Presentations: Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates

A cold and rainy Saturday here in the heartland, and I’m plowing through my notes, compiling websites I think are particularly useful for the beginning academic, broken down by category (e.g., GTD techniques, technology, writing…).

If you have any such sites that you find indispensable, by all means leave a comment.

In the process, I stumbled upon this oldie but goodie from Garr Reynolds at Presentation Zen. Reynolds advocates the Zen approach to presentations:

The Zen aesthetic values include (but are not limited to):

  • Simplicity
  • Subtlety
  • Elegance
  • Suggestive rather than the descriptive or obvious
  • Naturalness (i.e., nothing artificial or forced),
  • Empty space (or negative space)
  • Stillness, Tranquility
  • Eliminating the non-essential

But, in an inspired bit of teaching, he advances his thesis by comparing the style of Bill Gates

with the late Steve Jobs.

Now, I am not advocating that you present your work backed up a dark screen (though I suspect you’d learn a lot by trying). However, anyone interested in communicating science can learn from  Steve Jobs and Garr Reynolds.


One Response to Presentations: Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is great – further reenforcing my preference for producing presentations with clean, simple slides. Reminds me highly of Jack Longino’s presentations.

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