Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations

Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations

By: Nancy Duarte
  • Turn ideas into informative slides and graphs
  • Use sketching and diagramming techniques effectively
  • Develop influential presentations

Good Information, Difficult to Read, Poor Typography Choices

I purchased the book after hearing references to the author. The content of the book is very good with many useful insights on how to prepare better slide-based presentations.

However, I have found what is for me a significant problem. The font choice in size and color makes the book nearly unreadable in general room light by any but the sharpest / youngest eyes. Under direct light from a desk lamp the pages can be read, but the ink has such a shine that I'm always tilting the book one way or another to eliminate glare on the paragraph that I'm reading.

For a book offering suggestions to improve presentation design, I'm puzzled by the design choices made for the publication itself. An attractive layout that induces eye strain.



Cedar Rapids, IA

More Praises

Terrible presentation. It's basically a PDF, horrible to read on an iPad and impossible on a Kindle

bought Resonate by this same author and it's a pleasure to read. But this title? It's basically just a PDF of the whole book that is extremely uncomfortable to read on ANY device. It won't download to my Kindle, of course, and it's really hard to read on my iPad as text is very small and pages have lots of white space around text blocks. Wasted space everywhere.
I regret buying this and as I hadn't opened it till now (because I was reading Resonate first!) I can't return it.

Maximiliano Villa


Amazing. I've tried her suggestions again with smaller audiences

I think there are more insights in this book than anything written on presentations. If you need hand-holding, there are other options, but Nancy Duarte talks about the essentials. It is not fluff. I tried them out at a large conference, using last minute band-aids after reading her book, and what a reaction from the audience. Amazing. I've tried her suggestions again with smaller audiences, and again amazing. I have a lot to learn and experiment yet, but what a wonderful level she elevates you to.

Jeff Stearns


Content is 5 Stars but the Form Factor is 2 Stars

Content is 5 stars but the form factor of the book leaves MUCH to be desired. Nice binding and everything, but the print on the page was way too small. The author or publisher sacrificed readability in order to have a lot of white space on the pages (I'm guessing for artistic reasons). So, many of the illustrations with text were very hard to read and the whole book was hard on my eyes.

Great content, though and definitely recommended.

Buzz Park

Sherman Oaks, CA USA

Daily driver if you can think critically

Couldn't help but counter some of the negative reviews precisely on their criticism. I can agree that it isn't didactic and linear but that isn't a bad thing. If you flip through topically it can feel disorienting. If you accept the ideas and work through it, what you find is you circle back to ideas earlier and things hang together in amazing ways. As I worked through each idea, it made the related pieces come alive. What is more, since it isn't trying to create a linear progression, I find pieces I can pull out as focus areas and work through. Example when I go into a new area, I use the "know your audience" material to center from. When I work on creating templates for various streams, I start with knowing the brand first then progress through palette, font and graphical styles. When I'm stuck on trying to convey a concept, I go to the design metaphors. For the past 8 years I've worn this book out as a daily driver to center how I communicate.



A must read for anyone who works with PowerPoint often but struggles.

I have to put slides together on an almost regular basis for my work and I am terrible at it. I always joke that I do not have a creative bone in my body. I really don't. This book is fantastic for supplying ideas to take the concepts in your head and make great slides out of them. The book is loaded with examples to help illustrate the key concepts.

A must read for anyone who works with PowerPoint often but struggles.

Product Junkie


A methodology for creating meainingful presentations

Nancy Duarte is known for helping high tech firms like Adobe, Cisco, and Google craft their image. She also gained attention by working on Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth. Slide:ology is a combination of the words slide (as in PowerPoint slide) and ideology, which is an apt description for the book. Although there are specific prescriptions for making successful presentations, the book does a better job at presenting Nancy Duarte's ideology (although I would use the word methodology) for crafting presentations. If you feel totally lost when you first open Microsoft PowerPoint (or any presentation tool - the book is tool agnostic) or if you feel totally defeated after giving an underwhelming presentation, you'll find this book tremendously helpful. It beautifully covers the entire lifecycle from imagination to creation to presentation.

Based on the rave reviews of this book, I was expecting to experience a presentation epiphany. Although I found some new tips, much of the advice is presented in the books I already own by Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter) and The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides (Voices That Matter) . Slide:ology is beautiful and inspirational. But in times when I wanted Nancy Duarte's own book to go deeper, she provided reading recommendations for still more books instead.

Still, it's useful to have a few of these guides on your bookshelf and to review them while in the midst of creating your latest presentation. Many times, we reach immediately for Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote instead of practicing slide:ology. If your bookshelf is light on presentation design books, this book will definitely be a big help. But if you already own a few books on presentation design- like me- you'll turn the last page still hoping for more. Perhaps I'll find more as I read Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences , her second book.

Dallas Marks

Oxford, OH USA

Learn How to Make Exciting Slide Presentation

Most of us are bored by the typical business slide presentation. Then when we have to do them, we do the same thing, with the same results. I do webinars, and have for over 14 years. I was able to immediately use several of her techniques (she consults on this subject, very successfully) to improve my webinar presentation. I highly recommend the book, which apparently covers many of her consulting points. Very actionable information.

John E. Lincoln

St. George, UT United States

Book Details

Publisher : O’Reilly Media; 1st edition (August 12, 2008)
Language: : English
Paperback : 296 pages
ISBN-10 : 0596522347
ISBN-13 : 978-0596522346
Item Weight : 1.84 pounds
Dimensions : 9.08 x 0.67 x 8.64 inches
Best Sellers Rank : #30,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#3 in Presentation Software Books
#5 in Office Management (Books)
#6 in Desktop Publishing

About the Author

Nancy Duarte


Nancy Duarte is a communication expert who has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, LA Times and on CNN.

As the storyteller of the Silicon Valley, and 5th largest woman-owned employer there, her firm, Duarte, Inc., is the global leader behind some of the most influential messages in business and culture.

Since 1988, Duarte works with global companies and thought leaders, influencing how the world perceives some of the most important brands and entities, including Apple, AT&T, Cisco, Facebook, GE, Google, HP, Qualcomm, Salesforce, Target, TED, Twitter, Virgin, VMWare, and the World Bank.

Nancy has been a keynote speaker on numerous public stages and her firm counts almost 200 of the Fortune 500 among her firm’s clientele. Nancy also speaks at business schools and lectures at Stanford University and UC Berkeley.

Nancy is the author of three bestselling books. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences, which identifies the hidden story structures inherent in great communication, spent more than 300 days on Amazon’s top 100 business book bestsellers list. Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations teaches readers to think visually and has been translated into eight languages. The HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations gives readers the tools and confidence they need to master public speaking. Illuminate helps leaders use empathy to create a communication plan that helps teams be motivated to drive change.

Nancy has three grown children who walk in their destiny, a husband who has loved her for, like, ever, and two grand kids that take her breath away.

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