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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but not delightful
I'm a massive fanboy of Nancy Duarte. But I was not frothing at the mouth in anticipation of her new book after she revealed that much of it was contained material from her previous two books.

Much of HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations is an executive summary of Duarte's previous two books. As I went through, I often thought, "There's the presentation...
Published 20 months ago by Zen Faulkes

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars excellent guide
Easy to read, lots of good tips and great examples. Not all advices are easily applicable to complicated scientific data, but it's worth a try!
Published 3 months ago by Jamie s


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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative, but not delightful, November 5, 2012
By 
Zen Faulkes (Edinburg, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
I'm a massive fanboy of Nancy Duarte. But I was not frothing at the mouth in anticipation of her new book after she revealed that much of it was contained material from her previous two books.

Much of HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations is an executive summary of Duarte's previous two books. As I went through, I often thought, "There's the presentation structure from Resonate.... ooh, and there are diagram types from Slide:ology." That said, even in sections that cover old ideas, there are new examples. The book is right up to date, using examples from earlier this year.

The last two sections of the book - "Delivery" and "Impact" - are the ones of most interest, because they have the most new material. There's a good section on giving webinars and other remote presentations online. How can you give a presentation that people will listen to... when people are much more likely to check email during that time? There's a discussion on working with an interpreter to deliver a presentation to people who don't speak your language.

Online crowds might be interested in her sections on following-up presentations with social media tools. For example, she encourages speakers to create a hashtag for their presentations - but not "canned" tweets. She cites research that people want to determine what's important, so suggesting tweets to the audience makes it less likely people will use it. There's also good discussion about the pros and cons of monitoring the backchannel during a conference, for example.

HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations is a very different beast from Slide:ology and Resonate. The size of the book is something you can readily throw in a backpack or purse, rather than the oversized trade paperback of the predecessors. The production is spare. The pages and pictures are all black and white. The contrast to the visually lush reading experience of Slide:ology or Resonate is dramatic. For me, Persuasive Presentations was less, well, persuasive because it didn't have that depth and intensity.

As an academic, I'm disappointed that when Duarte talks about research and gives examples, you're on your own to try your luck with Google to find them. There are no references or URLs anywhere in this book. I'm hoping that this might be remedied in the ebook, but the product description makes it appear that the ebook's advantage is a video rather than links.

Each section is short. Each one is about the length of a blog post. Indeed, some of the sections have been put up as blog posts on the Harvard Business Review website, and because they can use colour, they look much better.

Despite the brevity, Duarte makes this a more personal book than her previous ones in many cases. She sprinkles personal anecdotes throughout. I get the impression that she's gained a lot more experiences to share as she's transitioned from a "behind the scenes" presentation designer to an "on the stage" keynote presenter.

If you have not bought either of Nancy Duarte's previous books, Persuasive Presentations is excellent value: you can get this one for less than half the price of the other two combined. But this is not a "must own" like Slide:ology and Resonate are. HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations informed me, but it didn't delight me.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Golden Rule: Never deliver a presentation you wouldn't want to sit through." Motto at Duarte, Inc., November 8, 2012
This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
This is one of the first volumes in a new series of anthologies of articles previously published in Harvard Business Review or, in this instance, a series of tutorials provided by Nancy Duarte in which she shares information, insights, and counsel about how to prepare and then deliver persuasive, high-impact presentations.

As is also true of volumes in other such series, notably HBR Essentials, HBR Must Reads, and HBR Management Tips, HBR Guides offer great value in several ways. Here are two: Cutting-edge thinking from 25-30 sources in a single volume at a price (about $12.50 from Amazon in the bound version) for a fraction of what article reprints would cost.

The material was selected and to help those who read this book to improve their abilities to convince members of an audience why the given ideas matter to them, win over tough crowds, balance emotional and analytical appeal of the given "message," craft memorable phrases and examples, create powerful visuals when needed, strike the right tone, hold an audience's attention, and measure the impact of the presentation.

