slide:ology
The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: August 2008
Pages: 296

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, natural, or actively taught in schools or business training programs. slide:ology fills that void.

Written by Nancy Duarte, President and CEO of Duarte Design, the firm that created the presentation for Al Gore's Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, this book is full of practical approaches to visual story development that can be applied by anyone. The book combines conceptual thinking and inspirational design, with insightful case studies from the world's leading brands. With slide:ology you'll learn to:

  • Connect with specific audiences
  • Turn ideas into informative graphics
  • Use sketching and diagramming techniques effectively
  • Create graphics that enable audiences to process information easily
  • Develop truly influential presentations
  • Utilize presentation technology to your advantage

Millions of presentations and billions of slides have been produced -- and most of them miss the mark. slide:ology will challenge your traditional approach to creating slides by teaching you how to be a visual thinker. And it will help your career by creating momentum for your cause.

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oreillyslide:ology
 
4.8

(based on 20 reviews)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (7)
  • Helpful examples (7)
  • Well-written (7)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (7)
    • Novice (5)
    • Student (3)

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great Book!

    By Todd Pigram

    from Cleveland, OH

    About Me Sys Admin

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

      slide:ology The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations is an awesome book. This books covers everything that you need to transform you from a boring presenter to one that people want to listen to. It covers what color schemes to use, how to structure each slide, the correct amount of data for each slide and the best fonts to use. Basically, this book taught me the way I was doing presentations was wrong. No wonder I preferred to white board instead! The presentations that I have created since are much better. I continue to use this as my reference guide for creating great presentations. I give this book 5 out of 5. Highly recommended!

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Good book and I recommend it

      By DC Crowley

      from Netherlands

      About Me Designer, Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

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        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

        This book dates back to 2008 but is unsurprisingly still selling well. What is unusual is that it is only available as a pdf from O'Reilly and in Kindle format at Amazon. There are no epub or daisy formats available as far as I can see. If you need to get up to speed with presentations this is a great book. It has a lot of content so it won't enable you to create magic in 5 minutes. It will give you great insights.

        It starts really an attitude intro including some great facts... you'll need 36-90 hours to create a great presentations. Pointers (research, audience, ideas, organize, critique, story board, 20-60 hours building the slides, rehearse,). Later it goes into incredible detail about graphics, illustrations, data, design aspects, animation, being the boss on templates... read it, take it on board. Nancy Duarte was behind probably the best presentation of all time "Al Gores - Inconvenient truth".

        Good book and I recommend it. But also take a look at Guy Kawasaki. He has some very good guidelines, the 10-20-30 rule being the real winner. Check it out. An interesting counter trend though is Jeff Bezos who has banned powerpoints, it's all whiteboard at Amazon. Cool, the planning, analysis and presentation tips from this book would help anyway. Put away the fear, grab some zen and start on your path to being a presentation ninja.

         
        4.0

        Occasionally gets lost in the clouds

        By Roy

        from Cary, NC

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

            Note: I received this book through the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program.

            Back in college I enjoyed reading Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds, which provided a wealth of solid design and philosophical principles about making better presentations. With this initial foundation, Nancy Duarte's slide:ology is a great complement, picking up where Presentation Zen left off and diving into the minutiae of what makes for a great presentation.

            As one would expect from a book about being a better communicator, each page is deliberately laid out and the infographics are exquisite (the Presentation Ecosystem diagram on page 11 is my favorite). Much of the book is about avoiding the computer (and its presentation software) for as long as possible and instead focusing on your audience, message, and overall design by using analog tools like sketchpads.

            Unfortunately, there are times where the book makes assumptions that are a bit, shall we say, unrealistic. Early on, Duarte skims over one of the biggest obstacles to creating an effective presentation: time. Her time estimate for developing a presentation, while quite useful, shows why quality talks are so rare. What company would allow a full-time employee to spend 1-2 weeks just on a presentation? In the real world of small businesses, nonprofits, and local governments, there's simply not enough time in the day to be adjusting the ligatures or kerning on your fonts (and certainly not enough budget to hire a designer to do it for you, as Duarte casually recommends). While the book can be a great resource, I wish it would have focused a bit more on how to make a presentation in the real world where time is always in short supply.

