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Creating Great Presentations

Nancy Duarte's slide:ology

coverNo matter where you are on the organizational ladder, chances are you're required to deliver visual presentations to your peers, boss, or your customers. Indeed, presentations have become the de facto business communication tool. Yet unlike verbal communication, thinking visually isn't easy, natural, or commonly taught in schools or business training programs. Fortunately, "slide:ology" fills that void.

This highly anticipated resource is written by Nancy Duarte, President and CEO of Duarte Design in Mountain View, CA, the firm that created the presentation for "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's Oscar-winning film. Combining conceptual thinking and inspirational design, "slide:ology" offers practical approaches on how to create ideas, translate them into pictures, display them well, and then deliver them in your own natural way.

"Great slideshows are dependent on the type of relationship they have with their presenter," declares Nancy Duarte. "If the presenter is addicted to bullet points, then everyone in the room suffers."

"We can keep blaming software for the putrid output, but in reality we need to take responsibility," adds Nancy. "As communicators, learning to create visual stories that connect with our audience is becoming imperative--especially in light of global competitive pressure."

In a recent interview, Nancy offered these tips and tricks as a manifesto to keep handy whenever you're preparing your next big presentation:

1. Treat your audience as king: They didn't come to your presentation to see you. They came to find out what you can do for them. Success means giving them a reason for taking their time, providing content that resonates, and ensuring it's clear what they are to do.

2. Spread ideas and move people: Creating great ides is what we were born to do; getting people to feel like they have a stake in what you believe is the hard part. Communicate your ideas with strong visual grammar to engage all their senses and they will adopt the ideas as their own.

3. Help them see what you're saying: Epiphanies and profoundly moving experiences come from moments of clarity. Think like a designer and guide your audience through ideas in a way that helps, not hinders, their comprehension. Appeal not only to their verbal senses, but to their visual senses as well.

4.Practice design, not decoration: Orchestrating the aesthetic experience through well-known but oft-neglected design practices often transforms audiences into evangelists. Don't just make pretty talking points. Instead display information in a way that makes complex information clear.

5. Cultivate healthy relationships: A meaningful relationship between you, your slides, and your audience will connect people with content. Display information in the best way possible for comprehension rather than focusing on what you need as a visual crutch. Content carriers connect with people.

In the book trailer book trailer, Nancy talks about the concepts outlined in "slide:ology"--a book that is sure to challenge your traditional approach to creating and teach you how to be a visual thinker.

President and CEO of Duarte Design (www.duarte.com) since 1990, Nancy Duarte passionately pursues the presentation development and design niche. One of the largest design firms in Silicon Valley and listed as a top woman-owned business in the area, Duarte Design is one of the few agencies in the world focused solely on presentations, whether they are delivered in person, online or via mobile device. Nancy's twenty years of experience working with global companies and thought leaders has influenced the perception of some of the world's most valuable brands and many of humanity's common causes.

coverslide:ologyNancy Duarte

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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