Nancy Duarte Vol 2 Slideology & Illuminate

The next episode of the work of series is on Nancy Duarte again. This time I look at her books Slideology, The HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations and Illuminate (with Patti Sanchez).


History of Visual Presentations

Cave Paintings to Overhead Projector (1945)

Powerpoint 1987


High stakes Internal and External Presentations

Message, Visual Story and Delivery

A lot of time to prepare a Presentation

Responding to Audience Needs

  1. What are they like?
  2. Why are they here?
  3. What keeps them up at night?
  4. How can you solve their problem?
  5. What do you want them to do?
  6. How might they resist?
  7. How can you best reach them?

Innovate with Sticky Notes

Sketching ideas – explains how to

Use Diagrams

Sketch Scenes

Classify Diagrams








Display Data

Displaying Data

Data slides about the meaning of data

Tell the truth (know your stuff)

Get to the point (clear about conclusions)

Pick the right tool for the job (Pie, Bar, Line charts)

Highlight what’s important (Background, Data, Emphasis)

Keep it simple

Think like a designer


Arrangement: contrast, hierarchy, unity, space, proximity, flow

Visual elements: background, color, text, images

Movement: timing, pace, distance, direction, eye flow


Contrast: identify main point quickly

Flow: how information is processed

Hierarchy: relationship between elements

Unity: structure of information

Whitespace: breathing room

Proximity: meaning from location

Visual Elements:





Dark Background


Bad handout

Large venues

Objects can glow

Light background


Has a bright feeling

Smaller venues


3 second rule


Less words

typeset text when photos

Not crazy with bullets after bullets

Photography and Illustration

Illustrate complex stories

Successful handoff

Give them time

Let them be experts

Be Decisive

Animation serves a purpose

Movement for change

Build strong templates

10 slides 20 minutes 30 points font minimum

Use different visual aids depending

Main things to remember

Audience is king

Spread ideas and move people

Design not demonstration

Help see what you’re saying

Cultivate healthy relationships


HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations


1. Audience

Understand the Audience’s Power

Give hero gift of value, tool, unstuck

Segment the Audience

Pick the one type of person in the room with the most influence, and write your presentation as if just to that subgroup.

Get to Know Your Audience

  • What are they like?
  • Why are they here?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • How can you solve their problems?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • How might they resist?
  • How can you best reach them?

Define How You’ll Change the Audience

Map out that transformation

Find Common Ground

  • Shared experiences:
  • Common goals
  • Qualifications

2. Message

Define Your Big Idea

  • Your point of view
  • What’s at stake

Generate Content to Support the Big Idea

Anticipate Resistance

  • Logical resistance
  • Emotional resistance
  • Practical resistance

Share your big idea with others and ask them to pressure-test it.

Amplify Your Message Through Contrast

Create and resolve tension

Build an Effective Call to Action

Choose Your Best Ideas

Organize Your Thoughts

Balance Analytical and Emotional Appeal

Lose the Jargon

Craft Sound Bites

3. Story

Apply Storytelling Principles

  • Stories involve transformation
  • Stories have a clear structure:

Create a Solid Structure

Craft the Beginning

Develop the Middle

Make the Ending Powerful

Inventory of Personal Stories

  • Important times in your life:
  • Relatives:
  • Authority figures:
  • Peers:
  • Subordinates:
  • Enemies:
  • Important places:
  • Things you cherish:
  • Things that have hurt

Use Metaphors as Your Glue

Create STAR moments

Shocking statistics

Evocative visuals

Memorable dramatization

Emotive anecdote

4. Media

Choose the Right Vehicle for Your Message

Make the Most of Slide Software

Determine the Right Length for Your Presentation

Persuade Beyond the Stage




5. Slides

Three second rule

Start with a clean surface

Limit your text

Coordinate visual elements

Arrange elements with care

Choose the Right Type of Slide

Storyboard One Idea per Slide



White space



Clarify the Data

Turn Words into Diagrams

6. Delivery

Rehearse Your Material Well

Set the Right Tone for Your Talk


Communicate with Your Body

Project emotion with your face

Peel yourself away from your slides

Make Your Stories Come to Life

Reexperience your stories

Get the Most out of Your Q&A

Build Trust with a Remote Audience

Place the camera at eye level

If you can, deliver your presentation standing rather than seated.

7. Impact

Build Relationship Through Social Media


Nancy Duarte & Patti Sanchez

Jobs, Howard Schultz, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to move people. Duarte and Sanchez lay out a plan to help you lead people through the five stages of transformation using speeches, stories, ceremonies, and symbols.

  • Pattie great empathy

Leaders see the future

  • Ability to anticipate what’s ahead, as if the future is illuminated. Light the path
  • Constant reinvention
  • empathetic storytelling skills, cope with change

Chapter 1: Leaders move others forward

  • Leaders role, your role, is to light the way for your team through empathetic communications – to be a torchbearer
  • Leaders Anticipate and shape future
  • Most people don’t want disruption
  • Change is hard
  • Imagine each step along way

Map the stages of your venture

  • Story structure
  • Hero tested
  • Torchbearers spring travelers into action
  • Middle stages, Fight and Climb are tough
  • End of one stage: speeches, stories and ceremonies to create galvanizing moments 

Chapter 2 – Listen empathetically to light the path

  • Leaders vision

Empathy creates solidarity

  • Empathizing brings people closer together and makes them feel connected
  • That connection builds support
  • Care leads to higher motivation, productivity, and creativity, “emotional intelligence” is a core skill

Imagine yourself in your traveler’s place

  • Imagine their thoughts moving from present to the future
  • What will challenge them
  • Imagine all the emotions your dream might evoke in your travelers
  • How do they feel about the change?
  • What will they need to do?

Chapter 3 – Torchbearers toolkit

  1. Deliver speeches
  2. Tell stories
  3. Hold ceremonies
  4. Use symbols

Chapter 4 – Dream

Chapter 5 – Leap

Chapter 6 – Fight

Chapter 7 Climb

Chapter 8 – Arrive

Chapter 9 – Redream

  • Already redream when getting close
  • All ventures part of bigger story

Conclusion – confessions of a torchbearer Nancy Duarte

  • Ability to see the way and illuminate if for others find what sets you apart
  • Usually, its more like dream, leap fight, climb fight, climb recommit, climb, fight arrive



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