Guide to PowerPoint books

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Dear fellow business presenter,

When the academic division of Prentice Hall wanted to publish a book on using PowerPoint, they wanted it to be different from every other book on the market. It was to be part of their highly successful Series in Advanced Business Communication, which is used in MBA and college programs all over the world. It had to combine the best ideas on slide design with the clearest instructions on exactly how to use PowerPoint to produce focused, meaningful slides. They turned to Professor Mary Munter, their long time editor of the book series.

She searched for an expert who could bring the deep technical knowledge required for such a ground breaking book. But she also needed someone who could translate that technical prowess into clear, easy to understand language. And someone who knew what was effective when presenting through years of actually standing up and delivering high-stakes presentations. She found a former student, an honors MBA grad who has been delivering seminars and workshops in this area for years. I am that person. My name is Dave Paradi, and if you are a fellow presenter in the professional world of business or at conferences,

You really need to read the book we wrote, “Guide to PowerPoint”.

That’s a pretty bold statement, I know. You are probably thinking to yourself, “I’m a pretty good presenter, in fact I’m a lot better than most people around here. Where does he get off saying I need to read this book?!?” And you probably are a pretty good presenter. But how do you know if you are as good as you can be? You’re good, but compared to who? The person who stands there and reads their slides word for word? Anybody can be better than that. And that won’t get you to the top of the heap by a long shot.

The reason I can make such a bold claim is that we have created a book like no other. It combines the best design ideas – the “What To Do” and why it is effective based on years of experience and academic research – with clear step-by-step instructions on “How To Do It”. Design books are great for showing you ideas, but short on how you implement them. Traditional technical manuals are long (far too long) on every feature and button in the software but don’t tell you which of those features will be effective with your audiences (that’s because most of the features aren’t effective).

Listen to what Mary Russell, the presentations expert for New York Times company About.com said in her review: “What is most impressive is the wealth of information contained in these 190 pages – from planning the presentation to structure of the slides and finally, to delivering the best presentation for your business clientele. It is jam-packed with all sorts of “Now why didn’t I think of that?” tips and more importantly, many more “I never would have thought of that” tips, on how to make a winning presentation.”  She starts her review by saying, “If this is your first business presentation or your 700th presentation, Guide to PowerPoint should be part of your library.” and she concluded by stating: “If you ever have to make another professional presentation, give this book a read.”

Readers also sing the praises of “Guide to PowerPoint”.   Lynne Farrow wrote to me after purchasing the book and said. “By page 15, I felt I more than got my money’s worth.”  And a customer review on Amazon.com states, I highly recommend this pragmatic, well written book to anyone who wants to put together a presentation that will knock their socks off!”

Your career depends on delivering outstanding presentations. Communicating is the top rated skill for advancement to the executive floor. If your presentations matter (and if they don’t, why are you delivering them), you want to be the best you can be. This book is written for professionals like yourself. It is concise, focused on business presentations and contains easily followed instructions. This book is used to train MBA students at top schools, including the Wall Street Journal’s top ranked MBA program. You better get this information before these grads join your firm soon and show off the skills they have gained from this book.

How can this book specifically help you?

  • Need to know the best way to take the ideas you want to share and organize them into a laser focused message? See chapter 1
  • Want every slide to be crystal clear to your audience within 2 seconds? See page 23
  • Want to know the best colors for your slides so that your audience will be able to read your slides in almost every lighting situation? See page 34 (and the detailed color settings on page 39)
  • Which fonts are the easiest for your audience to read? Serif or sans-serif? Answer on page 42
  • How big should your font be so everyone can see it? Page 44 has the answer
  • How do you design a standard look for all of your slides so your presentation looks professional? See page 54
  • What type of chart should you use to make your data crystal clear to your audience? The table on page 62 shows you
  • Why are the default PowerPoint charts so confusing? Page 64 shows you the problems and pages 70-75 give you detailed instructions on how to fix the problems
  • How can you link charts created in Excel to a PowerPoint slide so the slide is automatically updated when the Excel chart changes? Page 76 & 77 show you the way to save time updating slides every month
  • When you are explaining a process or a relationship, what diagrams help your audience understand it easiest? The table on pages 80-81 shows you which diagram to use in what situation
  • How do you create customized diagrams to visually show a process or relationship? Detailed instructions on pages 83-91 give you step by step guidance
  • Want to pack your slides with text? Please read page 95 before you commit this common error
  • Want to write your slide text in Word and automatically convert it to slides, saving time and effort? See pages 108-109
  • Adding digital photos can make your presentation more effective, but how do you do it so that the photos are clear but don’t make the file huge and run slowly when you are presenting? See pages 112-116
  • How can you add video clips that show client testimonials or illustrate ideas? See page 122-125
  • Need tips or reminders on best practices for delivering your presentation? Chapter 10 gives you the secrets of the pros
  • Want to be able to jump to any slide in your presentation, blank the screen to focus the audience on the presenter or draw on the slide like the TV commentators do? See page 155
  • How do you create handouts your audience will keep and use years later? Pages 156-161 gives you all you need to know
  • How do you make sure your equipment is set up for success? Pages 162-164 give you ten key tips to remember
  • You are all set up but the projected image doesn’t look right. Don’t panic, refer to page 165 for the top five things to check that will solve most of the problems you will ever encounter.

I speak at plenty of conferences and see the awful slides that are shown. In fact, I spend most of my time taking notes on what latest mistake I see rather than listening to the content – I see that many. This book will help you avoid the mistakes and create slides that others will marvel over. They will be so clear, so meaningful that others will regularly ask for copies of the slides so they can copy the format and ideas.

By now you know how valuable this book will be to you personally and your future presentations. But why keep this information to yourself? “Guide to PowerPoint” is a great gift for speakers at an upcoming conference you are organizing – help them shine on stage and your event will be even more successful. How about distributing the book to all new associates in your organization so they don’t learn bad presentation habits and can start off confidently in their new career. If you are looking for a resource for sales professionals and executives that has a high Return on Investment, “Guide to PowerPoint” is a resource that will help them deliver more customer focused presentations that result in more sales.

For PowerPoint 2003, Click here to purchase Guide to PowerPoint at Amazon.com
For PowerPoint 2007, Click here to purchase Guide to PowerPoint at Amazon.com
For PowerPoint 2010, Click here to purchase Guide to PowerPoint at Amazon.com

You can also order the books through your regular bookseller.

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