You Probably Suck at Presentations [Link]

August 27, 2014 by Gabe | [mmd] | ℳ↫

It's ok. I've rarely seen anyone not suck at presentations. Communication is hard enough. Communication with a finite time limit, topic and goal is incredibly hard. Doing it with style and grace feels impossible.

David Sparks has style, grace and a way with eBooks. His latest Field Guide is all about preparing and giving the best presentation possible.

I've given hundreds and maybe even thousands of presentations. I like to think I have my tricks. But explaining them to someone else feels like explaining the color red. David's eBook starts strong with some basic principles and builds to a full master class on getting yourself together for a professional presentation. Along the way, most people will learn to create adult presentations with one of the best tools on the market, Keynote.

The book has a logical progression and the table of contents is carefully structured to make moving between topics easy.

He's sweated every detail in this enhanced eBook. There aren't just links to apps, there are showcases. The app links are there but with style. He also goes out of his way to include links to the publisher's site. In one section, David describes his secret weapons for making interactive timelines and includes plenty of detail about the apps he uses.

Just look at the design throughout this book. This is an interactive eBook with almost every page providing either high resolution images, videos or slideshows. He brings it all together in a design as impeccable as a book about presentations must be.

The videos are well paced and targeted. It's not a collection of video tutorials floating between text pointless text. The videos are appropriate and specific and supplement the text. The slideshows allow David to incorporate additional screenshots that might not be crucial, but are instead a bit of extra help if you need it.

I really love how the book flows. The text is positioned appropriately around the supplemental images. There's no flipping back and forth trying to look at an image explained on a different page.

I'm sure you pride yourself on your "method". Hubris doesn't present well though. There are always some new things to learn about the black art of making and giving presentations. David does a great job of sharing his ideas and tricks. He's a true professional and it's clear that presentations are his strong suit (along with making eBooks).

If you are planning on looking for a job in nine months, now is the time to start reading this book. You have your entire future depending on the presentations you will give. $10 is a pretty small price to pay for advice from a professional showman like David Sparks. It's also one of the best resources you'll find about using Keynote effectively.