Resonate Through Story Changes The World

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This summer, Professional Communication and Presentation will move forward with using Resonate as our course textbook.  To learn more about Nancy Duarte’s book Resonate, check out this video:

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I’m excited to continue focusing on the three legs of Jim Endicott’s “presentation stool” but to focus on presentation with content highlighted as the most important element.

Yes, visual presentation is still a challenge.  Today, one of my students, a medical professional, argued that visual presentation as outlined by Duarte and Garr Reynolds will never succeed in the medical field because of the importance of the “informational slide.”  When I asked why a handout couldn’t work just as effectively, he asserted the importance of saving cost and staying green.  Unsure about why a handout couldn’t be emailed or sent via Dropbox (this is 2012!), I sent him Phil Waknell’s masterful article “When you think Presentation Zen isn’t appropriate, that’s when you need it most.”  Visual presentation is still a nightmare.

Yes, delivery is still a challenge.  The last PechaKucha Orlando event I went to showcased several presenters simply reading from a script.  Not only are people too afraid of public speaking to detach from their security blanket script or notes, but people running professional public speaking organizations don’t know how to properly train or facilitate proper presentation.  Delivery is still a nightmare.

But content… You would think that this leg of the presentation stool would be solid and unwavering.  Unfortunately, content isn’t strong because most people don’t understand the importance of ethos, pathos, and logos.  Speakers don’t use story effectively or at all.  They don’t implement Chip and Dan Heath’s Made To Stick techniques in order to make a speech resonate with others.  And speaking of resonating, Nancy Duarte’s book of the same name focuses specifically on content and how we can strengthen our messages to actually connect with people.

Have you read Resonate?  What are your thoughts on the Duarte prequel to Slide:ology?

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