I had a big shipment of books coming in recently, hence the stream in book reviews.
I finally had a chance to read Presentation Zenby Garr Reynolds. Garr is a leading authority on presentation design and delivery, advocating his minimalist (or "Zen") approach to presentations. His blog is one of the most visited web sites on the subject.
That's what 50% of this book is about, convincing the army of business managers writing thousands of PowerPoint presentations every day to drop their bullet point slides, take off big corporate logos from their slides and use more images supported by minimal text. It is an important message and I forgive Garr for repeating it many, amny times throughout his book.
The other 50% is focussed around taking the designer approach to presentations. I enjoyed reading backgrounds on Japanese and Zen culture and how they can be applied to good design. I did learn a few things about photo composition.
The book is nicely illustrated with example presentations, and many "before and after" slide transformations. There are a lot of references to iStockPhoto in the book. A great site (I use it a lot), but the suggestions could have been put in slightly more subtle
Having read slide:ology by Nancy Duarte just a few days a go, it is interesting to draw a parallel. Slide:ology contains more practical presentation advice: how to define color schemes, specific examples about slide build up. Presentation Zen adds more on the create design process, esthetics, and photo composition.
All in all, both books are a must read and complement each other