Visual Storytelling - T. Benjamin Larsen's Blog

Presenting Presentation

Repeating myself

This post is a straight follow up to my last one. After writing Setting the Mood the subject has lingered with me. Looking through my bookshelf I couldn't help but being struck by the difference in presentation from one book to another. I was particularly taken by the difference between Cliff Atkinson's Beyond Bullet Points and Garr Reynolds' Presentation Zen.

Both books tackle PowerPoint/slideware Presentations and set forth to make the reader a better, more efficient presenter. I've praised Presentation Zen earlier, so I won't go any further than saying buy it this time. As for Beyond Bullet Points it really is rather good, giving a clear and concise recipe of how to make your presentations more accessible to the audience. (And as you've probably guessed, how to get rid of those dreadful bullet points). Perhaps a tad on the technical side at times and limited to one particular method it is still more than worthy of purchase. I am sure it would be very helpful to a lot of people who want to improve their presentation skills, but don't know how.

Judging two books by their covers

Where the book really fails however is in its presentation. This is bad for any book but could be disastrous for a book about presentations. How many people have seen that cover and decided that whoever's behind it clearly don't know anything about presentations. The book has done very well, despite this shortcoming though. (Mostly due to strong word-of-mouth I believe).

Imagine coming into the bookstore looking for a book on presentations. Just look at those two covers, which book would you choose? I don't think they even compete in the same division...