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HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (HBR Guide Series) (Harvard Business Review Guides) Paperback – October 2, 2012

4.5 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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  • HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (HBR Guide Series) (Harvard Business Review Guides)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This concise, yet packed little book might contain all you need to know about giving a better presentation… If you do any kind of public speaking, or want to, this book will be extremely helpful and useful.” — 800 CEO READ

About the Author

Nancy Duarte is a skilled CEO, inspired presenter, and gifted educator. Principal of Duarte Design since 1990, Nancy Duarte is a sought-after speaker whose own presentations live up to the expectations established in her books. Those books include slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations and Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences.
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Product Details

  • Series: Harvard Business Review Guides
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; Harvard Business Review Guides edition (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422187101
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422187104
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,011 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zen Faulkes on November 5, 2012
Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It doesn't matter if you are pitching to investors, speaking at a conference, presenting to the board of directors of your company or engaging your team about the forthcoming strategic plan, we all need to be persuasive in our commununication.

In Nancy Duarte's new book she presents useful tips delivered in quick to read chapters, to help you in the process of planning your presentation through to the follow up after your talk.

This book is ideal for the busy executive who wants a reminder of the key areas to cover in their preparation for an important presentation. But it is also relevant for the student who is presenting to their class.

Nancy includes tips for delivering virtual presentations such as webinars and teleseminars and also share ideas about how to build relationships and access feedback about your presentation through social media (especially relevant if you are speaking at public events and conferences).

This is not the book to purchase if you are looking for guidance on how to design your slides (Nancy's organisation does provide cost effective templates if you do not have an in-house designer and need help to visualise your ideas) - for that you may want to check out Garr Reynolds book Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) .

Even if you are seasoned professional speaker I am confident you will benefit from reading HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (Harvard Business Reveiw Guides) if you are like me and constantly evaluating how to improve you delivery and impact each and every time you present.
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