Do you have a passion for presenting? Are you already feed deep in Blogs like Presentation Zen, Great Public Speaking and Guy Kawasaki's How To Change The World? Have you read the book Give Your Speech, Change The World by Nick Morgan or Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson? If so, my guess is you're also probably hunched over your iPod watching all of the TED Talks and the Pop! Tech presentations (we can learn the most by watching others do it).
If not, there's a solution.
Garr Reynolds - the creator of the Presentation Zen Blog - recently published his first book, Presentation Zen - Simples Ideas On Presentation Design And Delivery. In what could have easily turned into a "what you should (and should not) do with PowerPoint or Keynote," is actually a fantastic read that has more gems about how to win business, get others to understand your message, and foster a passion for belief in what you're trying to accomplish in your business life than technical rules about what a presentation should have from a design and content perspective. Yes, Presentation Zen has the obligatory before and after slides to illustrate how simplicity, opening up the slide, removing (and aligning) text and images creates a better presentation, but the big takeaway is really everything that comes before you open up your presentation software package.
Presentation Zen wins as a must-have book for every Marketer because the best insights come from Garr's perspective on uncovering your own creativity, how to plan a presentation, how to craft the story (and even how to find the story) along with great concepts on story boards and core presentation skill principles. Garr spends a chunk of time writing about how the concepts from the book, Made To Stick - Why Some Ideas Survive And Other Die, by Chip and Dan Heath are core to a successful presentation. Presentation Zen is superbly organized, clear and has tons of key Marketing insights.
A book on presentations with key Marketing insights? How so?
Delivering a message in a crowded world is no easy task. With big-budget special effects in movies and whiz-bang technology like the iPhone, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to provide a solid message in a clear fashion. If presenting is not your forte, or if you think your Marketing efforts don't need to reflect on this specific skill-set, Presentation Zen still provides fundamental messages on how to craft your story (brand) and how to deliver it in a way that gets attention. All Marketers need to constantly reflect on that.
Here's one quick tip from Presentation Zen that really struck home: start with a notepad and pencil. Sketch out the story, and story board the slides (I even picked up the Moleskin Story Board Notebook) - if you can't draw it out, odds are it will be too confusing as a slide anyway. Presentation Zen is filled with gifts about how to get better at presenting. I highly recommend grabbing a copy for yourself and anyone else in your company who needs to stand up in front of people and sell something (be it an idea or product).
There's even some presentation synchronicity at play. Guy Kawasaki has this recent Blog posting: Ten Questions With Garr Reynolds and the Instigator Blog by Ben Yoskovitz had this great post: How Do You Prepare For Presentations?