The Secret Structure to Great Talks

From the “I have a dream” speech to Steve Jobs’ iPhone launch, many great talks have a common structure that helps their message resonate with listeners. In this talk, presentation expert Nancy Duarte shares practical lessons on how to make a powerful call-to-action.

This talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxEast, an independent event. TED’s editors chose to feature it for you.

Nancy Duarte · CEO, presentation designer

Nancy Duarte believes that ideas are the most powerful tools people have. Her passion is to help every person learn to communicate their world-changing idea effectively.

The immersive multimedia version of my book Resonate allows readers to interact with the material I presented in my TEDx Talk. It includes in-depth speech analyses of Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, Jr., plus other persuasive speakers of our time. There are great examples of so-called ‘STAR moments’ — ‘Something They’ll Always Remember.’ (Many of the greatest TED talks have a moment that you will just never forget.) There’s also a Director’s cut where you’ll see behind-the-scenes insights into how I discovered the persuasive story pattern in the talk — along with other personal insights into my book-writing journey.
Many people do brilliant thinking in PowerPoint, but project dense slides. Instead, presenters should use a ‘slidedoc’ for their dense data. A slidedoc is a document created using presentation software, where visuals and words unite to illustrate one clear point per page. They’re meant to be printed or distributed instead of presented. The result is a medium that can be read more quickly than a document. Use cinematic slides to present to your audience, and use slidedocs as pre-read or follow-up material.
Nancy Duarte
LinkedIn, February 13, 2013
Your presentation will be boring if it lacks emotional contrast. This piece offers practical ways to incorporate emotional contrast into your next presentation.
Nancy Duarte
Harvard Business Review, October 4, 2012
Senior executives are one of the toughest crowds you’ll face as a presenter. This article tells you how you can earn their attention and support.


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