            Cynicism aside, if one can find the time to read through the book and take notes, it's possible to apply some of the design principles even under a tight deadline. Tidbits like the taxonomy of diagram styles and how they work together, how to format data slides, and even things like color-matching all seem quite valuable once one starts practicing them.

            Overall, I can recommend the book due to its usefulness as a reference in the long-run. While I may not have the time to internalize the wealth of design advice all at once, I have a feeling I'll be thumbing through the book for some inspiration and tips each time I have to create an important slide deck.

             
            5.0

            How to improve your slides

            By mko

            from Poland

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice

              Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

              If you are looking for some guide on how to improve your presentations' content, look no more. I think, this book is exactly what you are looking for. In fact, it's more an album than a book. Together with information come useful examples that show how to apply concepts presented in the book.

              What I really liked in the book are the ideas behind well designed presentations. Suggestions, that you can find there, are not only for people who can make nice looking graphics. Regular mortals can benefit from it as well. For example, I really enjoyed examples of simple graphs. These graphics are really useful for people who are not into graphics. Description of the basics concepts of slides (how to define the audience, how to approach the topic, how to split the information) are also very useful. Especially for people who start their experience with public speaking.

              I know that after reading this book you may feel little bit depressed as you probably won't be able to produce that kind of beautiful graphics and layouts – I can't either. But still, I am more than sure that book is worth reading. If you ever thought it is not possible to make interesting presentations you will be show that it is possible – you simply have to design it correctly.

               
              3.0

              Slide Design Challenge

              By Hit F1 for Help

              from Australia

              About Me Designer, Educator

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate

                Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

                I enjoyed reading this book and being challenged in how we present both our own image as a presenter and also that of the organisation we represent. Slide:ology gave me some new ideas on how to visually present content that is often complex in a simpler format. The book gives some excellent examples of before and after slide designs and how some of the big companies design their presentations. Slie:ology also gives a great insight into the fact that a great presentation is no accident and takes time to design, create and refine. This book never claims to be a book on learning PowerPoint and this is true. It is a book on how to design and layout presentations in a smarter and clearer format. The book is worth a read if you are looking to be challenged and want to improve the power of your presentation visuals.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great examples

                By David

                from Australia

                About Me Educator

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

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                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

                  Such a wonderful book and perfect for students and agencies.

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  How to arrange and display information.

                  By Bill a Sr. .NET Developer

                  from Denver, CO

                  About Me NET Developer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to understand
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                  • What Cons

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                  • Intermediate
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                  Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

                  I received this book as a door prize four days ago.

                  I have not done any PowerPoint presentations in about the past ten years, but I have been creating websites for the past six. Two days ago, I was crafting a new internal facing website, and I looked at the display of data I was creating from a different perspective because of this book. I looked at a web page that I just created and said (to myself) "What should catch the user's attention and what should not be a distraction?" So I changed the colors on the layout to bring to attention what was important. And muted what is necessary on the page, but should not be distracting.

                  I can only imagine what better websites I will be creating, after finish reading this book.

                   
                  5.0

                  Very helpful

                  By John

                  from San Jose, CA

                  About Me Marketing

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Concise
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Helpful examples
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Expert
                    • Intermediate

                    Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

                    If you have been building slide after slide after slide, you need to take a look at this book. To achieve the look and feel of many of the slides would require much more than just powerpoint, but you can still succeed at communicating and telling the story but maybe with less polish.

                    This books strikes a good balance between practical how to, big ideas, and real world stories from people in the high-tech industry. Well worth the time.

                    (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    This book is a must read, must have, must master reference for anyone giving any presentation who hopes to connect to their audience, spread ideas to move people, and display information in the best possible way.

                    By Howard Levine MD

                    from Undisclosed

                    Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

                    Slide:ology, The art and science of creating great presentations

                    Nancy Durante

                    O'Reilly Media Inc, Publisher, 2008

                    $34.99

                    Slide:ology is a 250+ page soft back book that puts wisdom and experience of computer slide presentations together in a single volume. It is a beautifully designed practical guide to make presentations interesting, informative and engaging. While encyclopedic and didactic in scope it is fun and easy to read. It is a visual masterpiece. Chapters and sections can be read separately skipping through the book or read entirely from cover to cover. Each section is typically one to two pages long. Pick it up. Read a page. Learn. Practice. Come back to the book again.

