How Your Next Speech Can Change the World

When I saw the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, I was totally blown away by Al Gore’s presentation. He was passionate, compelling, and sympathetic. When I left the movie theater, I said to my wife, Gail, “If that guy had been running for president in 2000, he would have won by a landslide.”

I was especially impressed by his slide show. So, I started doing a little research. I discovered that it was created by Duarte Design in Mountain View, California. I subsequently paid them a visit.

Long story short, I hired them to build a presentation for me. They also recently designed by blog video intro and outro. I was thoroughly impressed by their design philosophy and execution. They did a superb job.

Although I didn’t get to meet Nancy during this process, I subsequently started following her on Twitter and in the blogosphere. I have become a fan. Although we still haven’t met face-to-face, I encourage you to start following her, too.

Her two books, slide:ology and Resonate are the first two I recommend to every serious public speaker. (If you haven’t bought these yet, STOP reading this blog and go buy them! You can thank me later.)

This week, Nancy gave an incredible talk at TEDx East on the topic “You Have the Power to Change the World.” If you are a public speaker, you owe it to yourself to watch this 18-minute video. It will give you a completely new paradigm for thinking about your presentations.

I am already re-thinking the speech I just gave at Catalyst West. I can’t wait to apply what I learned from Nancy in this short video. I know it’s going to make a difference in my speaking.

Question: How does Nancy’s premise impact your own speaking? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • Theron Mathis


    Good stuff. I appreciate this and the comments you made regarding Ken Davis and the help he was able to offer. I understand how this can impact speeches and presentations, but have the things you have been learning affected your teaching. Teaching seems slightly different and it is often hard to summarize everything into one big thought, especially if you are teaching chapters of Scripture, a book, history, etc.

    Perhaps it might be fodder for a future post.


  • Pingback: Table Talk Tuesday: Changing the World | eFlections on Doing Life

  • Anonymous

    I found about Nancy via Guy Kawasaki’s blog. Her book Resonate and Slide:ology are must reads for anyone who gives presentations, teaches or public speaking. They are within arms length of my desk on my credenza. Her insights were vital to me in developing my presentation for a business plan competition hosted by Rice University’s I.T and Web Technology alliance. She provides an excellent process for developing your story, how to present it and make it pop. I can testify that her books benefited me, I placed in the top 10 and received numerous positive comments from the judges on the presentation and delivery. Owe much of that to Nancy

  • Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    Love seeing you and Nancy inspiring anyone who’s looking to spread their message to the world. My life has RADICALLY been impacted by men (Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn, Les Brown, etc.) who mastered the ability to shine while speaking in public.

    One thing that’s a shame to see is a talented person with a potent offering burn out due to not being able to get gigs or support themselves if they’re only doing free gigs to get started. One guy I always refer speakers to is a man by the name of Dan Kennedy.

    For years he coached people in the National Speakers Association, not on the art of speaking in public, but on the art of marketing one’s self so that you could make a great living while spreading the word.

    For anyone interested, he’s really easy to find on the web. Just type in “Dan Kennedy marketing” into google and he should be #1 on the list.

    Thanks again Thomas for sharing your wisdom!

  • Dan Drew

    I have a few ideas that are going to help change the world. I was just getting ready to start giving speeches toward that end. You’ve just helped me immensely. Thank you!

  • Dan

    My focus for the next couple months is based on becoming a better. So this video helps a lot. Thank you for sharing.

  • Matt Tommey

    Such a great presentation! I speak to artists around the country through a ministry I lead called The Worship Studio. Wow, did this ever help me! Thanks!

  • Jody Urquhart

    What I took away from it is the u shaped up and down patterns embedded in great speeches. The bottom is where we are and the top is where we aim to and in between are compelling reasons to aim for them. Martin luther king speech did fit the model perfectly. I downloaded the transcript after the Ted talk and true to form it hit peaks and troughs

  • Jaime Espiritu

    I discovered Nancy Duarte from last year. I listened to her teleseminar and I was impressed. Since then I bought her book “Resonate”. I’m a video producer and a member of Toastmasters in San Bruno. . I use her ideas in my video productions at Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Mountain View as well as my Toastmasters Club.

    Nancy you are a blessing!

  • Peter P

    Interesting video.

    She actually describes what the great pastors do and the not-so-great miss – the idea that you’re selling the idea to people to make them own it, to make it become THEIR idea.

    What I don’t like is what she demonstrated Steve Jobs as doing, which is planting words in people’s heads to describe something. Making empirical statements or using the power of suggestion really causes me to shut down immediately.

