This Friday I'm heading a workshop for 11 librarians in the county, on how to use social media. I am a little bit nervous about this, not because of going up in front of a group of people (I have little fear of this, which is really surprising), but because I'm afraid I won't be able to get my point across, speak loudly enough, or be clear enough for people unfamiliar with new technology. I had written up a standard PowerPoint with bullet points, clipart, and gradient backgrounds, and it all felt so clunky.
The person who is helping me out with the presentation told me to read two books, this one and Presentation Zen Design. I flipped through this one a couple weeks ago and was immediately inspired. I mean, immediately. Without actually reading a word of the book I sat down and did a "Zen" version of my PowerPoint. It no longer has more than six words per slide. It has no bullets. It has large, bold images and unique text. It has fewer slides than before, because I'll be talking, not reading what's on each slide.
I was super happy with it. Over the Labor Day weekend I settled down to actually read both books, and Garr Reynold's words have inspired me even more. He's really able to explain concepts of design in a familiar and accessible way. There are a ton of visuals, and it's so easy to get the point, especially with before and after slides. You really don't have to read it all the way through; you'll get the idea.