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BusinessWeek: Rethinking the Presentation

Businessweek Earlier this month, BusinessWeek ran a short article called Rethinking the Presentation by columnist and famous communications coach Carmine Gallo. In this article, Carmine features some tips from Presentation Zen as well as tips from Cliff Atkinson and Nancy Duarte. You already know that presentations with slideware today are largely ineffective. But it can be hard to convince your boss, for example, that speaking to slideuments (or docupoints) is a practice that should be tossed. Bad habits and conventional wisdom are hard to overcome. Well, this is a very short article (which means your boss may actually read it), but it comes from a very credible source: BusinessWeek. So print this out (it's one page), highlight the keypoints, and give it to your boss or other key people in your organization than can actually have an impact on the "PowerPoint culture" within your firm (or school, etc.). It's not much ammo, but it's a start (and it's free and easy).

While I'm on the topic of Carmine Gallo, checkout his website (lot's of videos, etc.) and watch his video presentation below on how we can learn a thing or two about presentation from the Grand Master of the keynote, Steve Jobs. I have been pointing to Steve Jobs's keynotes for years now, beginning with this post comparing Jobs with Bill Gates and the Zen aesthetic.

Carmine Gallo on learning from Steve Jobs

Carmine is the author of a really cool book on communication and presentations called Fire Them Up. (Here's a video about the book.)

How to Present Like Steve Jobs (article with tips).



I will give away my little secret here. When it comes to formatting text in a slide, I get ideas from movie posters. I go to the iTunes Theatrical Trailers section and I get inspired by all the movie posters. I mix large and small sizes to emphasise meaning, I colour words in orange or red (or what's appropriate), and I position words and lines so they emphasis a certain meaning. A sentence can consist of two lines, and I right justify them. The last words in each line has a different colour than the rest of the words. You can do a lot with this and play around to convey your message.

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