The MacSparky Presentations Field Guide

Most presentations are terrible. That, however, does not need to be the case for your presentations. Author David Sparks, a trial attorney and seasoned technology speaker, explains how to create your own exceptional presentation. This Presentation Field Guide explains how to plan a presentation that will connect with your audience, the technical wizardry to create a stunning presentation, and walks you through presentation day to make sure it goes off without a hitch. The book was built entirely in iBooks Author. There are 44 screencasts, audio interviews, and other rich media assets to help you make your next presentation riveting. The material is accessible to beginners and power users alike with a thoughtful, fun, and systematic approach to planning, creating, and delivering a stellar presentation.

Chapters include:

1. The Trouble with Presentations

Presentation technology should make life easier. So why does everyone groan and mumble “Death by PowerPoint” when they see a projector? This universal disdain for presentations doesn’t need to apply to yours.

2. Tell a Story

Before you start putting together the whiz-bang technology, you need to spend time and energy planning what you are going to say. Specifically, you need to connect to your audience and plan out the ebb and flow of a presentation that is compelling. Every great presentation tells a story. This chapter explains how to develop your story and, step-by-step, turn that story into a great presentation.

3. Apple Keynote

Apple’s Keynote presentation application has some remarkable tools for turning your story into a captivating presentation. This chapter uses detailed descriptions, screenshots, and video screencasts to help you transform your ideas into an impressive presentation. Keynote has a lot of power and with versions for the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and the web, you’ll be able to create and tell your story just about anywhere. This chapter details Keynote’s history, installation, file management, themes, screen layout, master slides, use of text, creation of graphics and images, charts and tables, timelines, hyperlinking objects, animation, transitions, slide organization, sharing options, preferences, and keyboard shortcuts. This is all written for easy comprehension with many examples and screencasts to take you from Keynote novice to pro all within the pages of this book.

4. Other Presentation Software

While Keynote is the software of focus of this book, this chapter covers other applications available for the Mac, iPad, iPhone, and the web for turning your story into a great presentation. These alternative applications include PowerPoint, Prezi, and more with explanations of their best features and ideal uses.

5. Presentation Day

Once you’ve got your story nailed down and turned it into a compelling presentation, you’ll need to shine your shoes, stand up, and deliver. This chapter is full of practical advice from someone with many years’ experience delivering presentations ranging from what to do before you leave the house to the best techniques for delivering your story.

This is the fifth book in the MacSparky Field Guide series. This book, beautifully designed and a joy to read, is a large file (1.3 GB). This multimedia book includes many rich media assets including photo galleries, screenshots, illustrations, video screencasts, and audio interviews all engineered to make you a master presenter.

People Dig This Book

“David covers it in detail, but it’s the screencasts where David narrates and show you actually how to use certain features that really sells the book … Given the book’s 400-page length, I think you’ll see that the book isn’t skimping anywhere. David even spends an entire chapter on four alternatives to Keynote that includes PowerPoint as well as a chapter on presentation day. I loved it!”

James Floyd Kelly, Geek Dad

“David Sparks does his usual thorough job of walking you through the nuts and bolts of building a presentation in Keynote. But Presentations is more than just a software manual. David also hands out good advice on hardware (including preparing for hardware disasters) and putting together a good performance.”

Dr. Drang

“Presentations is the latest in the MacSparky Field Guide series and it’s great. This is, without a doubt, the new go-to guide for everything you need to know to give a great presentation. And, because it uses the very latest technology baked into iBooks to deliver the goods, there are 44 screencasts, audio interviews with Merlin Mann, Les Posen, and Wendy Cherwinski, and much, much more built right in. I have loved all of David Sparks guides so far with each one even better than the last.”

Patrick Rhone, Minimal Mac

“David’s eBook starts strong with some basic principles and builds to a full master class on getting yourself together for a professional presentation. Along the way, most people will learn to create adult presentations with one of the best tools on the market, Keynote.”

Gabe Weatherhead, MacDrifter

“I am a Keynote user, but I am more of a hack. I do what I need to do to put my slides together, but more often than not I don’t really know what I’m doing. The Keynote chapter has been great for me.”

Brooks Duncan, Document Snap

“We could all use a little help to ease the dread and amp up our game. Look no further than the new Presentations field guide from David Sparks.”

Legal Productivity, Tim Baran

“I assumed that the main value of the book would be to teach those PowerPoint-reading speakers how to do a better job with their presentations.  It certainly does that, but to my pleasant surprise, the book is packed with tips that even the most seasoned public speaker would find useful.  I learned so much reading this book, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I’m not sure if I would have purchased this book but for my intention of writing this review.  Thank goodness I did; I’ll be using the skills I learned in this book in all of my future presentations.”

Jeff Richardson, iPhone JD

“Call them talks or sessions or whatever you want, but when you sit and watch someone stand at the front of a room using slides (Keynote or…otherwise) and conveying information, it’s a presentation. If you have to make them, David Sparks has written the Presentations Field Guide, the latest in his Field Guide series, a wonderful line of books for tech-savvy folks looking to level up.”

Kelly Guimont, The Mac Observer

“… David Sparks has published another MacSparky Field Guide on Presentations. While they’re all great, this one is most relevant to all of us preacher types.”

John Chandler, Sermon Smith

“… Presentations, a book that not only deserves the great reviews it’s receiving in the iBooks store, but I believe it should be required reading for every new MBA candidate entering business school, not to mention every JD candidate heading into law school.”

James Coleman, TechRoom

“My friend David Sparks has done it again. He’s releasing another Field Guide, this time tackling the topic of Presentations.”

Katie Floyd