The Seven Slide Solution: Telling Your Business Story Effectively in Seven Slides or Less.
By Paul Kelly, Silvermine Press 2005
Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery.
By Garr Reynolds, New Riders 2008
Fact: the average management person attends 62 meetings a month.
Three a day. Figure a high percentage of those feature PowerPoint slides and darkened rooms, and you can see why 90% of us daydream, and 70% ignore the speaker and get some work done.
Yet innovation cannot happen without persuading people that change is necessary, and compelling them to act outside their comfort zones—and that’s supposed to occur in meetings.
In The Seven Slide Solution, Kelly uses the principles of storytelling to illustrate exactly how to persuade people to change in seven slides or less. By framing your story, cutting it into the seven chunks that cognitive scientists say your short-term memory can handle, and letting the audience get involved, he promises more effective (and shorter) meetings. He advocates using a single killer statistic or visual (I learned that an acre is about equal to a football field without end zones).
It’s a relatively quick read, with lots of examples, and could make selling your innovation a lot easier, no matter who you are, or who you need to persuade. I’d give this an 8.5 on the LL Innovation Meter.
Like Kelly, in Presentation Zen, Reynolds thinks that presentations are really about transferring emotions. A far more graphic book, with lots of visual examples, this one also focuses on getting the concepts right and the pictures simple. While not limiting presenters to a handful of slides, Reynolds advocates using compelling photos and simple graphics as a backdrop for—you guessed it—persuasive storytelling.
You’ll never forget his slides on obesity, fresh water or boring presentations.
If nothing else, this book should open your mind to the possibilities of life beyond the bullets. This one gets a 9.5 on the LL Innovation Meter, and I would sincerely love it if every person who makes me sit through a PowerPoint for the rest of my life would read and apply these techniques.