My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are over four thousand reviews of this book on Goodreads, so it is unlikely that I can say anything fresh about the content and style of this superb book, so I am not about to try. I’ll just tell you a little story of how it helped me at a most opportune time.
I have been presenting and instructing for well over three decades, and I am still learning something new every day. We should all be open to that and never believe that we hae actually arrived at the perfect state. Strive for perfection.
I got a lot out of this book. I read it on a plane from England to my company HQ in Florida. I was due to co-deliver a two-week induction class for new joiner technical staff from all over the world. As you can imagine, we had put a lot of effort into the planning and preparation for the ten days of intense instruction.
Despite the experience of the new people, I have always felt that everyone could do with a few tips and hints on good communication, public speaking and, in particular, delivering powerful presentations and demonstrations to our customers. So I had two hours dedicated to these topics.
I mostly knew what I was going to do with the two hours, but reading Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery inspired me to change my content and delivery.
I was able to use the three main guiding principles of the book:
restraint, simplicity and naturalness, to construct a session to illustrate the power of those three guiding principles to the participants on my course.
I went analogue! I minimalised! I told my story!
This book really helped me to do that.
Was I rewarded?
Yes, I was.
At the end of the course, all of the participants were assessed on a presentation and demo which they had to prepare during the two weeks. My presentation on good communication came on day one, shortly followed by the assigning of course assignments.
All of my students used the guiding principles of Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery to great effect. It was a joy to watch!
Thank you very much Garr Reynolds.