Mini Book Review: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations

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HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations by Nancy Duarte

The format of the book feels a little odd when you are used to the huge footprint of Nancy's other books. But actually, the format is a good metaphor for the content: It's cut down to the essentials.

Whereas Slide:ology and Resonate are beautifully designed feasts for your eyes (in addition to their valuable content, of course!), this guide is almost all content. Well, what exactly did you expect from a guide book?

In 7 sections, all subdivided into short chapters of only about 5 pages each, the book covers all aspects of presentations and presenting in a hands-on, no-nonsense, straight-to-the-facts way. The brevity of the section titles in itself is telling and representative of the book's content:

  1. Audience
  2. Message
  3. Story
  4. Media
  5. Slides
  6. Delivery
  7. Impact

Wondering how long your presentation should be? The chapter "Determine the right length for your presentation" (to be found under "Media") will tell you in just 3 pages. Wondering about your slides? "Create slides people can 'get' in three seconds" (to be found under "Slides") will tell you all you need to know on 4 pages.

This book could also have been called "The Impatient's Guide to Persuasive Presentations". Most of the time, it doesn't try to tell you why these tips work, it just tells you. If you want to dive in deeper, look it up in Nancy's other books. If you need the advice right now, you'll find it instantly in the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations.

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