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Presentation Patterns: Techniques For Crafting Better Presentations

by Neal Ford
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional
  • Publishing date: 20120705
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780321820808
  • ISBN: 0321820800

Synopsis

You spent years in school learning math, language, and writing skills, and you use that training every time you open a spreadsheet or word processor.But you weren't given years of instruction on building and delivering effective presentations, yet they have supplanted spreadsheets and documents in most organizations as the primary communication tool. If you are lucky, you were sent to a 2 day class on PowerPoint and now you're assumed to be an expert presenter. We have bad news for you: you aren't. But we can help. We've presented to diverse audiences for a decade, distilling that experience into pragmatic techniques you can use to make your presentations a smooth, engaging, and informative experience for your audience.

You've read about how presentations are like a state of mind, how color wheels work, and what type of isolated high-resolution stock photos to obtain, but how is that helping you with the marketing presentation due next week? You are holding the answers, derived from thousands of hours of presentations by the authors. This is the first book on presentations that categorizes and organizes the building blocks, which we call patterns, that you'll need to communicate effectively using presentation tools. We show you how to handle a wide variety of presentation types, audiences, constraints, and even surprises. Unlike other books, we show you what not to do (anti-patterns). These are just as important as the positive recommendations; modern presentation tools seduce you to do bad things and we show you how to avoid them.

Why "patterns"? Isn't a pattern the same thing as a recipe? There are two reasons we chose the "pattern" metaphor rather than the more familiar "recipe". First, patterns operate at a lower level than recipes. A recipe has steps, and the steps consist of instructions like "saute" or "peel". Patterns are like the lower-level steps found inside recipes; they are the techniques you must master to be considered a master chef or master presenter. You can use the patterns in this book to construct your own recipes for different contexts such as business meetings, technical demonstrations, scientific expositions and keynotes, just to name a few. Abstracting ideas to the level of patterns allow us to encompass all types of presentations. The second reason we prefer "pattern" to "recipe" is the concept fo anti-pattern: there are no such things as anti-recipes, but we show lots of anti-patterns, things you should avoid doing in presentations. Unfortunately, modern tools encourage ineffective presentation techniques, and we call them out as anti-patterns.

You need to create a presentation that some people are going to watch live but others need to "thumb though" it -- how can you make it effective for both audiences? How do you handle flaky Internet connections during that critical showcase to your customers? How do you construct a narrative arc that sells your idea most effectively? How is the best way to organize your thoughts for the upcoming class presentation? And how do you improve your chances for a good grade on it? How do you deal with graphics mixed with company "floodmarks" on your slides? We answer these questions and many more (including some you didn't know to ask), all with concrete advice, using the same tools you'll use (we illustrate all the examples in both PowerPoint and Keynote). This book is the most object, analytical way to create killer presentations.


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