I’ve been thinking and talking a lot of late about the topic of making great presentations because I think the ability to help people understand your ideas and come to your point of view is probably the most important business skill you can develop.
My guest for this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing is Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design and author of slide:ology – The art and science of creating great presentations and resonate – Present visual stories that transform audiences, two of the best books I’ve encountered on creating presentations.
According to Duarte, presentations are the most persuasive medium available for conveying ideas and yet it is also one of most reviled because people do it so poorly.
Duarte’s entire approach is centered around getting people to think more like designers – a term that comes from the Latin root to designate – by arranging images and words in a hierarchy to strike balance and harmony and amplify a message in ways that words alone cannot.
Most business folks and entrepreneurs aren’t taught how to arrange and present information, but spend most of their time arranging and presenting information.
Duarte’s design thinking for presentations uses story works such as the Hero’s Workshop to help audiences feel emotionally transported by a message in ways that make presentations resonate. Resonance has both a verbal and emotional component to it when talking about humans. A message resonates when we feel it and understand it and become emotionally engaged by it.
When it comes to a presentation of a message or even a complex set of data, a story is the sugar that helps the medicine go down.
Duarte creates presentations for organizations large and small and also conducts public workshops in her offices in California.
I can’t recommend her books enough and suggest that you get both and read them in this order before your next big presentation – read resonate first because it’s about structuring your message story, then read slide:ology because it’s about the visual creation of your presentation, and then go back and read resonate again because the story telling will make even more sense now.
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