(Mt) – Start with Why Book Summary

Garr has done it again. Don t go onstage without him. Seth Godin presentationzen design A simple visual approach to presenting in today s world Garr Reynolds presentationzen design A simple visual approach to presenting in today s world Presentation Zen Design, Second Edition A Simple Visual Approach to Presenting in Today s World Garr Reynolds New Riders To report errors, please send a note to [email protected] New Riders is an imprint of Peachpit, a division of Pearson Education Copyright 2014 by Garr Reynolds Senior Editor: Karyn Johnson Production Editor: Katerina Malone Copy Editor: Kelly Kordes Anton Compositors: Garr Reynolds, Danielle Foster Proofreader: Rebecca Rider Indexer: Jack Lewis Design Consultants: Mayumi Nakamoto, Mimi Heft Book and Cover Design: Garr Reynolds Notice of Rights All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information on getting permission for reprints and excerpts, contact [email protected] Notice of Liability The information in this book is distributed on an As Is basis without warranty. While every precaution has been taken in the preparation of the book, neither the author nor Peachpit shall have any liability to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the instructions contained in this book or by the computer software and hardware products described in it. Trademarks Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and Peachpit was aware of a trademark claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All other product names and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book. ISBN-13: 978-0-321-93415-4 ISBN-10: 0-321-93415-6 987654321 Printed and bound in the United States of America To our children, who remind us always to embrace the beginner s mind. iv Presentation Zen Design Table of Contents Acknowledgments, vii INTRODUCTION Design Matters, 5 COMPONENTS Presenting with Type, 29 Communicating with Color, 63 Using Images to Tell Stories, 93 Making an Impact with Video, 127 Simplifying the Data, 147 PRINCIPLES Seeing and Using Space, 181 Creating Purpose and Focus, 203 Achieving Harmony, 221 The Journey Slide Samples, 241 Continuous Improvement, 257 Photo Credits, 272 Index, 273 Photo: TEDxKyoto, Mai Morokawa. Acknowledgments This book would not have been possible without a lot of help and support. I d like to thank the following people for their contributions and encouragement: Nancy Duarte and Mark Duarte and all the wonderful staff at Duarte, Inc., in Silicon Valley, including Paula Tesch and Tracy Barba, for their support. At New Riders: My great editor Karyn Johnson for her fantastic suggestions and unbelievable patience. Mimi Heft for her help with the design and the cover. Katerina Malone (production editor) for her talent and patience, as well as Danielle Foster for her great production work. Sara Jane Todd for her wonderful marketing efforts. Guy Kawasaki, Seth Godin, Daniel Pink, Jim Quirk, and Deryn Verity for their enlightened advice and content in the early stages of the process. To Jumpei Matsuoka and all the cool people at both and Pixta for their tremendous support with the images and the special offers that are included at the back of this book. Designer Mayumi Nakamoto for always being there when I need her. The Design Matters Japan and business community, including Toru Yamada, Shigeki Yamamoto, Tom Perry, Darren Saunders, Daniel Rodriguez, David Baldwin, Nathan Bryan, Jiri Mestecky, Doug Schafer, Barry Louie, Michael Bobrove, and Keizo Yamada. Thanks to Markuz Wernli Saito for his beautiful garden photos. To Daniel Kwintner and IDA Japan for their contribution. To Patrick Newell for his contribution and friendship. A special thanks to Scott Kelby, John McWade, Maureen Stone, Stephen Few, David S. Rose, and Nancy Duarte for their very kind contributions to the book. Back in the States, a big thank you to those who contributed ideas and support, including Debbie Thorn, CZ Robertson, and to my buddies in Silicon Valley, Ric Bretschneider and Howard Cooperstein. Also to Mark and Liz Reynolds for picking me up in the snow. Thank you to Mark Templeton and the amazing folks at Citrix. I d like to thank the thousands of subscribers to the Presentation Zen blog and to all the blog readers who have contacted me over the years to share their stories and examples, including Les Posen in Australia and Olivia Mitchell in New Zealand. A very big thank you to Reiko Hiromoto at Kansai Gaidai University for her insights and suggestions. Although I could not include all the slides in this book, I want to thank all the people who submitted sample slides, including Jeff Brenman, Pierre Morsa, Scott B. Schwertly, Dr. Aisyah Saad Abdul Rahim, Marty Neumeier, Nancy Duarte, Naveen Sinha, Dr. Bonnie Bassler, and Elissa Fink and all the talented guys at Tableau Software. And of course my biggest supporter in all of this is my wife Ai, who is always u nderstanding and supportive (and who kept me well fed, too). I am blessed indeed to be surrounded by such great people. Hontoni Arigatou! viii Presentation Zen Design introduction The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. Hans Hofmann This page intentionally left blank Design Matters 1 Presentation and design lessons are all around us, even in something as seemingly unrelated as a beautifully prepared traditional Japanese meal. A few years ago on a late fall afternoon, a friend and I were walking along Tetsugaku no Michi (Philosopher s Road) in the city of Kyoto. After our walk, we stopped in a local restaurant for a traditional meal. Japanese-style meals are called washoku. The kanji characters for washoku ( ) literally represent harmony and food, and harmony is indeed a key principle embodied in Japanese traditional cooking. In Japan, food is about experience as much as it is about sustenance. Although this particular restaurant was nothing special or extraordinary for Japan, I was (as always) impressed by the presentation of the meal. How can the presentation be so profound, I thought, without hardly a trace of decorative or nonessential elements? Clearly, presentation matters. Washoku is guided by simple principles that lead to harmony and balance in terms of both nutrition and aesthetics. For example, go shiki (five colors) dictates that meals have a variety of colors: