Mark Normand (pictured to the left) was born in Chelmsford, England, and he has since lived and worked almost two decades in Singapore. In his present position as the founder and managing director of Impress Training, he has traversed much of Asia to deliver training in management and business communication. With a keen interest in graphic design and amateur photography, he is a regular contributor to such sites as SlideShare and Stock.XCHNG.
In this discussion, Mark discusses his PowerPoint (2003) Mechanics ebook.
Geetesh: Tell us more about yourself, and how this book evolved?
Mark: Together with my business partner we run a Impress Training, a training firm based in Singapore providing soft skills training to organizations in various areas such as management, sales, service, communication and more.
During my years of work, like many others, you’ve either sat through or provided many PowerPoint presentations. And like so many others, they just look bad and take a lot of value away from the delivery of the presenter.
The blog site, and the book evolved out of a course we run at Impress Training to train normal business professional achieve a higher quality of PowerPoint visual. Looking around, I thought there is still something missing, there’s a lot of books out there that can be too technical, too wordy, or that talk about ‘what’ should be done but never the how, and many of them feature graphics that you’ll come to realize are designed by professionals, use Photoshop or Illustrator and many other applications to produce these visuals. What I really wanted to do was provide the means to ordinary business people to whip up a presentation quickly, look good, and not use any external tools to produce the visuals – just plain PowerPoint because at the end of the day this is all that most people have. The ebook is basically a straight to-the-point step-by-step guide to producing some of the visual effects that many people see around them – and why 2003? Because for many businesses (here in Asia at least) we’re still some way from everyone upgrading to 2007 — however, I’m working on a new ebook just for them in the future.
Geetesh: What do you believe is the most important thing that any reader will gain from the book?
Mark: As mentioned, this book doesn’t have any text on the dos and don’ts because there are many others books out there that do a good job of that, i.e. explaining the what. What I wanted to give them is the how. The main aim being to provide the mechanics, and let them use those techniques and apply them to their own presentations. As with the blog, I try not to touch on effects which are too readily available but something a little more unique.