If you think that the only thing worse than sitting through another presentation is reading about the technicalities of presenting then this book will make you think again.

First let me state what this book isn’t – it is not an introductory guide to PowerPoint. I for one am extremely thankful for that. Given the number and voluminous tomes out there seemingly dedicated to coaching the production of bullet laden slides this beautifully crafted book is a breath of fresh air.

As an IT instructor I have for several years advocated a move away from bullet point fatigue and have personally delivered several ‘Effective Presentation’ courses. Suggesting that presenters move away from what is perceived as the expected format for a presentation and their comfort zone has been met with a mixture of horror and disbelief.

It is against this background that I approached Nancy Duarte’s new book.

Each page is perfectly presented and full of inspirational quotes and tips interwoven with copious case studies. The real world examples provide inspiring guidance as to the qualities needed to be able to create and deliver truly inspiring presentations.

Personally, I would like to see more examples of how to impart technical and factual information with the same impact as the other facts, figures and statistics covered. The good news for those of us with such a need is that this is to be addressed shortly according to the author in her illuminating online presentation for O’Reilly (the publishers of the book) on 17th September 2008. This presentation is available on online at http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/e/1095 and is well worth investing the time to watch.

Since the topic of the book is very visual it’s a significant benefit to have the additional resources available online at http://slideology.com/book/. As to be expected the material is perfectly presented, clicking the corresponding page number loads the requested resource and many examples are downloadable for demonstration and examination purposes in the PowerPoint format.

This is without a doubt a book to which you will return to for inspiration as your presentation deadline approaches and it’s attractive 294 pages would not look out of place in your coffee table book collection. Nancy Duarte is an accomplished communicator and readers will undoubtedly benefit from her copious presentational experience.

slide:ology is a book I’ll certainly be using in the future and I highly recommend you do too.

slide:ology is published by O’Reilly. It is available in print (ISBN-10: 0596522347 ISBN-13: 978-0596522346), as a PDF or online at O’Reilly Safari Books. If you’ve not used the Safari service before there is a 30 day trial of the system included with slide:ology. A preview of slide:ology is available at http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596522346/preview.html.