Can Garr Reynold’s “Presentation Zen” help an experienced presenter really create and deliver better presentations?

Posted September 13th @ 12:22 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Recently, I had an opportunity to put the ideas developed in Garr Reynold’s Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery to work from the perspective of an experienced presenter. During the past 25 years, I had developed a system for presentation content and design that worked for me, for audiences as large as the International Consumer Electronics Shows, but I had lacked a opportunity to put Garr’s ideas to a “real world” test as an alternative approach.

A recent presentation for the National Guild of Hypnotists, however, provided me with a test bed to try out Garr’s ideas. So, I discarded my existing presentation on the topic of writing a book to promote your business, spent a pleasant evening re-reading Garr’s book, and went to work.

The presentation came out shorter, and with far fewer words, than my usual presentation.

What the attendees said…
Yesterday, I received the attendee evaluations…and the presentation was a smash hit…

…my presentation received a 4.8 rating out of a possible 5!

Adding impact to the audience evaluations was the fact that Garr’s ideas helped me build additional delivery flexibility into my visuals. As a result, even though I had to limit myself to less time than anticipated, with no margin for error, I had no trouble finishing on time.

I don’t think Garr would give me an “A” in strict adherence to his ideas–there were probably more words on the slides than he would like to see–yet his ideas did influence my visuals as well as my presentation style. More important, I could tell it was going over well, because everyone was taking notes on the hand-outs I had provided. And the questions were enthusiastic.

So, all in all, Presentation Zen works!

Thank you, Garr, for your help!

Published & Profitable members can access two interviews relating to Presentation Zen. One is the interview with Garr Reynolds, which discusses the book’s origins and publication from the author’s point of view. The other is the interview with Michael Nolan, Acquisitions Editor at New Riders Press, who discussed the project from publisher’s point of view.


  1. Mike Wagner
    September 15, 2008

    “I discarded my existing presentation”

    Those are the words of this post that caught my attention.

    It’s hard to discard an existing presentation. Yet when I have summoned the courage to do so, I’ve found myself growing as a communicator.

    I think presentations are like children, they’re special when they are your own.

    Thanks for sharing your journey due to Garr’s book.

    Keep creating…a new story worth repeating,

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