Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication

“Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication”, a phrase taken from Leonardo da Vinci hundreds of years ago, is very much alive today.

How many presentations have you seen about effective presentations? I recently came across Presentation Zen, a new book by Garr Reynolds with a foreword by one of my favorite bloggers, Guy Kawasaki.

When you read it, you can’t help but get overcome by the “I could have thought of that” syndrome. But that’s part of the magic of this book, and the magic of great presentations, actually.

This read has already caused me to rethink some of my own slide design malpractices. For example, do I need my company logo on each and every slide? Depending on the audience, I could easily free up some screen real estate for more relevant information.

The author has some solid advice, including:

  • Plan analog
  • Know the power of storytelling
  • Understand signal vs. noise ratio

As you may guess, Reynolds also provides numerous examples of great presentations. Here are a couple of the best ones.

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