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slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations 1st Edition

213 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1300354712
ISBN-10: 0596522347
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slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations + Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences + Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Principal of Duarte Design 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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596522347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596522346
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

From the Publisher

So Where Do You Begin?

The audience will either read your slides or listen to you. They will not do both. So, ask yourself this: is it more important that they listen, or more effective if they read?

If a slide contains more than 75 words, it has become a document. You can either reduce the amount of content on the slide and put it in the notes, or admit that this is a document and not a presentation. If it is the latter, host a meeting instead of a presentation, and circulate the slideument ahead of time or allow the audience to read it at the start. Then you can use the remainder of the meeting to discuss the content and build action plans.

Presentations with 50 or so words per slide serve as a teleprompter. This less-than-engaging approach often results from a lack of time spent rehearsing the content, and is the default style of many professionals. Unfortunately, presenters who rely on the teleprompter approach also usually turn their backs to the audience. The audience may even perceive such presenters as slow, as the audience reads ahead and has to wait for the presenter to catch up.

True presentations focus on the presenter and the visionary ideas and concepts they want to communicate. The slides reinforce the content visually rather than create distraction, allowing the audience to comfortably focus on both. It takes an investment of time on the part of the presenter to develop and rehearse this type of content, but the results are worth it.


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More About the Author

Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, LA Times and on CNN. Her firm, Duarte, Inc., is the global leader behind some of the most influential visual messages in business and culture and has created more than a quarter of a million presentations. As a persuasion specialist, she cracked the code for effectively incorporating story patterns into business communications. Resonate, her latest book, spent nearly a year on Amazon's top 100 business book bestsellers list.

Duarte, Inc. is the largest design firm in Silicon Valley, as well as the 5th largest woman-owned employer. Nancy has won several prestigious awards for communications and entrepreneurship and was recently honored in Watermark's "Women Who Have Made Their Mark 2011" ceremony. She has been a speaker at a number of Fortune 500 companies and counts many more among her firm's clientele. She also speaks at business schools and teaches classes at Stanford University several times a year.

Nancy has 20 years of experience working with global companies and thought leaders, and she has influenced how the world perceives some of the most important brands and entities, including Apple, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, HP, TED, Twitter, and the World Bank.

She is the author of two award-winning books. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences identifies the hidden story structures inherent in great communication, and it spent more than 300 days on Amazon's top 100 business book bestsellers list. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations teaches readers to think visually and has been translated into eight languages. Her third book, released in the fall of 2012, is titled HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, which gives readers the tools and confidence they need to master public speaking.

Nancy has three grown children who walk in their destiny and a husband who has loved her for over 30 years. She has two grand-dogs, Bear and Necessity, and a grand-frog named Hubert.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

483 of 533 people found the following review helpful By D. Farmer on January 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
I rarely review books, but this one was such a waste that I'd feel guilty if I didn't at least TRY to persuade you not to buy. The main problem with the book, as other reviewers have alluded to, is that it sort of tries to BE a design masterpiece rather than teach you. The design is interesting, but it is to the point that the content is subordinated to the design. There are maybe 5 pages worth of useful content.

Another irritant to me is that this is by far the most commercial book I've ever seen (more ads than a magazine). It seemed that every few pages I was being told to buy this book, or buy all of some other guys books. There is a two page section that is taken from Guy Kawasaki's blog. The whole thing is incredibly derivative (but shallow).

Finally, and this I can take responsibility for, it didn't meet my needs because I am not Al Gore, nor am I the CEO of a company. If I gave a presentation in the style of this book I'd be laughed out of the office. I'm an analyst, and the warm and fuzzy slides would not be good. Duarte's advice on data intensive slides? "Both [of Stephen Few's] books should be on your shelf along with everything Edward Tufte has written."
I have two Tufte books and they are virtually identical, I don't see myself buying his others (and they suffer from the same lack of relevance to corporate analysts). Disappointing.
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391 of 451 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on September 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to rain on the parade of this book and Garr Reynold's book (and other ones).

The message is "I'm one of the best slide designers in the world (which is true) and I'm going to show you WHY."

The message should be "I'm one of the best slide designers in the world and I'm going to show you HOW."

You'll see plenty to interest you, but unless you're a full-fledged graphic designer you'll never recreate these slides. Imagine putting this book (and the Reynold's book) into a room with some of your worst slide creators, or even yourself. Would you see an improvement in their skills? I doubt it.

You might as well become a painter by reading books that have the world's greatest pictures in them. Even though there is explanatory text here it isn't enough to bridge the gap.

To see a book written for its audience, try the "Before and After" books by Jon McWade which deal with desktop publishing. Unfortunately John has not yet tackled slides, but you can see an page layout idea and make it yourself in minutes.

So, sorry about this, because both this and Reynold's book are "nice" books. The energy has gone into the book's design and production rather than the content. But that makes them coffee-table books, and unless you have a coffee table in your office I'd advise that you give both of them a miss.
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88 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Christine Lacroix on October 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
Don't buy this book. The text is maddeningly small and poorly contrasted. With postage stamp size visuals it's like reading a telphone book.
Get The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin Williams and check out the website of the author of The Craft of Scientific Presentations, Michael Alley for templates and research based design tips.
With these two resources you'll have everything you need without having to wade through the padding in Duarte's book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Scott Yanoff on February 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
The popular reviews on here seem to be the ones that give this book a lower rating. I'm not a professional designer type of person so perhaps I'm less of a purist and just in it for the joy of learning about presentations. I found the book to be a quick read and I liked that. There were some other reviews about this being low on content or too PowerPoint-related. Yes, it is called Slide:ology but it's not a PowerPoint book. The information was easy to digest as opposed to some books that want to expand on their points so much simply for the sake of filling space.

As someone just looking to improve my presentation style, this was a good book to read, although I started reading The Naked Presenter based on another review and have found that to be the book to get. That said, what stood out for me in this book were the following chapters and points:

- Chapter 4: Displaying Data
I thought that there were great tips in here about how to display data and charts in general. These tips are not PowerPoint-specific and can be referred to for any application you're using to generate graphs. For example, some useful recommendations were to wlways start your first data set for a pie chart at the 12 o'clock position, remove the legend and move the key into the graph, and use color to highlight what you really want viewers to focus on in the graph.

- Chapter 5: Arranging Elements
There was a lot of useful information about laying slides out in a grid. Some of the useful tips from here were: when using images of people, make sure that they are looking at the content instead of looking away, or fleeing it; and that leaving the top and bottom rows in a 5x5 grid creates a more cinematic feeling while providing space for titles and similar information.
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136 of 167 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Jones on November 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
I had high hopes for this book. It looks very nice. It has the right nods to Tufte early on. But...

But the true content is very thin, includes a load of chart junk (the anti-Tufte - I guess the true cue is in the title, this is a PowerPoint book) and page after page of abstract diagrams demonstrating "flow" - much like the woeful second half of "Say it with Charts" which is about 50 pages of arrows.

Very very disappointing indeed.
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slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
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