Links of the Week: 2013.15


The first great article I stumbled across this week inspired me to get reading!  I have a short break between my summer graduate class and my fall graduate class, so what better time to read for fun?  Nick Morgan and the folks at Public Words compiled the “5 Quick, Good Summer Reads” including a few presentation books on my must-read list.  The communication pros recommend Jeremy Donovan’s How To Deliver a TED Talk; Susan de la Vergne’s Engineers On Stage: Presentation Skills for Technical Professionals; Terri Sjodin’s Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect; Raynor and Ahmed’s The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think; as well as Robertson and Breen’s Brick by Brick: How Lego Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry.  Read the Public Words summary and buy each book here.

Have you read any of these books?  Which would you recommend?  Would you add anything to my growing must-read list?


When I’m not reading, I do spend quite a bit of time building new lessons (and new slides) or tweaking old lessons (and old slides).  When I stumbled across Carmine Gallo’s “PowerPoint: The Extreme Makeover Edition” showing some before and after slides, I thought the article perfect for my class.  Gallo makes the case for audience-centered presentation design: “The problem with today’s typical business presentation is NOT PowerPoint. The storyteller is the problem, the presenter who creates wordy, text-heavy slides” Source.  Gallo spends the article praising the Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen approach and shows actual before and after slides from the Empowered Presentations team.

Gallo fends off protestors:

“I know what you’re thinking: By putting each “bullet” or idea on a separate slide, it adds more slides to my deck and takes me longer to get through. Think about it this way. It takes as much time to deliver several slides with one idea on each as it would to deliver multiple bullet points on one slide. Stick to one idea or key statistic per slide” (Source).

But what I don’t understand is how people today still protest!  Why would a presenter resist this idea of effective presentation design geared toward audience engagement and retention?  I actually hear – on a frequent basis – people argue that bullet-riddled slides are EFFECTIVE.  Now I understand that not all people want to join the presentation revolution, but to argue for ineffective slides always boggles my mind.  There isn’t actually a case to be made for documents posing as slides.  I’m currently working on a blog post about this resistance, so check back next week to hear my thoughts on the state of presentation design today.  Why do YOU think so many people resist effective, audience-centered presentation design?

Our third and final “Link of the Week” comes from the folks at Inter-active Presenting and Influencing and is called – quite simply – “How to make a good PowerPoint presentation.”  If you’re turned on to the Presentation Zen approach, how do you actually create effective slides?  The article lists a few steps we can all follow during the presentation development and design stages: 1) Don’t start in PowerPoint, 2) Don’t use bullet points, and 3) Don’t put multiple ideas on one slide.  You don’t have to be Garr Reynolds or Cory Jim at Empowered Presentations to follow these steps and to create a more audience-centered slideshow!  What were your first steps to creating more effective slides?


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