Zen and the Art of Presentations

Once again, trainers willing to spend a little time with online resources run the risk of being completely entranced—this time through Garr Reynolds’ blog on issues related to professional presentation design, Presentation Zen.
Reynolds, according to an online bio, is currently Associate Professor of Management at Kansai Gaidai University in Japan; served as Manager of Worldside User Group Relations at Apple, Inc, in Cupertino here in California’s Silicon Valley; and worked as a corporate trainer for Sumitomo Electric Industries in Osaka during the 1990s. What he offers on his Presentation Zen and Garr Reynolds sites is a godsend for trainers and all others interested in improving their presentation skills.
The blog postings at Presentation Zen work both as articles to be read and as a source of visual inspiration —striking imagery with a minimal amount of text—which live up to Reynold’s philosophy as expressed in an online interview: “restraint, simplicity, and a natural approach to presentations.”
For those who want nothing more than a good resource list, he has a list of recommended books running down the right side of the blog site. If the three I have already read—Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind; Cliff Atkinson’s Beyond Bullet Points; and Chip and Dan Heath’s Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die—reflect the quality of the others, we all have a lot of reading to do.
Trainers in search of basic reminders have not been forgotten. The Garr Reynolds website includes a page of well crafted “Organization & Preparation Tips.” His “Top Ten Delivery Tips” includes a pointer on how to blank out a presentation screen long enough to move an audience’s attention from PowerPoint slides to presenters who want to deviate from what they had prepared (press the “B” key on the keyboard; pressing the same key a second time should bring the presentation back). His “Top Ten Slide Tips” offers ideas including how to use the PowerPoint Slide Sorter function so trainers can simultaneously view a sequence of slides in their presentations to be sure there are no jarring juxtapositions. (This is one of the “View” options in PowerPoint.)
If it remains true that a picture is worth a thousand words, the samples on Reynolds’ site and Presentation Zen should provide the equivalent of a visual tsunami.
(Thanks to Peter Bromberg, who drew attention to Presentation Zen in his recent Library Garden posting.)