July 19, 2008

Book Short: Stick Figures That Matter

Book Short: Stick Figures That Matter I have read a bunch of books lately to try to improve my presentation skills. The latest one, The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, by Dan Roam, was good, and quite different from some of the others I’ve read recently like Presentation Zen and Beyond Bullet Points, both of which are much more focused on effective use of Powerpoint. The Back of the Napkin takes a different approach. The focus is much more on creating compelling visuals. It’s not about Powerpoint so much as it is about teaching how to crystallize concepts into tight and compelling schematics. Roam creates two pretty good frameworks for thinking about this: one that breaks down the message of a given slide into its most simple element — are you describing a who (use a portrait), what (chart), when (timeline), where (map), why (plot), or how (flowchart)? And a second that takes that element and asks five questions about the best way to convey the information — simple vs. elaborate, quality vs. quantity, vision vs. execution, individual vs. comparison, or change state vs. as-is. Both frameworks are good, and if you’re already doing […]

March 24, 2005

From Blog to Book – Beyond Bullets

From Blog to Book – Beyond Bullets Hats off to fellow blogger Cliff Atkinson, who has just published a book called Beyond Bullet Points.  Cliff and his company, Sociable Media, consult on PowerPoint and presentations and have a great theory about how to do great presentations. They follow the “clear, simple, and please God not so boring” guidelines espoused by a number of us in the business world, including Brad and of course Seth.  (BTW, if you haven’t read Seth’s e-book/treatise on Really Bad PowerPoint, you should do that as well, although I can’t find a link to it at […]