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

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4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  2,338 ratings  ·  118 reviews
No matter where you are on the organizational ladder, the odds are high that you've delivered a high-stakes presentation to your peers, your boss, your customers, or the general public. Presentation software is one of the few tools that requires professionals to think visually on an almost daily basis. But unlike verbal skills, effective visual expression is not easy, natu...more
Paperback, 274 pages
Published August 17th 2008 by O'Reilly Media (first published August 5th 2008)
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Matt
This book was slightly disappointing. Any learner has to walk the line between theory and application. Theory is essential or one often won't understand the nuances of implementation and application. I had hoped this book would help me make better slide presentations. What I need is practical application that will improve the way I present information in PowerPoint, the heroin of the corporate world. This hated but desperately desired form of communication is ubiquitous.
I found this book to con...more
Murray Irwin
This is a great book for presenters on how to design a great slide show to go along with your presentation. Be warned, this is not a book that shows you how to use presentation software like keynote or powerpoint. It is a design focused book on how to tell your story and present your information visually in a way that is effective.

The twelve chapters covers creating a new ideology, creating ideas, creating diagrams, displaying data, thinking like a designer, arranging elements, visual elements,...more
Tamara
Not nearly as helpful as I had hoped. I wanted lots of examples, but instead they did "case studies" on people instead of presentations, such as Al Gore's use of PPT for An Inconvenient Truth. The rest was rhetoric.

The main point, which I know is my greatest weakness, is brevity, and using PPT as an aid to your presentation.
Themistocles
Unfortunately, not nearly as good as I expected it to be. It's great, I suppose, if you have no idea about presentations and no real sense of aesthetics or practicality, but if you have some experience then this will be of little use, offering few really useful tips.

Great layout, shame about the content.
Dave
I looked at this one from 2 perspectives: professional and gateway. In other words, is it worth reading for someone already familiar with basic design principles that's interested in taking things to the next level, and is accessible for neophytes who feel like there's something wrong in the presentation world and they just want to know what it is.

This book leans towards the professional, although the middle chapters on arrangement and visual elements are great, and I'm considering using them t...more
عزة
May 01, 2014 عزة rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: tot
1) consider this: audiences will either listen to what a presenter is saying or read the slides themselves.They won’t do both. Why? People tend to focus on one stream of verbal communication at a time—listening and
reading are conflicting activities.
On the other hand, it’s natural for people to simultaneously pay attention to both verbal and visual communication.

2) You also need to better anticipate the audience’s needs initially and adjust the delivery accordingly.As presenters, the natural tend...more
David
I've recently picked up a couple of books on presentation creation and public speaking. In my opinion, there's always room for improvement here - for everyone.

This book piqued my interest as the author's company designed Al Gore's presentation in An Inconvenient Truth.

The author managed to distill many of the key tenets of great presentations - a lot that I innately knew from my line of work, but embarrassingly don't practice enough. There's a lot of, dare I say, best practices in here.

Now, ther...more
Aaron Bolin
slide:ology is designed as a reasonably comprehensive how-to guide on creating compelling visual material for presentations, promotional materials, and stories. The book is an easy read and visually very appealing. With a list price of $34.99, I found the book to be a very affordable introduction to the world of the graphic designer.

I bought the book at a time when I was struggling to depict a very technically complex manpower planning system in a way that was intuitively understandable. As I wo...more
Susie
Lots of practical ideas, although some are more easily said than done (like have a company set stock of images, etc), but many examples. I will definitely think back to this book when creating future presentations. I got a little sick of hearing about how great Inconvenient Truth was and how Al Gore had a home run with a presentation, then realized they helped create it; that explained a lot.
JP
What I liked most about this book was the constant flow of practical guidance, framed as principles and concepts rather than absolutes. It covers all of the key elements of presentation design, across the full range of scenarios and tools. It would be impossible to read this and not gain some new insight about how to deliver a more creative or relevant visual presentation.
Jay
A nicely presented book on creating and giving presentations. I read this book because a former employer used the services of Duarte for building presentations. But at my level, a person presenting technical details to customers, I don't recall seeing much from the book bubble down, besides perhaps some new templates and icons. This book is focused on high-level executive/big picture presentations, where defining new concepts, or defining known concepts in new ways, is important. Also covered in...more
Robert
Succinct pictorial discoursed on what you should not do—and more importantly what you should do—with your presentation slides.

The book does a good job showing the users a vast array of different styles of presentation, and assures the user that it is not only ok, but important to have your own style.

Appropriate use of animation for slide transitions is discussed.

How/when to use bullets was discussed. Currently, most people over-use them leading to the opposite of the attended effect of a bullete...more
Amy Chan
Oct 01, 2011 Amy Chan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who never took a design class, and designers that wants a fun coffeehouse read
First and foremost, this is a basic design book for slide-style presentation intended for the average business presenters. For someone with a design background, the book can be too simple in term of the techniques it teaches. But for both reader groups, this is a good book to have. For the former, it talks about the major design understanding a person needs to know to create a better presentation in a very easy-to-read method. It's straight-forward and a light read. For the later, it is good rem...more
Casey
Almost a 5. If you make presentations often or are inserted in making better presentations in the future, read this book! The book itself is visually beautiful filled with colorful & meaningful ideas. This is not just another book telling you to practice before hand and not use too much text on your slides.
Lydia
Working with PowerPoint on a regular basis, I've read quite a lot of dull rules about words per slide, slides per presentation, how many seconds you can spend on a slide, and whatnot.

However, rather than being another list of rules (which is, frankly, what I expected), silde:ology gives you the why of the rules, as well as examples of successful rule-breakage.

