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Presentation Zen

Kunvuth MonyKanchna / Khmer Times Share:

I am one of those people who have ridiculously short attention span; I am not a very bright student, cannot tolerate prolonged details, and usually develop unhealthy relationship with authorities. It made me incredibly insecure and tried so desperately to change my attitude. Then I came across the simple ways of Zen meditation and a genius man named Steve Jobs – that was when I stopped giving two craps about changing my attitude and actually learn to embrace it.

I love learning new things. Joining lectures, trainings and workshops are very helpful, I acknowledge that. The problem is a lot of conducted sessions I’ve come across with are painfully boring I feel like a zombie after a couple of hours of trying to pay attention.

I look at those presenters—who have only good intentions of enlightening us with new knowledge—with frustration and pity. I bet most of the audience lose focus after half an hour. If you want people to grasp the knowledge you have to give, you have to make them pay attention first, and there is no way you can do that with bad slide presentations.

In order to give a good presentation, Garr Reynolds’ “Presentation Zen” comes up with a combination of ways to spice up your presentation: connecting with the audience, creating attractive visuals and conveying meanings.

A good presentation contains good communication, good design, and good story-telling. Reynolds introduces ways to create powerful presentations using the simplicity of Zen concept. He further gives out tips on the dos and don’ts in preparing your slides.

It is unsurprising to learn that Reynolds used to work at Apple as a Manager for Worldwide User Group Relations. His presentation knowledge is not only inspired by the Zen concept alone, but also from his former boss Steve Jobs, whose presentation skill was utterly exceptional.

Jobs’ presentation technique is so remarkable we can easily grasp and be inspired by both the technique and the products he was trying to sell. You can try his iPhone introduction in 2007 on YouTube. I mostly watch that presentation when I practice giving mine, trying to suck all the energy and confidence from the master.

I completely understand how humiliating it must be when people seem to fall asleep during your presentation. To avoid everyone the pain, including yourself, please get rid of the old-fashioned way of excessive texts and complexed language during a presentation. Appreciate people’s

time and attention, try entertain them rather than torture.

Author: Garr Reynolds
Publication: New Riders, 2010

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