Think of how many boring presentations you have sat through in your lifetime. Slides overflowing with text, cheesy clip art, and charts that would take you all day to understand. After I read Slide:ology by Nancy Duarte, my first thoughts were about my own presentations and how I have forced people to sit through uninteresting and disjoined presentations. But hopefully, no more.
The subtitle for the book tells you exactly what you are getting: the art and science of great presentations. My copy is now tagged with dozens of post-it notes—concepts and advice to revisit before I put my next presentation together.
If you want a preview of just how powerful this book is, take a look at her TedTalk, The Secret Structure of Great Talks here. Her presentation is based on in-depth research of powerful speeches and the emerging pattern in them all. This particular presentation uses Steve Jobs iPhone launch and Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream speech. It is paradigm-changing.
Slide:ology explores every detail of how to put slides and presentation together with everything from creating a new slide ideology to arranging elements to how to constrain text (should be tops on everyone’s list). Her idea that your slides should create an idea is a powerful one presenters often overlook at the expense of wanting to disseminate information.
If you are a nonfiction writer, a speaker or presenter, a teacher or professor, or a business person charged with running meetings in your company, you should grab a copy and read. I want to give a hat tip to Jeanine Blackwell, the guru of how to put together successful online classes, for the recommendation of this book.