The Zen of Presentations: Guy Kawasaki, Garr Reynolds, & The Health Brothers

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 12-23-08

Guy Kawasaki’s new book “Reality Check” has many brilliant, thought provoking, and important ideas to share. One of those ideas is from Garr Reynolds and it is called the Zen of Presentations. Presentation Zen “is about restraint, simplicity, and a natural approach to presentations that is appropriate for an age in which design thinking, story-telling, and right brain thinking are crucial complements to analysis, logic, and argument.

Reynolds goes on to identify PowerPoint as a crutch rather than a tool for presentations. My feeling is that powerpoint hinders the speakers ability to connect with the audience if used incorrectly; unfortunately the majority use it incorrectly.

The following from Marty Neumeier sums up my feelings quite well:

“PowerPoint has become a full-blown epidemic. Tragically, the victims are company values such as collaboration, innovation, passion, vision, and clarity. If you want smart buy-in, give PowerPoint a rest. Substitute more engaging techniques such as stories, demonstrations, drawings, prototypes, and brainstorming exercises. If a business is a decision factory, then the presentations that inform those decisions determine their quality: garbage in, garbage out.”

What makes a good presentation stick? According to the Health brothers, Chip and Dan, in their book “Made to Stick” sticky aka memorable messages share 6 common attributes:

1. Simplicity

2. Unexpectedness

3. Concreteness

4. Credibility

5. Emotions

6. Stories

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One thought on “The Zen of Presentations: Guy Kawasaki, Garr Reynolds, & The Health Brothers

  1. PresentationZen is a good book as is Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson.

    These two books helped me to learn how to create powerpoint presentations that tell a story. I found that I need fewer notes and that I actually learn more myslef this way.

    Powerpoint presentations with endless details and presenters that do nothing more than recite what is on the screen have been linked to more suicides than the subprime meltdown.

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