Finally! Nancy Duarte, the Principle of Duarte Design (the firm behind the creation of Al Gore's Oscar-winning presentations), has published a presentation book for the rest of us. It's called Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations. Slide:ology is practical, it's highly visual, and it's beautiful. I love this book. Slide:ology should come bundled with every copy of PowerPoint or Keynote ever sold from now on. I received a draft copy about three months ago that blew me away — the final product is even better than I expected. I just got my copy over the weekend. At 274 pages, the book is meaty without being bloated. This book is not the last word on presentation, but it's the best book on the art (and science) of creating and delivering presentations with the help of multimedia written to date. Period. A really cool feature in the book is that many of the presentations Nancy shows in her book are available for download or can be seen via video on a specially created Slide:ology website for free. There are no longer any excuses for really bad presentations.
The book has twelve chapters: (1) Creating a new slide ideology. (2) Creating ideas, not slides. (3) Creating Diagrams. (4) Displaying Data. (5) Thinking like a designer. (6) Arranging elements. (7) Using visual elements: background, color, and text. (8) Using visual images. (9) Creating movement. (10) Governing with templates. (11) Interacting with slides. (12) Manifesto: The five theses of the power of a presentation.
I hope to put a Slideshare together in future which covers some of the more salient points in the book. But that takes time. So today I put together a short video embedded in a few Keynote slides as a way of (1) saying how much I love the book and (2) demonstrating how easy it is to place elements in Keynote and save the file as a self-contained video. It took about an hour (mostly editing images). All that was needed was Keynote and basic photo-editing software. Yeah, it's rough, but it was down-n-dirty (i.e., quick and simple). Even the video camera was just a cheap but useful Nikon point-n-shoot.
(Be sure to click the "Fullscreen Toggle" in the player above or go here to see a larger version on blip.tv.)