    “Isn’t it beautiful?” coerces you into agreeing.
    “This is awesome” states something as fact which is actually only opinion.

    I don’t like it when people try to manipulate me like that, which is probably why I almost never purchase anything I’ve seen advertised!

  • Adam Metzger

    Hand Rosling had an incredible slide presentation during one of his TED talks. The slides are highly analytical and not “pretty” but the speak loud. wow.

    • Adam Metzger

      Sorry. Typos. “They (the slides) speak loud.” He really gets going at about the 4 minute mark…

  • Anil Sharma

    Yes even I think that presenting what you have is an incredibly difficult art to be mastered, as they say the best leaders are best orators. I watched the video myself and was blown away by the presentation, they took care of all minute details which is incredible. 

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  • Jim Panten

    Thank you Michael for this great video. You will never know how much you have impacted me with your blog. This information from Nancy has re-ignited my passion for changing the world with the message God has placed on my heart. Will be watching it again and taking notes.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I am so glad, Jim. Nancy is speaking at Catalyst on Wednesday in Atlanta. I am hoping to hear her.

  • Voicegig

    We totally agree and this is the premise behind what we offer.  Great article – do you mind if we share? – Rhetoric for the 21st Century

  • Melanie Marttila

    Serrendipity!  I just watched a Webinar Nancy did for changing training using the power of story.  It’s one of the cool ways my day job (corporate trainer and course designer) and my heart’s calling as a writer. 
    She is fantastic!
    Melanie Marttila

  • Hussaintallal


  • Les Dossey

    Hey Michael,

    You’ve done it again and man am I thankful. 

    I was doing some planning for the coming year and I felt led to develop a talk to give to men’s groups and then I thought hmmmm…. where can I find a superior framework for developing this talk? I know – and what da ya know I used your handy little search box and found the perfect resource.

    You are da man. Thanks for being there so freely when we need ya!

    Only the Best,
    The Man’s Man Coach

  • Anders Gerdmar

    Wow! Thanks Michael, and of course Nancy, for this AMAZING presentation! I was crying! Cause I do have a message! 

  • Brian Ahearn

    Thanks for sharing Michael. I learned a tremendous amount from the book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. I knew many of the concepts shared but having seen him employ them the light bulb went on from me. One big key, that was mentioned by Nancy was  his use of questions. Telling someone something (i.e. That’s amazing!) does not engage them but asking questions (i.e. Isn’t the amazing?) absolutely does.

  • Julie Sunne

    I appreciate the passion and perseverance encouraged in this video. It was well laid out with surprising detail. Nancy’s graphing of the presentations was immensely helpful. I feel empowered in only 18 minutes! Thanks for sharing, Michael.

  • Gary Nims

    I’ve been a local church pastor for over 3 decades and given hundreds of sermons.. This 18-minute video is the best presentation on public speaking I’ve seen or read. I’m grateful you posted it and Glad I took the time to watch it. Now if I could only afford her company to prepare the visuals for me every week!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great. I’m glad you liked it.

  • ifeelgod

    I am so blessed by this post.

    As a Pastor and a reluctant orator with big vision, I am inspired

    In Him,
    JMb <

  • Trevor Torres

    This was a fantastic post, I can’t believe I didn’t discover it earlier! The way this has impacted my speaking was by making me realize that speaking is something you can get better at! It sounds obvious, I know. But with soft skills like this, sometimes it seems like relying on talent and instinct is the best way to go, especially if you do have some talent in that field. After seeing this however, I’m going to go get those books, and then start becoming an even better speaker!

  • brmathew

    One of the reasons i love your site is the exclusive peek you give us into the stuff you care about – loving that .. and yes rediscovering your article on facebook again is a joy ! duarte ! yeah ! Mike thanks !

  • Fabi

    I would say: Amazing stuff! Very practical. Thanks for sharing this Michael!

  • Yamentou Lionnel

    Thanks for sharing this video Michael. I have watched and read the MLK speech many times but never had it dissected this way. Nancy really does an awesome job. I am getting her two books!

  • Ree Klein

    Wow…that was so powerful! I’m even more excited to attend the SCORRE conference in Oct…I have something to say and I want to say it well

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great, Ree. I think you will really enjoy, SCORRE.

  • Sandro Gutierrez

    Thank you Nancy! I loved your way of teaching. Your gift in speaking and explaining while at the same time entertaining was received warmly. Thank you again