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December 31, 2011


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Robert Hacker

This post on Frank Gehry"s style makes the same point, that design is as much about what one takes out. http://bit.ly/rqEWqI

John Zimmer

Great post, Garr. This is a theme which, although often repeated, cannot be overstated.

I tell my clients that they should approach their presentations the way in which Michelangelo approached the block of marble that would become "David". Yes, he brought vision and talent to the project, but what did he add to the marble? Nothing. It's what he removed that made it the masterpiece that it is.

Public speakers need to be masters of extraction. Thank you for being a consistent and compelling proponent of this approach.

All the best to you and your family for 2012.

John Zimmer

Mike Sporer

The "less is better" mentality is a difficult theme for many people to grasp. But it applies well to presentations.

Marc Siegel

Part of the challenge that people face, in some environments, is the notion that slide decks have become 'proof of work'. In other words, the technology has become the primary object of the presentation, rather than the content of the discussion. In my view, that needs to be reversed.

Fred E. Miller

Thanks for the reminders, Garr.

My best editing on slides and writing is done by making everything Simpler:
Simpler to look at.
Simpler to read.
Simpler to understand.

Thanks for your wisdom and leadership in this field!


Love your work, Garr. My copy of Presentation Zen is my first stop when I'm helping faculty make better use of slideware in their teaching.

Several of the same floated through my mind recently when we offered a Prezi workshop at our university. After spending nearly three hours helping faculty and staff get to know this "PowerPoint alternative," I left feeling that despite the glitz, Prezi tends to lead to more of the same. I captured my thoughts here: http://bit.ly/v1bszi

--Matt Roberts (@mmcr)

Craig Hadden - remotepossibilities.wordpress.com

Good to see you posting again after a break!

You asked "How can you remove the distractions?" To do that, I use an approach called the FiRST framework, and the F in FiRST stands for "Focus attention". A key part of that is to minimse "blur" or noise on each slide. It includes tips like these:

• How to reliably tell whether any slide has too much content (by using a check you can do in just a few seconds)
• 2 quick ways to round numbers in Excel (so your slides say things like “$1.2 million”, not “$1,182,947”)

For an overview, see http://remotepossibilities.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/5-ways-to-be-a-top-presenter/ and for details, see http://remotepossibilities.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/minimise-blur-firstframework-part-1m/.


"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." -Leonardo da Vinci

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