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on 21 January 2009
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.
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on 25 November 2008
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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on 9 March 2015
I like this book a lot. As it says in the subtitle, it explains "the art and science of creating great presentations" in a clear and simple way. The text is direct and engaging, sometimes employs a little humour, and the use of case studies, showing principles in action, is an inspired touch that adds an extra dimension to what would otherwise be a well-written, but theoretical text.

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.
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on 16 September 2008
Comparing favourably with Presentation Zen Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (Voices That Matter) this book is a superb guide to improving your presentations. Beautifully designed and presented (but would you expect anything less) the book takes a holistic view of presentation planning, design and delivery.

The author is the founder of her own presentation design business with a client list that reads like a who's who of the business world. Accordingly, samples of some of these presentations are included in the book.

Aside from practical pointers, this book will serve as an inspiration to presentation creators everywhere!
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on 25 April 2014
In writing The Presenting Coach, I used this book in my research. It is a beautiful book, as you would expect. But it's more than that, it helps you through the art of making good presentation slides. This is the antidote to the complicated, fussy slides of old and guides the reader to think more about the audience-experience and how to make more impact with less on your slides.

I highly recommend it to those who are already good presenters but who want to bring elegance and sophistication into their slide presentation.

Tricia Woolfrey, Author of The Presenting Coach. [...]
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on 29 August 2008
This is indispensable reading for anyone who has to communicate using presentations and PowerPoint (or Keynote or Impress or whatever). Nancy Duarte lays out what she has learned from many years of experience producing professional presentations for the likes of ex VP Al Gore. Her "how to" approach works very well indeed. For example, she doesn't just say "make use of contrast" but shows five different patterns for using contrast in practice, illustrated with simple diagrams depicting contrasts in size, shape, shade, colour and proximity. This book makes advanced slide design accessible to anyone - if you present to other people, you must read this book!
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on 3 June 2016
Coming from a software background I have had little interest in designing slides and presentations until now!
The reader is taken on a wonderful journey through design concepts that will ultimately help you deliver well presented and more informative slides.
What a brilliant and memorable book.
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on 9 October 2008
"Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations," by Nancy Duarte is a book that will change the way you think about your presentations. Almost anybody who has ever had to deliver a presentation would benefit in some way from reading this book.

The structure of the book follows the process that you'll ideally use in the course of developing a presentation, from coming up with the presentation content itself to developing the slides. At every step of the way, Duarte explains not only how you should create your presentations (e.g. how graphs and charts should be presented), but also why your information should be presented that way. Following Duarte's advice results in a slide deck that supports and enhances your presentation, rather than having the deck detract from or (even worse) BE the presentation. The result is a presentation where there is actually a good reason for the existence and content of each slide.

You might be thinking that you're not a designer, so you won't be able to create a presentation as good as some of the examples highlighted in the book, but you don't need to be a designer to improve your presentations. The book does cover some of the fundamentals of design (color theory, fonts, etc.), and does so in an approachable way, so the non-designers in the crowd (which is most of us) will get at least some information about design fundamentals to help you improve your presentations.

A tiny nitpick is that I would have liked to see even more examples of "good" slides in the book - or even better, more examples of bad slides being turned into good ones. The case studies are great, but many of them are accompanied by an often full-page photo of the presenter. I'd have preferred to see that space given over to more images of the slides.

Overall, I found this to be an excellent book that will easily and immediately reward the time you spend reading it.
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on 9 November 2013
Reading this will put an end to your "slidewareness". You'll be able to get the best of a presentation. You'll stop boring people with your lengthy slides. You'll enlighten people with your messages.
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VINE VOICEon 13 March 2009
I travel across Europe and deliver between 2-3 presentations a week to audiences ranging from 10 - 200 people. I work in the tech sector and I bought this book as inspiration to get away from the myriad of boring "death by powerpoint" presentations my audience are subjected to before I get up and speak.

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.
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