Duarte organizes her material within seven sections. All of it is of outstanding quality and value. These are among the dozens of passages of special interest to me, each prefaced by "How to...":

o Present Clearly and Concisely to Senior Executives (Pages 11-20)
"Help them make big decisions on a tight schedule."

o Anticipate and Prepare for Resistance (33-36)
"Think through opposing perspectives."

o Create a Solid Structure (65-66)
"Storytelling principles provide a framework."

o Determine the Right Length for Your Presentation (99-102)
"Keep your audience engaged by budgeting your time."

o Create Slides That People Can "Get" in Three Seconds (113-116)
"Do they pass the glance test"?

o Set the Right Tone for Your Talk (169-170)
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

o Make Your Stories Come to Life (181-182)
"Re-experience them in the telling."

o Get the Most Out of our Q&A (187-190)
"Plan, plan, plan."

o Build Relationships Through Social Media (205-210)
"Facilitate the online conversation."

o Follow Up After Your Talk (219-210)
"Make it easier for people to put your ideas into action."

As suggested earlier, think of each prefaced by "How to...."

If you need assistance in any of these areas, Duarte's book will be of invaluable assistance now as well as in months and years to come.

Sun Tzu asserts in The Art if War that every battle is won or lost before it is fought. The same is true of persuasive presentations, as Woodrow Wilson suggests: "If I am to speak for ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duarte is a trusted Sherpa guiding you towards the peak., October 23, 2012
This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations is an practical hands-on book on tips, tricks and methods improving your presentation technique.

For the busy presenter start with to the chapters were you have most potential for improvement. It is a quick read.

Having worked with some of the biggest corporations in the world, designing, crafting and improving their leaders presentations in more than 10 different countries.
I have seen a some the worst imaginable presentations as well as some of the most persuasive, informative and inspiring presentations too. For both the masters and novice presenters Duarte is a trusted Sherpa guiding you towards the peak.

TIP. HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations is an nice companion to Duartes inspiring book Resonate.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cliff Notes for Presenters - A Useful Guide for the Novice and the More Experienced., May 19, 2013
This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
I grew up in a media centric family and have been an ardent student of communication since my teens. I learned a great deal through osmosis from my father, his advertising buddies, and my grandfather (founder of the Chicago Times, aka Sun-Times). This interest has never flagged, has been a constant companion, and has served me very well throughout my life. I know firsthand that effective communication is the key to influencing others and getting things done.

My interest in the recently released HBR guide to "Persuasive Presentations: Inspire Action, Engage Your Audience, Sell Your Ideas" piqued when I learned that its author, Nancy Duarte, would be the headliner at a Silicon Valley networking event. Nancy, I learned, gained national attention earlier for her oft-quoted book, "slide:ology: the art and science of creating great presentations."

There is no doubt that Nancy is a communications expert. Her guide to "Persuasive Presentations" is impressive, not only for its content, but more importantly, for its usefulness. This 221 page book covers all the basics for a great presentation and has them organized for quick and easy access. "Persuasive Presentations" will serve as an excellent introduction for the novice and as a great reference resource for more experienced communicators. I have ordered copies of "Persuasive Presentations" for each of my direct reports.

Duarte's guide centers (in seven parts) on three key steps to effective communication:
* Conceiving (know the audience, develop the message, construct a story, and determine the most effective media)
* Visualizing (conceptualize and simplify how you share information)
* Presenting (create impact through delivery)

The section on conceptualizing and displaying information, for example, contains eleven chapters, each just a few pages long (perfect for consumption in Tweet-filled world):
1. Think like a designer
2. Create slides people can "get" in 3 seconds
3. Choose the right type of slide
4. One idea per slide
5. Avoid visual clichés
6. Arrange with care
7. Clarify the data
8. Turn words into diagrams
9. Use the right number
10. Know when to animate
11. Slides are not the talk, you are

While there are many more books (like Duarte's "slide:ology" and "resonate") that provide more depth (and examples) for effective communication, none of them are quick reads nor serve effectively as a quick guide - a practical "Cliff Notes for Presenters"!

