Non-fiction professional reading but I believe very relevant to our daily work in the school library- visual design. Two books that I found very strong reading in my pursuit to strengthen my design skills yet also be valuable to my peers: Presentation Zen and Resonate. The antidote for ‘death by Powerpoint’. The true outcome however has been far more rewarding- in an way, zen-like.
“…You will never look at a blank whiteboard, Keynote slide, sticky notes or pinboards ever again.”
If you can’t draw to save your soul but can dress to kill, then these two books will strengthen you and your colleagues visual literacy.
Not only do we teach students directly but we often instruct or model our peers, the teachers. I’ve began I quiet revolution a number of years ago to improve the visual communication and even the physical environment in our school. I can see the impact around me but it is very exciting to witness a student you zen coached teach another student how to use ‘presentation zen’ -it’s not a book but a idiom or metaphor for construction and creation. Powerpoints, Dragon’s Den, Grad Portfolios, or any display.
What do we see? How do we read? What is the message? Is that an optimal graphic? These are all inquiries into meaning.
A) Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds
Garr Reynolds is am articulate writer with superior illustration who delivers a message that transcends Powerpoint or Keynote and can influence every delivery or lesson plan for the better. I’d select this as a text book if I was teaching info tech, entrepreneurship, marketing, edtech, web design, media arts,… heck, I’m a convert- let’s face it! Check out http://www.presentationzen.com and his blog. Paperback or Kindle editions.
B) Resonate, by Nancy Duarte.
Another fascinating if maybe technical book. I first heard about Duarte when I read Slide:ology but when Reynolds blogged her second book had to bite. I particularly found her ‘Sparkline’ concept within storyboards powerful. By integrates techniques normally reserved for cinema and literature, Resonate reveals how to transform any presentation into an engaging journey. You will discover how to understand your audience, create persuasive content, and elicit a groundswell response.
Presentation Tips from Resonate
Create a moment where you dramatically drive the big idea home by intentionally placing Something They’ll Always Remember—a S.T.A.R. moment—in each presentation. This moment should be so profound or so dramatic that it becomes what the audience chats about at the water cooler or appears as the headline of a news article. Planting a S.T.A.R. moment in a presentation keeps the conversation going even after it’s over and helps the message go viral.
Since you might be presenting to an audience that sees lots of presentations—like a venture capitalist or a customer who is reviewing several vendors—you want to stand out two weeks after you presented, when they’re making their final decision. You want them to remember YOU instead of all the other presenters they encountered.
The S.T.A.R. moment should be a significant, sincere, and enlightening moment during the presentation that helps magnify your big idea—not distract from it.
There are five types of S.T.A.R. moments:
• Memorable Dramatization: Small dramatizations convey insights. They can be as simple as a prop or demo, or something more dramatic, like a reenactment or skit.
• Repeatable Sound Bites: Small, repeatable sound bites help feed the press with headlines, populate and energize social media channels with insights, and give employees a rally cry.
• Evocative Visuals: A picture really is worth a thousand words—and a thousand emotions. A compelling image can become an unforgettable emotional link to your information.
• Emotive Storytelling: Stories package information in a way that people remember. Attaching a great story to the big idea makes it easily repeatable beyond the presentation.
• Shocking Statistics: If statistics are shocking, don’t gloss over them; draw attention to them.
The S.T.A.R. moment shouldn’t be kitschy or cliché. Make sure it’s worthwhile and appropriate, or it could end up coming off like a really bad summer camp skit. Know your audience and determine what will resonate best with them. Don’t create something that’s overly emotionally charged for an audience of biochemists.
S.T.A.R. moments create a hook in the audience’s minds and hearts. They tend to be visual in nature and give the audience insights that supplement solely auditory information.
Garr Reynolds- Google Authors