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on 8 April 2014
This is a great book for people who have to persuade an audience with their presentations. I think it really scores for those who are experienced presenters and want to raise their game, because as the author points out “Creating an interesting presentation requires a more thoughtful process than throwing together the blather we’ve come to call a presentation today.”

No easy fix is promised: throughout the book, Nancy Duarte repeats the message that it takes time and planning to create and deliver a high-quality presentation. Early on, she cites a survey suggesting that as many as 86% of executives say that communication clearly impacts their careers; yet only a quarter of them put more than 2 hours into preparing for high-stakes presentations. Which may go some way to explaining why so many presentations are rubbish.

Facts aren’t enough on their own: we need to appeal to hearts as well as minds, emotions as well as reason. To do this we need to weave compelling stories through our presentation. When was the last time you visualised a set of numbers showed on a slide? Now when was the last time you visualised what was going on in a story a presenter told? And which stayed in the memory – the number or the story? If you were lucky the number and story were in the same presentation, and you most likely remembered them both.

Duarte walks her talk, as Resonate takes presenters through the journey of creating a compelling presentation. She provides memorable stories from her own experience and more than a dozen different high-profile case studies, some of whose presentations are analysed in great detail to see just how people from Abraham Lincoln to Steve Jobs, companies such as General Electric and Cisco Systems, deliver presentations that move people to act.

There are heaps of practical tips and wise words – I particularly like Duarte’s advice for presenters to take the role of ‘mentor’ not ‘hero’ to the audience, as it “will clothe you in humility”. Guide, give advice and words of wisdom, lessons learned – and help the audience join you on a journey. Duarte’s tips to getting to know your audience are illustrated with her own rigorous research and preparation for a client, showing just how much work is needed here. This rigour is followed by ruthlessness at the editing stage when we’re told to “edit on behalf of your audience”, and when creating the presentation to “wean yourself from the slides”.

Even experienced presenters will discover new tools. I liked the ‘sparkline’, which visualises the narrative ebb and flow (wonderfully illustrated by Benjamin Zander). There are story templates, tools for analysing the audience and then mapping their (not your) journey from where there are now to where they can be, frameworks for presentation structure, and another favourite of mine, the S.T.A.R. Moment (‘Something They’ll Always Remember’).

This is a hefty work, yet all wonderfully brought to life with metaphor, visuals, stories, and characters from history, art, TV and movies. We get Yoda and Luke Skywalker and even the Karate Kid, along with Martin Luther King, Hitchcock, Mozart and many more.

I was particularly pleased with my Kindle for iPad app edition with live links to resources and tools. It looked superb and worked beautifully – like a great presentation.

Highly recommended.

You can find Resonate here on Amazon [http://www.amazon.co.uk/Resonate-Present-Stories-Transform-Audiences/dp/B00C6PO61Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1396924929&sr=8-2&keywords=resonate+present+visual+stories+that+transform+audiences]

Nancy has also written ‘Slide:ology’ which is now on my wish-list
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on 5 September 2016
Being a teacher and entrepreneur my expectations were low, how a single book can teach how to prepare presentations to very many different scenarios? Talking to one group of people is not the same as talking to another. Even talking to the same people under different circumcisions is different, let alone talking about different subjects and issues. Therefore, when i started the reading i was somewhat skeptic. I wondered, how one could guide me to write/prepared such large variety of presentations. The book does not supply a formula, there is no magic, and still it exceeded all my expectations.

The answer lies in getting to the fundamentals and having good understanding of the thinking and pursuing processes. Once the reader understands these processes, he can implement them in his presentation. The book does it very well, step by step and with case studies.

The book is highly recommended for people who are not afraid to learn and practice.
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on 14 July 2015
this has some really great ideas and some lovely imagery. Unfortunately the font is very small and the whole thing could be better laid out for readability. Probably works better as a coffee table book than something to read properly with the intention of studying the topic (which is what I was hoping to do).
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on 3 June 2016
Presenting to an audience is something that terrifies me. After reading this book I feel more confident about giving interesting and engaging presentations. The content is beautiful and easy to recall.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best books I have read on the subject.
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on 22 July 2012
Inspirational book about presentations. It is not a template approach for how to put together an excellent presentation but rather serves as a launch pad for ideas. Important lessons include thoughts on contrast, audience, repeatable sound bites, the power of rehearsal and Murder Your Darlings.

I really like the design of this book which makes it a pleasure to read. Nice shape. Nice pictures.

Inspiring examples include Benjamin Zander, Steve Jobs, Ronald Reagan, Markus Covert, Leonard Bernstein, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Luther King etc.

A collection of thoughts packed with useful insights, tips and visuals. It enhances awareness rather than improves skils. For that Duarte should have created an integrated approach such as Barbara Minto's Pyramid Principle. A good book but not an essential guide on presentations. 7 out of 10 for me.
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on 31 January 2017
Excellent book, full of great tips which are very easy to put into practice
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on 13 January 2015
This book has really helped me with some practical advice to present better. Specifically around weaving a story through an entire presentation and considering the audiences emotional response at every stage. Interesting observations about the patterns in great speeches and presentations that I will also test out in my next presentation.
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on 5 February 2013
This book is about communication and presentation. In that way it walks the talk! It presents the information in an easy to digest way, and show clearly how to present a message to an audience. Knowing your audience, working out your segments, speaking clearly and using interactive communications skills were all aspects of this book that I appreciated.
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on 11 July 2014
This is really more style than substance. It sort of floats along with "themes" and is more about show casing the author's past work and praising individuals rather than a helpful guide for the reader.
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on 11 June 2015
Beautiful and very practical book
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