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

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  6,618 ratings  ·  225 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, 1st edition (US/CAN), 274 pages
Published September 2008 by O'Reilly Media (first published August 5th 2008)
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 ·  6,618 ratings  ·  225 reviews

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Jun 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: professional
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
Nov 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Does stock photography inspire you? Do you feel a deep need for a book filled with endless case studies of 'business winners'? Do you aspire to win the acceptance of MBAs that dress for success?

Slide: ology is the book for you. Please don't breed.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: repeatable
Using just some of the tips in this book, my most recent present was noticeably improved. I’ll be returning to this a lot.
Ahmad hosseini
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
“To succeed as a presenter, you must think like a designer”

A quick and very insightful read for anyone who needs to communicate concepts and stories effectively.
This book covers how to create ideas, translate them into pictures, display them well, and present them in your own natural way.
Book covers everything you need to know about making slides - from presentation concepts, fonts and colors, images, and video.
I recommend this book to everyone!
Murray Irwin
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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,
Dec 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: work-reads
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
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
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
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, work
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.
Manuel Antão
Sep 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

PowerPoint Karaoke: "slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations" by Nancy Duarte

There is nothing wrong with presentation software. How else do you present a sophisticated graph, map, chart or table? Are we all really going to do a Bill Bryson and offer an entirely oral presentation of the universe to cover cross sections, plan views, 3D geometry, and complex mathematical proofs? You must all be fucking stupid and
Apr 19, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Oct 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
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.
Jakub Bryl
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A bit outdated (I have the 2008 edition), yet still a great read if you want to deliver the message, not the presentation.
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book about presentation design. Everything you need to know about creating better presentations.
This book discusses some topics of organization, style, and colors in presentations.
If a presentation has too much text, numbers and figures, a report is often a better format than slideshow.
James Perkins
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Aaron Bolin
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: presentation
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
Jul 30, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
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
May 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, business
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
Oct 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional, design
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
Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bizbooks
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
Alper Çuğun
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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

Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: career, non-fiction
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
Sebastian Gebski
Basically a one-stop-shop to learn the secrets of presenting information using slides. Plenty of nice tips, examples (with visuals, don't try to read it on e-paper Kindle) & hints (sometimes originated to famous characters like Guy Kawasaki) you can use pretty much on a daily basis. Obviously by 'slides' & 'presentations' author doesn't mean horrific management consulting abominations (author refers to them as 'documents'), it's a book about proper slides that are aimed to help you pass efficien ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, non-fiction
I love the episode of the Office (US version), where Rainn Wilson's character sets the office on fire after his Power Point presentation proves ineffective.
This book makes some excellent points about how to make Power Point not suck (e.g. slides are there to back you up, not the other way around). If you have some solid design skills, it will work beautifully for you, but beginners may find some of the ideas a bit challenging (or lack resources to execute them). The principles work well for eve
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, metis
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.
Jun 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Miguel Panão
Sep 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A mandatory book for learning how to present any story in a great way. Simple and clear tips will help us make far better presentations. During my professional background I realized by experience several of the points raised by Nancy and she's right. We have the possibility of being great storytellers through our presentations. This book will help you achieve that goal. ...more
Sandra Maku
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
the very fist thing is to know what your slides will be used for two days after the presentation : for those who use them as course back up material this book is not that useful, albeit inspirational.
Okay, I can't see myself kerning fonts on a regular basis but I got some good general presentation tips from reading this. ...more
Anedya Niedar
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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Nancy Duarte is an American writer and CEO of Duarte, Inc., a communications firm in the Silicon Valley. She is a presentation specialist whose client list includes most Fortune 500 companies.

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