Presentation ideas: Takahashi (king-size text) and Kawasaki (top-10) 10 Oct 2005
16 comments Latest by Nick
Some interesting presentation techniques were discussed recently at Presentation Zen, Garr Reynolds’ blog on professional presentation design.
One is the “Takahashi Method,” which is really just a fancy way of saying use big-ass text. Doesn’t sound too revolutionary, but the story behind it is a good example of embracing restraints: Masayoshi Takahashi, a Japanese programmer, needed to give a presentation. He didn’t have PowerPoint. He didn’t have a design/layout program. So he was stuck with plain old text. So he went big with the text. Really big. In Japan, where most presentations consist of lots of bulleted text in a teeny-tiny font size, this was a bold move. According to Reynolds, a grassroots movement has been born with blogs across Japan buzzing about Takahashi and his presentation style.
Another interesting approach is Guy Kawasaki’s technique of always following a top-10 format. Ten slides. Ten major ideas. That’s it. Reynolds calls it the Kawasaki Method but I’m thinking a nod to Letterman or even Casey Kasem may be in order. Anyhow, in the article Make Meaning, Kawasaki explains why he prefers this approach.
I learned by watching lots of presentations, and one thing I figured out early on is that most CFO-level speakers — particularly CEOs, particularly male CEOs — really suck as speakers. They’re boring; they’re long; they wander around. I saw speech after speech, and I discovered that if there’s anything worse than a speaker who sucks, it’s a speaker who sucks and you have no idea how much longer he or she is going to suck. That’s a horrible feeling.
To prevent you from getting that feeling, I’ve developed a Top 10 format. All of my speeches are in Top 10 format, because if you think I suck, I at least want you to be able to track my progress through the speech so that you know approximately know how much longer I’m going to suck.