Garr Reynolds is an internationally acclaimed communications consultant and the author of best-selling books including the award-winning Presentation Zen, Presentation Zen Design, and the Naked Presenter. Garr’s approach to communication takes the principles and lessons from the Zen arts in Japan to reveal simple, concrete tips for communicating — and living — better. His fresh approach has inspired millions to communicate more clearly, creatively, and visually. A sought-after speaker and consultant worldwide, his clients include many in the Fortune 500. An award-winning designer, writer, and musician, he currently holds the position of Professor at Kyoto Gaidai University. Garr is a former corporate trainer for Sumitomo Electric Industries in Osaka, and the former Manager for Worldwide User Group Relations at Apple, Inc. in Silicon Valley. SAY Media out of New York City said in 2011 that Garr is one of the “100 most-influential people on the Internet.” A longtime student of the Zen arts and resident of Japan, he lives in the beautiful countryside of Nara with his wife, two children, and two Siamese cats.
Garr is often a featured Keynoter at tech, business, design, and education conferences worldwide. His audience-focused topics include: 21-st Century Presentation, Presentation Design, Storytelling, Simplicity, Resilience, and topics related to the practical lessons for design and living from the Zen arts. For inquiries about Garr’s speaking engagements—or to book him for a keynote address—please contact Garr through his agent here.
Garr facilitates his popular and interactive Presentation Zen seminars and workshops within organizations worldwide. When time permits, he holds public seminars as well in Japan, New Zealand, UK, France, USA, etc. Garr’s philosophy is that education should be informative, inspiring, and fun. Garr believes strongly in the words of MIT Media Lab’s founder Nicholas Negroponte: “Good education has got to be good entertainment.”
Garr’s first big hit was the award-winning international bestseller Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery. Now in its 2nd Edition, the book is available in 17 languages worldwide. His other bestsellers include: Presentation Zen Design, The Naked Presenter, and Simple Presentation (Japanese). He’s currently working on his fifth book, the Elements of Story. Books on Amazon.com. Books on Peachpit Press.
Garr is Professor of Management & Communication Design at Kyoto Gaidai University in Kyoto. He’s a frequent guest lecturer at universities such as Kyoto University, Keio University, Oxford University, Stanford University, and other universities worldwide. He focuses most of his research on the principles and techniques of story and storytelling in the context of leadership and social change.
Garr began sharing presentation tips on garrreynolds.com in 2004, and began to give away what he’d learned about presentations over the years on his Presentation Zen Website in 2005. Pulling tips from presenters such as Steve Jobs and Seth Godin, etc., and synthesizing them with visual lessons from the Zen arts, Presentation Zen became a huge hit and its articles have been read by millions.
Garr began writing about TED presentations immediately after TED Talks went online in 2006, and his ideas began popping up on the TED Website soon after. He attended his first TED Conference in 2009 and is active in the TEDx movement in Japan where he’s coached several TED and TEDx presenters. He’s made talks himself at five TEDx events in Japan so far (sample TEDxTalk videos).
A lover of jazz since he was a kid listening to his dad’s old LPs, Garr started out on trombone in school and began playing drums for jazz groups in night clubs and bars on the Oregon Coast by age 17. “Both jazz and Zen have had a major, harmonious influence in my life,” Garr says. He still performs in Japan (clip).
Having grown up on the Oregon Coast, Garr loves being outside as much as possible and exploring nature. A footballer and runner in high school and college, today he enjoys trail running, mountain biking, weight training, swimming, and tennis. He’s run several marathons including a personal best of 3:19.
Garr lives in the quiet countryside of historic Nara Prefecture. He and his wife have two small children and two large cats. Nothing gives him greater joy than playing with his children. Here’s a video interview of Garr speaking with Nancy Duarte about how having kids changes the creative process.
Garr is invited to speak and conduct seminars for companies and universities around the world. Below is just a small sample of some of the organizations where Garr has presented, taught, or consulted. For inquiries about Garr’s speaking engagements—or to book him for a keynote address or in-house seminar—please make your request here.