                    Slide:ology is a desk reference, a book of humor, a history, and primer. It is (as expected from someone instructing in how to make a presentation fantastic) illustrated to make the points simply and clearly. If your PowerPoint or Keynote has lots of words and you and your audience read the slides (clearly "no-no's"), this is for you. As stated in Slide:ology's introduction "This book covers how to create ideas, transfer them into pictures, display them well, and then deliver them in your own natural way. It is not a PowerPoint manual."

                    There is a supporting beautifully constructed website and places in the book with "www" in the book's text to indicate more information is on the web site. For purchasers of the book, there is a free 45-day online edition. (I don't know what happens after 45 days.)

                    A few creative chapters are "Creating a new slide ideology", "Don't commit career suislide", "Defining your audience", "Creating diagrams", "Case study: Al Gore, A brand makeover", "Dissecting a font".

                    This book is a must read, must have, must master reference for anyone giving any presentation who hopes to connect to their audience, spread ideas to move people, and display information in the best possible way.

                    Reviewed August 2009 by

                    Howard Levine MD

                    Director, Cleveland Nasal Sinus & Sleep Center

                    Cleveland Ohio

                    Lecturer and PowerPoint and Keynote user

                    www.ClevelandNasalSinus.com

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    When design and storytelling meet to face the world of Presenting

                    By Igno van Niekerk

                    from Undisclosed

                    Comments about oreilly slide:ology:

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

                    Author: Nancy Duarte

                    Publisher: O'Reilly

                    Review Done by: Igno van Niekerk, Manager Adobe User Group, Bloemfontein, South Africa

                    If ever I was asked to do a short, very short review of a book, it would be this one, and my review would read as follows: Buy it, Read it, Live it, Share it _ That's it.

                    Slide:ology is a perfect answer to boring boardroom presentations. The book lives up to its message by having a timeline, a cartoon, a short quote on a double-spread, and a feel of "here is something different," even before the reader comes to the first chapter.

                    I have been dipping into it several times, as this is the kind of book which you'll need to keep close to wherever you are when creating presentations. (Make sure its hidden from colleagues, because it's the kind of book people will borrow and never return). If I seem to be raving about the book, it's because anyone who has been "battered and bruised" by boring presentations will know that there needs to be a better way, and Duarte shares the high road of presenting page by page.

                    The first part of the book is a dip into the preparation for the presentation, but unlike other books, Slide:ology, does not fall into the trap of merely telling the presenter what to do. The beautiful, colorful and well placed pages show how you can avoid committing career sui-slide as well as how the whole ecosystem of presentations work.

                    The part about creating ideas and not slides guides the reader into the magic place where great presentations have their roots: _ The untapped idea-factory of the playful human mind. Just in case you feel it gets a bit too loose for you (you might want to do corporate boardroom presentations to serious people, after all - ;-0), the next part shows you how to turn ideas into diagrams. It goes even further by showing you what kind of diagrams are used for different kinds of concepts. Yes, it does matter!

                    The 5 data slide rules are straightforward, simple, effective _ and often NOT USED in poor presentations _ stick them on a post it note somewhere close to your workstation and adhere to them rigidly. You'll be contributing to making the world of presentations a better place.

                    When reading the part about design, visual elements and the arrangement of elements in your slideshow, one is reminded of the fact that Daniel Pink has said that DESIGN is a crucial requirement for future success. Duarte gently guides the presenter, who has to become more of a designer, into the intricate world of color, fonts, illustrations and animation. Although some concepts may seem strange at first, they make so much sense that one will keep coming back to read them.

                    Once the slides have been created, Duarte does another brilliant job of showing how to improve on what she calls "Interacting with slides". This part covers more than merely the simplification of the slideshow and the message, it also touches on the media that are used.

                    In the end the book assists the reader to live the five theses of the Power of the Presentation as indicated in the final manifesto, which is to:

                    Treat your audience as king.

                    Spread ideas and move people.

                    Help them see what you are saying.

                    Practice design, not decoration.

                    Cultivate happy relationships.

                    Well, if you more than a book to assist you in improving your presentations. This is more than a book. It's a companion. Read it, Live it, Share it _ and the world of presentations will become much better place.

                    Igno van Niekerk

                    Manager: Adobe User Group, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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