on and gave me the burning platform to look for new ways of presenting complex information.
Enter Garr and Nancy and these books. Now I know what to do differently. I really wanted to help those folks but I didn't follow the cardinal rule of simplicity, clarity and brevity. These books have made me relook at all of my presentations. Here is the key question on page 61 of Presentation Zen:
"What is my absolutely central point?"
Buy these books and read them. That's my point. They both explain it better than I ever could. And if you don't want to commit to that, at least go look at Garr's talk.
So lessons learned:
I'm editing myself.
I opened an account at istockphoto.com and have started to build a library of images that fit my content.
I've visited Nancy's website, www.slideology.com and downloaded the summary PowerPoints that support the book and I'm using them.
While I'm still in learning curve mode and can't tell you about any different results yet, consider a success story think like Al Gore. He used Nancy's firm to update his climate change slide carousel from the seventies and look at the results: Academy Award and Noble Peace Prize. Not bad for a guy described as "wooden" before. Communicating to each other is how we change the world, one person, one conversation, one presentation at a time. I know I can do better.