Saturday, March 6, 2010

Duarte Design's Five Rules for Making Presentations that Don't Suck

Everyone on some level must hate PowerPoint, because it evokes the image of endless hours slide boredom and train wreck presentations. PowerPoint first appeared in the mid-1980s and became the De facto standard for business presentations competing against early players like Aldus Persuasion and Harvard Graphics. Over the years it's become one of the most abused pieces of software because, in essence, it's a design tool for presentations and not everyone is good designer. But there are people out there who are trying to make a change and save the world from "Death by Powerpoint". Garr Reynolds and Nancy Duarte are two that come right mind as they have built their businesses and brands on creating inspirational presentation designs.

Nancy Duarte is author of slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, and CEO of Duarte Design, the firm that was created Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth presentation. This video, Duarte’s Five Rules for Creating World-Changing Presentations, expands on the trailer that was included in the release of Microsoft Office 2010 Public Beta last fall and was created using PowerPoint 2010.

Rather than look at this video as a marketing tool for Duarte Designs (which it does a great job at doing) – consider this as a public service announcement.

Nancy Duarte shared the 5 Rules in a guest post, 5 Tips on Getting PowerPoint to Sing! on the The PowerPoint Team Blog:

"The foundation of the script came from the Manifesto: The Five Theses of the Power of a Presentation from our book slide:ology which are:
  1. Treat Your Audience as King: They didn’t come to your presentation to see you. They came to find out what you can do for them. Make it clear what they are to do.
  2. Spread Ideas and Move people: Communicate your ideas with strong visual grammar to engage all their senses and they will adopt the ideas as their own.
  3. Help The Audience See What You’re Saying: Guide your audience through ideas in a way that helps, not hinders their comprehension. Appeal not only to their verbal senses, but to their visual senses as well.
  4. Practice design, Not Decoration: Don’t just make pretty talking point. Instead, display information in a way that makes complex information clear.
  5. Cultivate Healthy Relationships: Display information in the best way possible for comprehension rather than using slides as a crutch." - from The PowerPoint Team Blog : 5 Tips on Getting PowerPoint to Sing!