Ideas · Selling Yourself

The Presentation Guru: Nancy Duarte


Nancy Duarte is the CEO of Duarte Design, a design firm specializing in next-level presentations. She was recently on the Art of Charm podcast where she caught my attention. I’ve been looking for a way to better structure my sales presentations, and to make them more compelling. Her ideas are summed up nicely in her TED talk.

The question she answers is this: story narratives capture our attention, but presentations typically do not. How to add story to a presentation to make it more compelling and effective?

After analyzing many famous speeches and presentations, she came up with this basic model:


Step 1: paint a picture of the current state, the status quo

Step 2: compare the status quo to what could be, making the gap as big as possible

Step 3: Traverse between what is and what could be, with the focus on making the status quo unappealing

Step 4: Close the presentation with a call to action and a description of the new reality

I’m going to apply this to my next presentation and see how it works. Do you have any experience with various presentation models? What works for you?

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