Nancy Duarte quotes

Who is Nancy Duarte?

Nancy Duarte is an American writer, speaker, and CEO. Duarte is the author of several books, including slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations (2008), Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences (2010), the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations (2012), and Illuminate: Ignite Change Through Speeches, Stories, Ceremonies and Symbols (2016). She also serves as the CEO of Duarte, Inc.

Nancy Duarte books

Nancy Duarte quotes

“All bad presentations struggle to keep the audience interested. The audience squirms wishing they could escape. The audience has given the presenter an hour of their life, so they want that hour to be useful. It's disrespectful of a presenter to not show up rehearsed and prepared with information and insights that will improve the lives of the audience in some way. Presenting will do only one of two things for you: it will either diminish your credibility or yield results. Most bad presentations hurt the presenter's credibility.”

Nancy Duarte

“Audience interest is directly proportionate to the presenter's preparation. You better spend time and energy on any presentations where the stakes are high. If you are trying to close a large sale or speak at a conference to an audience of potential clients, you better be on your game. An audience can tell how much energy you spent on your presentation, which is a reflection of how much you valued their time. If they gave you an hour of their time, you need to make it worth it to them by treating their time as a valuable asset by making the content valuable to them.”

Nancy Duarte

“Changing beliefs changes actions.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Don’t blend in; instead, clash with your environment. Stand out. Be uniquely different. That’s what will draw attention to your ideas.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Effective communication is fascinating to me yet bad communication is just as fascinating. There are lessons to be learned from both.”

Nancy Duarte

“Getting ahead of the next curve requires courage and communication: Courage to determine the next bold move, and communication to keep the troops committed to the value of moving forward. Rallying stakeholders to move together in a common course of action is all part of the innovation and survival process. Leaders at every level in an organization need to be skillful at creating resonance if that organization is to control its own destiny.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Gussying up slides that have meaningless content is like putting lipstick in a pig.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Ideas are not really alive if they are confined to only one person’s mind.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Ideas need to stand out to be noticed. There is so much noisy information out there that if your message is bland, it won't be heard or acted upon.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“If you feel tempted to use a picture of two hands shaking in front of a globe, put the pencil down, step away from the desk, and think about taking a vacation or investigating aromatherapy.”

Nancy Duarte

“In myths and movies, the mentor can play a few roles: they bring the hero a magical gift, teach them how to use a special tool, or help the hero get unstuck. In a presentation setting, the presenter is the mentor. Our role as a presenter is similar to a mentor. We should be brining something of important value to our audience, they should not leave empty handed. There should be something useful and somewhat life-altering that we give them. It's not very often that we sit through a presentation and feel like we've sat at the feet of a mentor, but we should.”

Nancy Duarte

“It has been said that ‘without hope the people perish.’ And without hearing powerful and timely words of encouragement, the people may never find cause for hope.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“It’s the presenter’s job to know and tune into the audience’s frequency. Your message should resonate with what’s already inside them.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Leading people requires not only sensing change afoot, but imagining a brighter future and communicating it in a way that motivates others to follow you there.”

Nancy Duarte Illuminate

“Mentors are selfless and think of themselves in the context of others.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Most great leaders are also great communicators. Great leaders have learned how to persuade so their objectives can be reached. The most powerful device to persuade is story. Stating facts and figures is not memorable. Emotionally connecting your audience to your idea through story will move them.”

Nancy Duarte

“Personal stories are the emotional glue that connects your audience to your message.”

Nancy Duarte

“Personal values will ultimately drive their behavior, so ideally you should identify and align with existing values.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Practice design, not decoration: Don't just make pretty talking points. Instead, display information in a way that makes complex information clear.”

Nancy Duarte

“Presentations are the most amazing persuasion tool available in organizations today.”

Nancy Duarte

“Sometimes all it takes is a kind word of encouragement to get your heroes back on the right path.”

Nancy Duarte

“Spending energy to understand the audience and carefully crafting a message that resonates with them means making a commitment of time and discipline to the process.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Structure is what makes communication hang together. It's like the rails that a train runs on. Without them, things wouldn't move very far. If you only have time to do one thing in your presentation, make sure it has a clear and identifiable structure. Without this, you'll have no credibility.”

Nancy Duarte

“The audience does not need to tune themselves to you—you need to tune your message to them. Skilled presenting requires you to understand their hearts and minds and create a message to resonate with what’s already there.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“The enemy of persuasion is obscurity.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“The future isn't a place that we're going to go, it's a place that you get to create.”

Nancy Duarte

“The only difference between the failure of a great idea and the success of a mediocre idea was the way in which the idea was communicated.”

Nancy Duarte

“The only way to resonate at a level that persuades is to know who you are addressing.”

Nancy Duarte

“To keep people interested, your presentation needs to have contrast.”

Nancy Duarte

“To me, presentations are the most powerful device. You can't really name a movement that didn't start with the spoken word.”

Nancy Duarte

“We don’t keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That’s the way freedom is, and we wouldn’t change it for a minute.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“When ideas are communicated effectively, people follow and change.”

Nancy Duarte

“When someone says "that resonates with me" what they are saying is "I agree with you" or "I align with you." Once your ideas resonate with an audience, they will change. But, the only way to have true resonance is to understand the ones with whom you are trying to resonate. You need to spend time thinking about your audience. What unites them, what incites them? Think about your audience and what's on their mind before you begin building your presentation. It will help you identify beliefs and behavior in your audience that you can connect with. Resonate with.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Words that are carefully framed and spoken are the most powerful means of communication there is.”

Nancy Duarte

“You are not the hero who will save the audience; the audience is your hero.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Your ability to shape your future depends on how well you communicate where you want to be when you get there.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate

“Your presentation proposes an idea, and you’re asking the audience to adopt and shepherd that idea to positive outcomes. Your idea might be to reshape an organization for the future or to show customers how your product will fill a need they have.”

Nancy Duarte Resonate