Issue #163 July 8, 2008

PowerPoint Tip: Summer Reading List for Presenters

With the early July holiday over for those of us in the U.S. and Canada, it is the official start to summer. Many of us will be taking some time off in the next two months and today I want to share with you my recommendations for a book to take with you to the lake, camp or wherever you might be spending a few days relaxing. I know that you want to take a fiction book with you to escape from the daily grind of work. And you should take such a novel. But if you also want to pack a business oriented book, I’ve got four that I suggest you consider. The first is a book I read a few years ago and is by the man who has done probably more research in the area of using multimedia to teach than anyone else. The book is “Multimedia Learning” by Richard E. Mayer. While this is an academic book and a little drier than you might like, it does contain valuable insights for those who teach. The ISBN is 9780521787491 and you can get it from Amazon with this link: The second is another book by an academic, Robert Cialdini, and is called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”.This book is not a dry read because Cialdini has included many examples of the six principles that he shares. Anyone who has to persuade others to adopt ideas needs to read this book. The insights are profound and, as with the other books on this list, based on real science, not the “idea of the month”. The ISBN is 9780061241895 and you can order it through Amazon at: The third book is “Made to Stick” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. Chip is a professor at Stanford and Dan is a former Harvard researcher. They have put together a solid analysis of six qualities of an idea that make it stick in people’s minds. If you need you idea to have shelf life with key decision-makers, this is a must read. It has changed the way I think and I see examples of their ideas in the way I communicate every day. The ISBN is 9781400064281 and can be ordered at: My final recommendation is the book I am reading right now. It is called “Brain Rules” by John Medina. It is actaully found in the science section of a book store but don’t think that it will be boring. Medina only accepts things when they have been proven multiple times in published journals, so his conclusions are backed up by rock solid research. Garr Reynolds of introduced me to the book and I am enjoying the great ideas mixed with Medinas wicked sense of humour. I promise you will enjoy this book too. The ISBN is 9780979777707 and the link to buy from Amazon is: This list shows my obvious bias towards books written based on research, not based on thoughts that popped into someone’s mind one day as they were walking the dog. These books have influenced my work and I hope they will provide some good insight for you this summer as you take time to reset for the rest of the year. For those of you in the southern hemisphere who are now into your winter months, these books work just as well for curling up in front of a fire at night. Enjoy them no matter where you are.