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The Modern Art of Presenting: Presentation Reboot

Posted by on March 23rd, 2009 with 1 Comment

Nancy Duarte shows the power of design grids
Last week, I attended “Presentation Reboot” – an event that featured Nancy Duarte (author of Slideology) and Garr Reynolds (author of Presentation Zen). Nancy and Garr are the two leading proponents of a new and quickly growing school of presentation design.
If you don’t own their books, you should buy both immediately.
Nancy discussed her passion for story before having us do an audience analysis and then determining our story arc. Story is the root for most design decisions, in Nancy’s view, and I agree.
Cognitive science show us that the brain loves story. In fact, the brain loves story so much that it will make one up if it doesn’t exist. 
Think about that – if you don’t determine your story, your audience will… and it might not be the story you want!
Garr Reynolds models Presentation Zen
One look at Garr Reynolds’ slide set tells you that he isn’t your usual business presenter. Garr lives and works in Japan and has clearly embraced the aesthetics of the culture.
Having spent 8 years in Japan myself, Garr’s work resonates with me. I’ve read his blog for a few years and loved his book. Seeing him model the principles he preaches energized me and the rest of the audience.
While Garr isn’t an ideologue, he definitely comes from the “Tee-shirt” school of presentation.
The “Tee-shirt” school says that a slide should look like a tee-shirt – one sentence, one picture.
My table mates practice the art of contrast

The folks at the workshop were buzzing from the start and kept buzzing to the end.

We did a number of exercises that allowed us to practice some of the principles that Nancy and Garr covered.
My key takeaways:
  • Any presenter can connect with any audience, if they try (as our exercise showed – yes, even Richard Simmons with Mafia hit men).
  • That slides, like billboards, should be a ‘glance’ media.
  • Slides are slides – not ‘slideuments‘.
  • A grid system will add power and coherence to a presentation.
  • The importance of ‘naked’ presenting – both Garr and Nancy share themselves on the stage, and their presentations are much stronger for that.
  • See more at presentationzen and duarte design.
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  • Anonymous

    Thanks Glenn, it was great to see you!!!!
    Nancy

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