Duarte has been creating and giving presentations since 1990. Her firm specializes in writing and producing presentations. "Persuasive Presentations" is loaded with insights learned from supporting other presenters and giving her own talks. She has learned that it is "in the crafting and recrafting - in iteration and rehearsal - that excellence emerges."

Duarte has helped hundreds of presenters connect with their audience, get others to adopt their ideas, and garner the resources needed to carry them out. This book is for you if you are interested in gaining influence and/or expanding your career beyond expectations.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch, December 28, 2012
By 
Karen (Falls Church, VA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
This is really the only Duarte you need to buy, if you're looking at her body of work and wondering. No, it doesn't have all the layout stuff that Slideology has, but after reading all her stuff (library and purchased), I feel like this would have been the one to focus on (although it was published AFTER I had read through all her others). I feel it's the most practical, and jettisons some of the fluff you find in her other books. I have highlighted, dog-eared and stickie-taped throughout this whole book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Primer on Presentations, November 4, 2012
This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
This book is a primer on presentations. It touches upon every topic which every presenter needs to know. The book describes the following 7 step process of making any presentation:

Know your audience -> Develop your message -> Use storytelling to engage the audience -> Identify the best medium to communicate the message (software or otherwise) -> Design your slides -> Deliver your presentation -> Measure and increase the impact of your presentation.

If you have never read a book on presentations, you should start with this. Since the book has tried to cover everything about a presentation, it does not go too deep into anything. In a way, that is good for the reader. The book is full of stuff which will make you way better than you currently are.

Reading the book will ensure you understand what a presentation really is. This book will make you ask the right questions to yourself while making a presentation.

The book moves at a rapid pace and does not dig deeper into any subject. While that seems fine overall, at many places you will crave for more examples and more information. How do I do this? Why this not that? The author could have added links to TED videos or more content online for interested readers.

It will not teach you everything, but will teach you something about everything. You are then free to explore further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive presentation guide, October 26, 2012
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This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
Nancy Duartes follows up her wonderful presentations books slide:ology and resonate with this HBR handbook in how to make and deliver the presentations. The book follow the full chain from creating your ideas to how to the follow up on the talk. I especially enjoyed the last part, the delivery, which for me was 'most new', since I have read the other books. For the other parts I prefer the two individual books, maybe not least since they are more visually appealing. The HBR format do make this book a little dull compared to the other books. The text is on the other hand, as always, interesting and has a good flow.
If you are interested in only one book about presentations, then this is the perfect option (maybe with a reservation for the graphical format). If you are interested in more books, you should complement with Nancy's previous boooks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant Resource, October 24, 2012
This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
I recently started doing more research in reference to presentations and motivating others. Nancy Duarte comes up repeatedly throughout my findings. After watching her TED Talk, I knew I wanted to learn more about what she had to say. I just bought this book and I'm already learning so much. I know this will be my new main resource to create better presentations and change the world in my own way. "The future isn't a place that we're going to go. It's a place that you're going to create."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful starting point to change the way you present, October 24, 2012
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This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
After reading, enjoying and studying Slide:ology and Resonate I felt curious about this new book from Nancy Duarte. Hadn't everything been covered already in those books? What's new in HBR Guide to Persuasive presentations? After reading it, my impression is that this new book is oriented to professionals with limited time who need useful tips, and a clear reference structure to improve their presentations. And boy does the book deliver! There are tons of tips, insights and practical examples. Some of the contents and ideas from the previous books have been condensed to fit this "lightweight" format. In addition, there's new information regarding Social Media interaction, and follow-up after presentation which I found priceless.
Nancy does not lie to anyone: you have to work hard to make good presentation; really hard in fact. But the promise of the reward behind all the hard work makes the effort worthwhile.

Be advised though: once you open this door and step in, there'll be no stepping back. You'll probably want to know more, be a better presenter, and your profesional life will change forever.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Presentations are effective if they capture the audience., October 22, 2012
By 
Bruce Bennett (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides) (Paperback)
Ms. Duarte is the top in her field. HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations is a must read for anyone putting together meaningful presentations.
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HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Review Guides)
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