Effective presentation design requires a solid understanding of storytelling, visual thinking, informative design and persuasive communication techniques.
In the past business presentations were often undervalued as a communication tool with little time and effort put into the development and design of presentation. It wasn’t uncommon to see colleagues frantically pulling together their slides an hour before a presentation was due to begin.
Today the wide range of insightful books on the topic of presentations and the growing popularity of TED Talks has changed the way we create our business presentations. We know the difference between a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ presentation and, more importantly, the impact it can have on our brand.
Content – Find your message
To create a truly memorable presentation you need to start thinking like a designer and the first step you should take before diving into PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi is to fully understand your objectives and get back to the drawing board!
The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam – a great place to start learning the concepts of visual thinking and developing your ideas to help you before writing your presentation.
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers by Sunni Brown – encourage creative thinking and innovation in your company by changing the way you approach meetings. A truly invaluable book that will help you work through your ideas and help you to reach your objectives.
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences by Nancy Duarte – this is the second, equally compelling book by Duarte but the one that you should read first! It provides excellent advice on how to best structure your presentations and develop your narrative for a truly engaging story.
Design – Visual thinking
Once you have your ideas, objectives and presentation structure in place you can then move onto the design.
slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations by Nancy Duarte – the first book by Duarte was a real game changer in the presentation industry. A comprehensive guide to designing your presentations. A must read.
Presentation Zen Design: Simple Design Principles and Techniques to Enhance Your Presentations by Garr Reynolds – a great tool for inspiration and techniques for slide design. This is Reynolds second book which visually builds on the ideas and concepts developed in Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery
Deliver – Engaging presentations
You can have a knock-out presentation design but if you don’t communicate your idea effectively your audience will quickly lose interest.
The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides by Garr Reynolds – another thought leader in the presentation industry, Reynolds offers some great advice and techniques to help you deliver your presentations with confidence and conviction.
The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallow – undoubtedly one of the most persuasive presenters of our time, learn the techniques that Steve Jobs used to captivate his audiences.
Ted Ideas Worth Spreading – get inspiration from speakers across the globe. This is a great resource to watch and learn how others present.
Share your recommendations
We hope that these resources inspire you to create better presentations! If you have any other great presentation resources that you have used please share them with us below.