Just completed the reading of the book the Art of Explanation by Lee Lefever. I must admit that although I really like Nancy Duarte’s duo Slide:ology and Resonate, Lefever’s book does focus on concepts that are also not that well covered in the other books. In particular, knowing your audience: to whom are you presenting and for what purpose.
I really enjoyed the part II of the book which focuses into details about how to package idea for a specific audience, relying on 6 key elements: agreement (big picture statement), context (foundation), story, connections, descriptions and conclusion. Each of those element has it own chapter, going in more details. Theses are followed by two very interesting chapters on “simplification” (making sure your message is at the right level and simplifying as needed) and “constraints” (like time and others). Chapter 15 (in part III of the book) contains an interesting section discussing the pros and cons of media options, ranging from simple text documents to live demonstrations and of course. It also cover presentation modes including Slides, Webinars, Videos. Both of media and presentation modes have nice two-page tables of pros/cons resumé.
Finally, for all of the students out there who wonder which kind of graphical representations is more suited for their data, Chapter 16 reproduces a nice (basic) graphical representation from Dan Roam’s Napkin Academy
6×6 rules (see above) and provides explanations of each. This chapter should be a most read for any students, starting at the end of high school. Better get Roam’s book The Back of the Napking
for this portion!
Overall, the Art of an Explanation is a very interesting and recommended read.