On hitting the Publish button ...

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I didn't plan on doing this today. It's not finished! It needs a cover! It hasn't been proof read! But I've been sitting on this version for over a week now and I can't think of anything more to add (or to take away). It's the best version I can come up with at this point. Probably not the "final final" version, but one that feels complete, at least for me right now.

So I decided to embrace the concepts of "release early, release often" and "show your work", took a deep breath, and hit the dreaded "Publish" button.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Brainstorming Your Presentation, my second ebook, in all its unfinished glory. Be gentle, but honest, and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Note: The ebook has since been properly published. And it does have a cover :)

Präsentieren für Geeks - The German edition of Presenting for Geeks is out now

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It's been a little over two years since my first ebook, Presenting for Geeks, was released. I made the deliberate decision to write it in English, despite this not being my native language, in the hopes to reach a wider audience that way. I think it mostly worked out okay, thanks in no small part to my editor Anna Kent, who dutifully corrected my English and overall made it a better book with her sometimes radical but always necessary cuts.

I do get asked for a German translation from time to time, though. Until very recently, I simply didn't have the time to do it (hiring a translator was pretty much out of the question for cost reasons). Back in January, I sat down one day to see how hard it would be - and finished the translation just a few weeks later. Friends and family volunteered to proofread it and now I'm happy to announce that Präsentieren für Geeks, the German edition of Presenting for Geeks, is available for purchase from the Amazon Kindle Store.

Book Review: File > New > Presentation

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File > New > Presentation: Presentation Skills for Software Developers and Other Technical Professionals by Simon Guest

As the subtitle suggests, the goal of File > New > Presentation by Simon Guest is to teach presentation skills to software developers and other technically-minded people. As someone who's spent most of his professional life in software development in one role or another and as someone who also goes to attend and speak at a lot of software conferences, I can confirm the need for help in this area. Our fellow developers are all hard-thinking, target-oriented individuals who have learned that it's important to be precise and go into a lot of detail when communicating with each other and with their computers; and so they apply these principles to their presentations as well. This form of communication, however, can get in the way when talking to customers and even more so when preparing a presentation.

Book Recommendations for Presenters

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Instead of giving out blanket recommendations for books about presenting, I thought I'd package them up so that you can pick the best ones for your level of experience.

The "Basics" Package

If you're only going to buy one book about presentations in your life, then I recommend Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds. It explains the principles of a "new", less text-heavy, more visual and more engaging presentation style. You will be referring back to this book a lot over the next years.

Book Review: How to Get People to Do Stuff

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How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the Art and Science of Persuasion and Motivation by Susan Weinschenk

The somewhat tongue-in-cheek title neatly summarizes what the book is all about. Unlike Dan Pink's "To sell is Human", which I read just before this, Susan Weinschenk doesn't focus on "selling" (even by Dan Pink's wide definition); the book is really about what motivates people and how you can use these drivers, as she calls them, to get people to, well, "do stuff".