There is no absolute right way to make a good presentation. You can be as artsy and outlandish as you want, just as long as you are reac...more
Reid
Maybe it's just the deluge of other presentation books I've tackled over the last year, but it doesn't seem like Duarte adds anything new to that conversation. This book looks great, no question, with lots of great examples of pretty slides. Still, there isn't much substance behind the great design. The best section, hands down, is the 12-page layout of all the different conceptual diagrams that are illustrated. I read a review on Amazon that I thought was pretty snarky at first, but now seems p...more
Lauren
I've had this book on my list to read since it came out, but I never got around to it. I get compliments on my slides pretty regularly and felt with my communication background I had it figured out. I finally decided to read it, only because I wanted to read her follow up, Resonate, and wanted to know her general perspective before reading that one. I'm so glad I did. I now have a way to talk about some of the things I do that work, but also I picked up a number of new strategies and techniques....more
Александр Шушпанов
Легко написанная и прекрасно изданная книга про некоторые закономерности человеческого визуального восприятия (применительно к слайдам, графическим примитивам и коротким текстам). Я стараюсь читать всё, что могу достать по этой теме и понимаю, насколько в мире мало людей, которые способны сломать парадигму, в которой докладчик является голосовым довеском к тяжеловесной конструкции, проецируемой на экран. Также я понимаю, что я это самое и наполовину пока в себе не преодолел - и если уж учиться,...more
Anedya Niedar
Very useful tips to take your visual presentation to another level. I never knew some simple tricks & accents can do a lot to boost up a presentation. Definitely worth buying.
Alper Çugun
Nancy Duarte's book on presenting is a seminal work which should be read by everybody going near the field.

The book is written smartly and concisely and lays down both the basics and takes you on a conceptual journey how and why to create a presentation. She starts by explaining how your presentation should be attuned to audience needs and then goes on how to build a deck from concept to the design stages. She also gives an introduction in design which doesn't become too basic for experienced re

...more
Charles-Antoine
Together with PresentationZen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery, you can envision being confortable and fluent at designing compelling presentations.
This books focus mainly on the (graphical) design aspect (whereas PresentationZen puts this emphasis on the approach and methodology).
You'll learn a lot by the repetitively 'before-after' approach: a bad slide compares with its refactored version; impressive.
You will get another perception of your favourite presentation tool (PowerPo...more
Mckinley
lots of examples of slides

7 questions for knowing audience
1. what are they like
2. why are they here
3. what keeps them up at night
4. how can you solve their problem?
5. what do you want them to do?
6. how might they resist?
7. how can you best reach them?

5 data slide rules
1. tell the truth
2. get to the point
3. p9ick the right tool for the job
4. highlight what's important
5. keep it simple

placement of elements created meaning: contract, flow, hierarchy, unity, proximity, whitespace

on a slide - avoid m...more
Chris
Okay, I can't see myself kerning fonts on a regular basis but I got some good general presentation tips from reading this.
Alexander Lutsaevsky
Great book that covers everything you need to know about making slides - from presentation concepts, fonts and colors to making video and presentations for iPhones.
The pages sometimes have too many infografics and examples, but in general I consider the Slide:ology a must read for presenter, along with The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience Reat in Front of Any Audience
Michael
I am trying to become a great presenter and teacher and to that end this book was very helpful.

Granted, you have to practice an active skill to improve right? So I am not expecting magic right after finishing it. But it was beautiful (lack of a better word) to read, interesting, informative and I could tell they know their stuff. It will be a great reference I will look at a million times in the future when applying their advice and improving. Having spent tons of hours creating presentations I...more
Nuno
Great framework for creating compelling stories for presentations. Good read, worthwile as an ongoing reference.
Tim Pixley
The majority of presentations given today, whether in business, government or academia, leave audiences cold, if not asleep.

This book provides some great ideas and cases as to how people are breaking the mold to make their presentations more of an experience than just a way to slap up bullet points and cluttered text.

The best-practices regarding web design differ from that of creating presentations. For years, I've had hunches regarding this and other aspects regarding presentation tools, but ne...more
Josh Brown
I learned a lot about presentations from this, even after reading Presentation Zen. Whereas Presentation Zen discusses the broader idea of creating a great presentation, slide:ology focuses more on how to create great slides.

Color is important: dark background is formal; light background is informal. In a dark room, a light background can light up the room, lightening the mood.

Use the rule of thirds when creating slides and cropping photos to make them look professional.

Relate to your audience....more
Peter
Read Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds first. I hate to complain about a lot of good detail, but there is just too much in this book. Unless, of course, you are a professor teaching a "presentation" class and need a good book to rest your materials on.

There are few people in my life that enjoy putting together a good presentation as much as I, and I thought this would be a great read and fit for my interests. But in the end, it was too long, too technical, and too comprehensive.

Also, small nit:...more
David
A great introduction to presentation design. Very accessible to those without much experience, but I've heard experienced people speak highly of it as well. Although it's targeted at business audiences, there's still a fair amount of information here that's applicable to scientific talks.

My one gripe is that the main text of the book is gray. Not black, gray. It looks all pretty when glancing at the page, but makes it harder to read for no good reason. Considering the excellent design of the res...more
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  • Sketching User Experiences:  Getting the Design Right and the Right Design
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Nancy Duarte is an American writer and graphic designer. She is particularly known for her book Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations, and as the founder of Duarte Design. Duarte also received an award for Mountain View Woman of the Year.
She also was the one who changed the slides Al Gore had originally into the documentary slide show known as An Inconvenient Truth
More about Nancy Duarte...
Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations slide:ology slide:ology - Oder die Kunst, brillante Praesentationen zu entwickeln t (German Edition) Resonancia (resonate)

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