red, green, yellow, black, and white. This not only ensures good nutrition, but it also leads to a visually appealing display. The principle of go kan (five senses) suggests that the cook think about touch, sound, smell, and, of course, sight in addition to taste and nutrition. How the meal looks is, in many ways, as important as how it tastes. We are as nourished by the presentation as we are nourished by the food, says John Daido Loori in The Zen of Creativity (Random House, 2005). Other guiding principles of washoku include go mi (five tastes), leading to a balance of flavors; go ho (five ways), which encourages a variety of cooking methods; and go kan mon (five outlooks), guidelines concerning respect and appreciation for the meal and the spirit in which it is to be consumed. In Japan, lessons about the art of presentation are everywhere, sometimes in very unexpected places indeed. Left: Philosopher s Road in Kyoto, Japan. Chapter 1 Design Matters 5 6 Presentation Zen Design If we open our eyes and are willing to think differently, we can see lessons all around. Similar to a designer, a washoku preparer is guided by principles that help in the careful decisions of what to include and what to exclude. Ingredients may depend on many things, including the season and occasion. Proportions are measured with restraint and are in balance with one another. Above all, elements are chosen and arranged visually to be in balance and harmony from the point of view of the customer. Balance, harmony, restraint, simplicity, and naturalness. These are some of the guiding principles behind the preparation of washoku. These are also fundamental principles that we can apply to design and the art of presentation outside the culinary world. Design matters. Chapter 1 Design Matters 7 Who Is This Book For? For those of us who are not trained as professional designers, the world of design and graphic design may seem mysterious. We know what we like when we see it, but we lack the visual literacy to articulate our thoughts, let alone attempt to create these designs ourselves. For many of us, there is a hole in our education when it comes to visual communication. This book is designed to help you obtain a better understanding of design that you can use to communicate your ideas in your life and work. Because one of the most common forms of communication is presentation slides, that is the medium discussed in this book. This book is not for professionally trained designers. This is for all the other professionals such as educators, businesspeople, leaders of organizations, and even students who recognize that we live in a time in which knowledge of design and visual communication skills are increasingly valued. The goal of this book is to increase your awareness of visual communication as it relates to multimedia presentations. After you read this book, you should be able to 1. Understand some basic concepts of graphic design, which will allow you to work more effectively with professional designers. 2. Create better visuals. 3. Communicate better in your presentations. You ll be able to design better presentation visuals, but even more importantly, you will be able to apply principles learned here to other disciplines in which visual communication is significant. It s a new, visual world Tools are commonplace, but knowledge is not. In the past, the tools for creating high-quality graphics and multimedia presentations belonged only to a select few. Today, those tools are in the hands of virtually everyone with a computer. However, possessing the hardware and software tools and knowing how to operate them does not a designer make. Many schools and training facilities offer classes on learning the technical tools, which are pretty straightforward. But, with the exception of creative arts programs, few classes cover design concepts and the fundamentals of graphic design. 8 Presentation Zen Design What we should focus on are not the tools and software techniques, but the principles and elements of visuals communication that lead to better design whether you use digital tools or not. Without knowledge of basic visual communication principles, it s very easy to let the software templates take you places you really don t want to go. In the world of presentations, too much of what passes for visuals in the boardroom and in the classroom is nothing more than a collection of recycled bullets, corporate templates, clip art, and seemingly random charts and graphs. To make it worse, the charts and graphs are often too detailed or cluttered to make effective onscreen visuals or are too vague to stand alone as quality documentation. Toward a new kind of literacy A professional or student in the 21st century needs to have a good degree of multimedia literacy. While the tools of the day are ephemeral, an understanding of the principles and techniques found in the broad field of visual communication is the thing of real and lasting value. George Lucas says that visual communication, or multimedia literacy, should be an integral part of teaching and learning in schools. Lucas states that what we typically call the arts should also be taught in the regular communication classes where students learn practical applications of graphics, music, various visual arts, and language to tell a story, to sell an idea, to persuade, to question, and so on. In a 2012 interview with the educational foundation Edutopia (, Martin Scorsese says that people today young people especially need to understand the power of design and visual communication: [Young people] need to know how ideas and emotions are expressed through a visual form, says Scorsese. We have to begin to teach younger people how to use this very powerful tool because we know the image can be so strong, not only for good use, but for bad use. Film is very powerful images are very powerful and we need to teach younger people how to use them .or at least how to interpret them. In The New York Times best-selling book A Whole New Mind (Riverhead Trade, 2005), Daniel Pink makes it clear that design is a key aptitude for professionals and students to develop and nurture. Cultivating a design sensibility, says Pink, can even make the world a little bit better. When people become more aware of the world around them and how design and design thinking