Greetings from the sunny Oregon Coast, which for me is “the other side” of the Pacific Ocean. This part of the world has always been an inspiration for me. I’ve been to many parts of the globe, but the breathtaking, unspoiled nature, and awe-inspiring seascapes found here at the end of the Lewis & Clark trail never fail to remind me of what’s really important in life. Here I am reminded that life is not always about “extraordinary accomplishments” but is instead just as much about finding the extraordinary in the simple and ordinary which we often never see because we fail to slow down. I live in the middle of a metro area of 20 million people on the other side of “the other side” of the Pacific in Osaka. Alone time can be hard to find in Japan. Walking alone on the beaches or hiking in the lush forests here one can find clarity, perspective....and meaning.
Alone time on the Oregon Coast (pic snapped via remote control).
“In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone."
— Rollo May
The Oregon Coast is the appropriate place, then, to announce to you that Peachpit Press will be publishing my first book on the topic of presentations. The name of the book is Presentation Zen (we’re still working on the subtitle) and it’s due out in late fall of this year. Several very cool publishers had approached me about writing a book related to the content found in the Presentation Zen blog. I submitted proposals to two and in the end went with Peachpit. I’ve been a loyal reader of many of the Peachpit offerings and just had a really good feeling about them. I’m the author of the book and I am also responsible for all layout and design. The schedule is amazingly tight, so this summer I am spending all my energy on the book, including chronic episodes of self-loathing, doubt, and procrastination. But from what I hear from my friends who have published best-selling books, self-loathing, doubt, and procrastination are quite common among professional authors.
“A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
— Thomas Mann
Sunset at 9:05 pm in Cannon Beach.
Great, another book on presentations
Does the world really need yet another book on presentations? There are indeed some good books on presentations out there, but I still think the genre is underserved. Presentation Zen is in full color with many, many visuals and sample slides. The presentation of the book is as important as the content. The book is meant to be a complement to the books that are already in print. It is not a “how to use PowerPoint” book (there are many) nor does the book prescribe a method, a method to be followed A to Z. Instead, Presentation Zen discusses approaches to presentations, approaches that are creative, simple, and highly visual with many real world examples. Just as there are many paths to enlightenment, there are indeed many ways to prepare and design a successful presentation. But regardless of techniques or style or software applications and so on, there are common communication and design principles that insanely great presentations share (simplicity is one of those tenets). There are a billion ways to present poorly, but if we look below the surface we see that good presentations have much in common. The book, like the blog, will look at some of those common principles.
Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach...always an inspiration.
You can be a part of it
I need your help. While much of the writing is done, there is still time and room for me to incorporate some of your thoughts, insights, and examples. If you’d like to share your experiences please send me a note. If the material in the blog has been helpful at all for you I’d love to hear how. What specific posts have been most useful (or useless) to you on the PZ blog? What success (or failure) stories do you have in applying the “PZ approach” in your work? Do you have any slides (good or bad) that you can share? Your stories are important to me and I’d like to share them with a wider audience. I will not reprint your name or material in the book or use a slide, etc. without first confirming permission with you. Even if you want to remain anonymous I’d love to hear from you. I read every email I get from the blog and appreciate them greatly (and have learned a lot from them). Look forward to hearing from you.
Writing a book is like having homework every minute of the day
If you are interested in writing a book, listen to what my favorite comedian Lewis Black says (YouTube video) about his experience writing a book in his speech at a book signing event.
I’m off to Silicon Valley now to visit buddies at Apple, Duarte Design, etc. and then to Hawaii alone to work on the book 24/7. There will not be many blog posts until September, but once the book is done I will continue “giving it away” and blogging as usual (I have a ton of topics in the drafts folder). From time to time I’ll post on the progress of the book, etc. Thanks to everyone who stops by Presentations Zen...I appreciate it very much (Domo arigatou gozaimasu!).