by Connie Dieken

Do You Resonate?

The Influential Leader Podcast Series | Tips on influential leadership and communication from today's leading experts.

You've been tapped to give a presentation. Quick - what are you feeling? Has a sense of dread washed over you?

Of course.

You're tasked with creating a slide deck, which can swallow hours of your time. Perhaps you'd prefer a root canal - at least you could just lay there under the influence of a numbing anesthetic. Instead, you're worried that your presentation may leave your audience numb.

Rightfully so. After all, most presentations are dull and deadly, aren't they? You feel trapped as the presenter morphs into a reporting robot, hosting a tedious read-along of his text-laden slides.

I believe presentations are fundamentally and deeply broken. They're wasting more than just your time. They're squandering opportunities for thought leaders to breathe life into transformational ideas.

Here's a key: presenters are reporting when they should be resonating.

That's why I interviewed Nancy Duarte, CEO of Duarte Design and the author of Resonate and Slide:ology. I believe Nancy's message will resonate with your desire to create a groundswell for your initiatives.

Who better to understand the power of visual information than Nancy Duarte? Her firm creates the best slide decks on the planet. Over the past twenty years, Duarte Design has created over a quarter of a million presentations for the world's leading brands, helping thought leaders communicate ideas in strikingly visual ways.

Nancy agrees that the overwhelming majority of presentations are sadly inadequate. At first, she labeled it a slide problem, which is why she wrote the award-winning Slide:ology in 2008. "I thought that's where the breakdown was - that people didn't know how to visually display information," she told me.

But gussying up slides - while a terrific start - isn't enough, she learned. So she turned her attention to storytelling. Nancy believes stories can help put the heartbeat back in presentations. "A storyteller on a stage takes on a completely different presence. I wanted to close that gap."

You may be asking, "Connie, what does storytelling have to do with my leadership influence?" Here's a brilliant example: contrast "what is" and "what could be" as a structural device.

Nancy explains, "Our job as leaders is to define as clearly as possible where we need to be in the future. And what you do is compare what currently is to what could be, which is the future with your idea adopted. And by moving back and forth as a structural device, you'll start to compare what is to what could be. People will be like, "Oh my gosh, I don't want to stay where I'm at, because that would be foolish. I want to move towards this new idea that my leader is telling me."

I believe you'll benefit from hearing more about Nancy's approach to storytelling, so I urge you to listen to our interview in my podcast. Or, if you don't have time, you can download the transcript here.

Listen to the Podcast (iTunes)

Download the Transcription

Where to Learn More

Nancy's books are powerful resources for any leader wanting to influence, inspire and impact audiences while presenting ideas. You'll discover how to stop reporting and start resonating.

I encourage you to pick up a copy of her books here.

You Write. We Reward.

Would you like to win a free copy of Resonate? Nancy has kindly provided me with an autographed book for my readers. Simply submit a comment below, telling me the most valuable lesson you learned from Nancy's interview. I’ll pick a winner and send the book to you.

Good luck!


Topics: Audience Engagement :: Presentation Impact