impacts that world, they begin to see how designers are really change agents, they design ways to make the world better. Chapter 1 Design Matters 9 Presentations and design If your ideas matter if your business plans, your research results, or your cause are worth spreading then design and presentation matter. The more people who know your idea the more powerful it becomes, says business guru Seth Godin. Solid oral presentation amplified through the effective use of multimedia and good design is a powerful way to spread your message. If you can present well, you will be doing your cause and those who share your cause a great service. Presentations are not everything, but they are one thing that can make a big difference in getting your message out. When you re trying to change the world, there is no excuse for being boring and there is no excuse for poorly designed visuals. In The Designful Company: How to Build a Culture of Nonstop Innovation (New Riders, 2009), designer Marty Neumeier makes the case for the power of design inside organizations to inspire change. Neumeier explains how we can build a culture of change that embraces design by focusing on 16 key levers such as weaving a story, bringing design management inside the organization, introducing parallel thinking, recognizing talent and creativity, and so on. Neumeier also believes we should ban PowerPoint. He means, of course, to ban the awful, death-by-PowerPoint approach and replace it with a more engaging and powerful presentation method. If you have an innovative company that truly understands design and creative collaboration, then you have to abandon the typical dull and lifeless PowerPoint presentation for compelling stories and conversations that are visual, simple (without being overly simplistic), and memorable. As Neumeier says, If a business is really a decision factory, then the presentations that inform those decisions determine their quality. 10 Presentation Zen Design What Is Design? Design is about people creating solutions that help or improve the lives of other people often in profound ways, but often in ways that are quite small and unnoticed. When we design, we need to be concerned with how other people interpret our design solutions and our design messages. Design is not art, although there is art in it. Artists can, more or less, follow their creative impulses and create whatever it is they want to express. But designers work in a business environment. At all times, designers need to be aware of the end user and how best to solve (or prevent) a problem from the user s point of view. Art, in and of itself, can be considered good or bad. Good art may move people; it may change their lives in some way. If so, wonderful. But good design must necessarily have an impact on people s lives, no matter how seemingly small. Good design changes things. When most people think about design, they think about superficial things about how things look. But design goes much deeper than that. Design is more than aesthetics, yet things that are well designed, including graphics, often have high aesthetic quality. Well-designed things look good. But does this matter? Isn t the content all that matters? In Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things (Basic Books, 2004), author and designer Donald Norman suggests that good-looking designs actually work better. When it comes to physical products, such as user interfaces and displays, Norman argues that the emotional aspects of a design may often be as important to the product s ultimate success as the practical elements. Says Norman: Attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively positive emotions are critical to learning, curiosity, and creative thought. In the case of presentation visuals, graphics must be free of errors and they must be accurate. But our visuals like it or not also touch our audiences at an emotional level. People make instant judgments about whether something is attractive, trustworthy, professional, too slick, and so on. This is a visceral reaction and it matters. Chapter 1 Design Matters 11 14 Ways to Think Like a Designer OK, so we know design matters. But can professionals and students outside the world of design learn from designers? Can they learn from thinking like a designer? And what of more specialized professions? Can medical doctors, scientists, researchers, and engineers benefit from learning how a graphic designer or interactive designer thinks? Is there something designers, either through their training or experience, know that we don t? I believe there is. Following are 14 things I have learned over the years from designers. During speaking engagements throughout the world, I often put up a slide asking people to make as many sentences as they can that begin with the word Designers . The goal of this activity is to get people thinking about design, which is something most of us never do. This exercise also gets people in the audience talking and loosening up a bit always a good thing. The sentences they generate range from Designers wear black to Designers use creativity and analysis to solve problems and from Designers make things beautiful to Designers make messages clear, and so on. The following 14 items are basic qualities of good design, and they provide a solid summary of the themes in my first book, Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (New Riders, 2012). Regardless of your profession, you should be able to apply many of these ideas in your own work. 1. Embrace constraints. Constraints and limitations are wonderful allies. They lead to enhanced creativity and ingenious solutions that, without constrains, might never have been discovered. In the words of T.S. Eliot, Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl. Constraints can be inspiring and liberating it all depends on your point of view. There s no point in complaining about constraints such as time, money, and tools. Your problem is what it is. How can you solve it given the resources and time that you have? Often, you ll have few options and fewer choices at your disposal. Yet, as Zen scholar Steve Hagen reminds us, in life as in design, True freedom doesn t lie in the maximization of choice, but, ironically, is most easily found in a l

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