Summer presentations
Silicon Valley: Three days, three presentations

India: future now

India_slide When I was in college (a billion years ago) I saw the film Gandhi about 5-6 times, perhaps more (I was a poor student but it was only $1 on campus). I was inspired by the story and the sights and sounds of India. (Partly because of the film, and my growing interest in the East in general at that time, I changed my major to philosophy so that I could study more deeply the history of the region and the philosophies of Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism in China, etc. This is when I first encountered Zen. Zen has its origins in India, but developed in China, and then finally made its way to Japan where it took root and is really at the heart of Japanese culture.) But although I have long been fascinated with India — its dynamic culture, long history, its food, people, languages, etc.—I am rather ashamed to say I have not yet visited the country. As I said before, it looks like I should be in India in the latter half of August for some presentations. I hope it's just the start of many trips to India.

Nancy Duarte on the future of presentation design
Nancy_duarte_3 And speaking of India, in this presentation that Nancy Duarte gave at the last PowerPoint Live she talks quite a bit about her recent trip to India with a group of American female executives. A life-changing experience for her she told me. I think you'll enjoy this presentation. The visuals were designed to augment her live talk. The narration and visuals work online, but if you could see Nancy as well it would be even better. The lucky people who attended the conference got to experience both Nancy's charm and engaging narrative along with the visuals that augmented her talk. Below you can see part one of Nancy's talk.

Go here to see the rest of Nancy's presentation

Slideshare's India connection
Slideshare is based in Mountain View (where I'll be for a few days) and they also have an office in New Delhi. Checkout these pics below from Slideshare's CEO Rashmi Sinha. Rashmi took these during a recent Slideshare team retreat.

Checkout the Slideshare blog too—you'll see a guest post there on the issue of empty space and slide design I wrote last week. Bert Decker will have a guest post next.


Betsy Hansel

If you like scenes of India, I recommend this video by some young people from Ahmedabad.



Garr. When when when are you coming here? Please do let us know your itinerary well before so that we can schedule to see you live and hear you speak (I really hope it's not one of those events in which only the top people are invited!)

Ludwig Schubert

[this is actually a comment on the Slideshare guest post]

Garr, thank you for the inspiration! Most of the slides are truly beautiful, which can't be said of many Powerpoint Decks.

I have two questions about your slides.

The freshwater slides are very powerful visuals.
But if I showed them to my colleagues they'd laugh at me and tell me 0.90*0.90 equals 0.81.
I don't think that's important for the message (and, since these are probably rough estimates it doesn't matter anyway), but it made me wince. Would you recommend to leave the figure at 80% and just say "roughly 80%" or something?

Slide #42 looks kinda cluttered on Slideshare.
The arrows' heads seem to be of different sizes and one looks distorted. What do those boxes add? Please forgive me if I'm petty-minded, but the slide stands in contrast to what you are saying about visual clutter, imho.
I guess it was animated when used live, so that not all elements were visible at the same time?

I love the Slideshare slides, though! Thank you for giving them away for free - I bought your book, and I'm very happy about all the examples you give us. The concepts of clear design are so well demonstrated by good examples – thanks again!


Hi Garr,

I've been following your blog for some time as in I my "day job" I am an English teacher to business people who have a curious obsession with bullet point loaded powerpoints (actually that's not quite fair as they rely on the slides to distract from their English).

Anyway I just wanted to ask how far Zen penetrates Japanese society? I see from this blog the influence on art, design, architecture etc but is it also there in more mundane areas or indeed in manga, pornography, food packaging, politics or whatever


Hi Garr!!

Would be great if you can leave a msg/blogpost in advance about the time of your visit to India.

I am a regular reader of your blog for the last 2+ years, and would love to have a chance to attend your presentation! :)


Ranjan Gupta

Hi Garr !

You've been a great inspiration to me in improving my presentations and I've been following your blog since past several months.

I run a company located in Delhi. Let me know if you need any assistance in planning your trip to India. I'd be delighted to help. Just to let you know, I've a background of spiritual seeking...I started with the classical vedanta philosophy, but have now grown into more of a"zen like" state :-)Guess thats why your blog resonated so well with me.


Garr/ just keep an eye open for the signages when you are in india..they keep changing with culture, place and language...especially the shop signages...local customs influence the design,layout,fonts & notice this you would need to travel to interior india..not just city tours...


Do keep us informed of your itinerary in India. Hopefully you'll be coming to either Bangalore or Chennai, in which case I'd be able to attend one of your sessions.


I just came across the book Presentation Zen this past weekend at my local library and thought fantastic! Jumped over to here and thought wow, again. Huge source of info. thanks for letting me vent and kind of go off topic. All of this is needed and great. I'll continue reading..:)


It's great to know that you are coming to India!
But if you want to travel different parts of India, October to February is the right time.

Ally S

I'm getting to this really late, I know - but I just watched Nancy Duarte's keynote speech and was really disappointed. I'm a follower of hers and was a fan. But if anyone ever wanted to know how to talk themselves out of a job, this is a great lesson.

She sounded completely behind the times - the tone was very 'these kids are putting pressure on us to innovate, how dare they'. That's my humble opinion anyway. She didn't sound like she wanted to change, she sounded like she was *having* to, in order to make a living.

After seeing this, I wouldn't hire Duarte, I would hire one of the 'kids' she's so scared of. Having said that, it was a lovely presentation - and well delivered (minus the slight quaver in her voice at times, but I agree - it would have been good to see the whole video, rather than slides + voice)

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