slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations: The Art and Science of Presentation Design Paperback – 17 Aug 2008
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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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Top customer reviews
Anyway not bad.
The lost star is that it moves so quickly from one idea to another, with the desire to make each idea palatable I assume. This succeeds, but the outcome is twofold. Firstly, as you are tantalised with a new area of interest it moves so quickly onto the next; I felt continually underfed. Secondly, it made the book feel a little fast-cut. Like some modern films that cannot hold shot for more than 3 seconds, it feels disjointed when really it isn't.
So this is a lovely book, wonderfully put together, I just wish it had held onto some thoughts a little longer.
Some of the reviews have been disparaging, as if the ideas shown here are somehow "obvious", or this book offers "nothing new". Well, they may be like that to some people, but sit through almost any business presentation, and it's clear that the vast majority of presenters haven't got a clue. This book is not for people who already know how to do it. It's for people who want to improve. As I teach presentation skills professionally, I bought it as both reference and professional development - I knew a lot of it already, but as I have never attended an art or design class, I also learned a lot. And although it focuses on slides, that's not all it looks at - there are many other aspects of presentations discussed that make it a far more rounded text. Ms Duarte reminds her readers again and again that a presentation is much more than just the slides.
There was only one thing that grated: some of the sample slides were very small, written in a miniscule font that was nearly impossible to read, even when the slide was clearly meant to be an improvement. Since there was plenty of space on each page, there was no clear reason why they had to be this tiny, and it went against the principle that was clearly espoused for presentations: make the font large and fully legible to your audience! So for this, I have deducted one star from my rating.
Otherwise, this book is excellent, and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to improve their presentations.
Excellent examples, methodical approach and a few really good insights and tips. Most of all, this book taught me that I am NOT being too pedantic about the perfection in my slides, and that I should actually be more pedantic!
A lot of this book is actually about delivering a presentation, rather than the actual design of the slides. This particular content provides nothing new, unless you have never had any training in presenting at all. Also, the book is very expensive for what it is; there are loads of pictures and not a huge amount of text, so it's all over and done with in no time at all.
In summary, I came away with a few really good insights into how I can make my presentations better - but I had to wade through quite a lot (and spend quite a lot) just to get just these few tips.
This is a great book for helping me achieve that goal. It focuses a significant amount of attention on the small details that go into making a presentation effective and now I approach slide creation as a fun and creative process, rather than something laborious and a waste of time.
However, this is not "how to use powerpoint" or indeed "how to deliver great presentations", this is purely and simply "how to make your slides have visual impact", if you're happy with the corporate templates your company issues you, or even if you use powerpoint templates as your start, I suspect this book will be wasted on you.
1 criticism of the book is that it doesn't take you through the process Duarte use themselves. They give you lots of side notes about Al Gore and Steve Jobs, but I would have been more interested in what they did with Al Gore's content to make it into the slides he uses in "An Inconvenient Truth". Instead, this book shows you the before and after of bad then good slides. The journey those slides went on is not explored at all.
For an approach on how to get better at presenting, buy Presentation Zen and for a book on how to implement what "Zen" teaches you, buy this book.
The combination of the 2 is great value and you will use the content you read here time and time again.
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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