Free 80-page e-book on boardroom-style presentations, by Andrew Abela

Four business executives having meeting in boardroomHere’s a thought-provoking yet quick read for when you’re creating a boardroom-style presentation – that is, for a small audience (rather than a ballroom-style event, for a large audience).

It’s written by Andrew Abela – who’s an academic, a former management consultant, and creator of the Extreme Presentation Method.

His 80-page e-book uses a narrative style (in other words, a story), which makes a very pleasant change from most content out there. To download the e-book, just register to receive his occasional email updates.

After I’ve had a chance to properly absorb the e-book’s approach to designing slides, I’ll discuss it further in a later post. On first sight, though, the slides are very different from ones you see in books like slide:ology and Presentation Zen. (Andrew argues those books are more suited to large, ballroom-style events.)

So the e-book uses:

  • Plain black-and-white slides, designed to be printed not projected
  • Very few slides – as few as 4 for an entire presentation
  • Complete sentences as slide headings – in fact 2 sentences for 3 of the 4 slides
  • At least 50 words on each of the 4 slides shown

I must say, I have some doubts about those slide characteristics, and about the nature of the difference between boardroom and ballroom presentations. All the same, I like that Andrew’s challenging whether photo-oriented slides typical of slide:ology and Presentation Zen are applicable everywhere, and he gives some great insights. For instance, from his blog, I particularly liked this quote about making boring data interesting for your audience:

“If you’re trying to solve a problem for them, then whatever
you give them is going to be interesting to them.”

Over to you

Do have a read of the e-book, so you can make up your own mind. I’d be very interested to hear your thoughts on it, and on the differences between boardroom (also known as conference-room) and ballroom presentations.

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