04 October 2008

The Zen of Presentations, Part 20: The presentation book you must own

SlideologyI like to think that I do not suck at presentations. I like to think that I've thought reasonably hard about them. I like to think I've got a better understanding of presentations than most people.

Then a book like Slide:ology comes out.


Suddenly I realize how much more there is to think about and how much more there is to learn.

This is a deep book. From concept to final execution, from typesetting to data to missions to colour palettes, it's all in there. And all with a careful attention to craft and detail.

It shouldn't be surprising, considering that author Nancy Duarte is one of the people behind the slides in the acclaimed Oscar and Nobel winning film An Inconvenient Truth (which I wrote about here). Given her track record, how highly her work is regarded, I knew it this book would be good, but this completely exceeded any expectations. Indeed, reading this book made me upset at how low my expectations were. It expands horizons, on par with books like Edward Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information or Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics.

To say this book "raises the bar" would be unfair, because raising the bar doesn't catch how dramatically and substantially this book surpasses everything else. It's far beyond anything else that I've seen on the subject. Other books on presentations raised the bar. This one goes into high Earth orbit.

I would love to see this book in a hardcover edition, perhaps with larger pages or larger text. Because I know this book is going to get re-read, referred to, handled, browsed, passed to students in my lab, and get beat up and worn out through constant use.

Check out the book website.

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