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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  • Timothy Fish

    I think she had some good thoughts in the video, but I think much of it is stuff I had already seen or heard. The problem I find with specific application of stuff like this is that when I get into preparing for the presentation I’m not watching a presentation like this or reading a book by a great presenter, instead, I’m trying to put together my thoughts while pulling from this jumbled mess of all the things I’ve ever heard someone say about how to give a presentation that is in the back of my mind. No matter how good Nancy’s ideas on the subject may be, they are right there with the ideas from the high school English teacher whose first instruction to us was to go buy a pack of index cards.

    • Michael Hyatt

      The way I make it work is that I integrate it into my workflow. I am actually creating a template in OmniOutliner Pro—which is where all my speeches start—that helps me utilize this format. You could do the same thing in Word, Pages, or whatever tool you use.

      • Jackson Miller

        I would love a copy of that template if you think it is not too specific to your talks. I also start my talks with OmniOutliner.

  • Anonymous

    Great video but I agree with Timothy’s comment about how you put all this together when developing a presentation. Which book should I read first–or does it matter?

    Your blog is in my “favorites” folder because it’s one of the few that I don’t want to miss–thanks for this great resource.

    • Michael Hyatt

      See my comment above to Timothy. The question is really no different than what you face with writing advice, blogging advice, etc. You have to integrate it into your workflow. To me, that’s where “the rubber meets the road.”

  • Carla

    This presentation was motivating to me.
    I have often wondered how one person can make a difference and even talked myself out of pursuing an idea. Nancy didn’t talk about money and teamwork, she talked about what do I want to say that I believe can help others or change their lives. In other words, identify my passion, determine my vision, and then learn to look at its elements. In speaking and speech classes it was more about getting to the ending by having a great opening and a summary end paragraph then just fill in the middle. It was too simplistic and self focused. This new format gives me a way to look at the elements of my presentation and forces me to give more respect to my audience–i. e. what are they feeling? needing? dreaming? and how do I tap into those with mine and not over ride the value of either? Just as I was wondering “what do those speeches look like in this form'” she showed me in more detail that I would have imagined! I will watch this more, get both books and become an even better speaker! Thanks.

    • Nancy Duarte

      I’m so glad it inspired you. Presentations are a powerful communication tool for our dreams.

  • John Richardson

    Wow Michael, this is a powerful video. I love how Nancy graphed out the different speeches and what made them effective. She put on a slide what we all have felt watching Martin Luther King and other powerful speakers. I have studied many speeches and wondered to myself… what made that work? Why was one speech boring and another on the same topic so exciting?
    I knew there was a cadence, but I wasn’t certain how it worked. Now I know…

    I was in a speech contest last night with a newly crafted speech that talked about how my life had changed after hearing a powerful speaker at a conference back in 2004. While the speech was good, I realized after seeing Nancy’s video how much better it could have been. I needed to make my bars higher. I needed to add more contrast.

    I am meeting with a speech coach today for the first time. I want to take the same speech, add the contrast, and see how it flows. I can’t wait to experiment with this!

    As far as your CatWest presentation, it was definitely a heart felt speech. I think if you graphed it out, it would do very well. To improve it, I think you could craft one powerful statement and use repetition like MLK, to drive it home. While your statement “Your heart is the key to your influence,'” is a good one, you could make it more memorable by changing it to something shorter like “Influence from your heart.”

    I can’t wait to hear about your changes. Hopefully you can get it on video and share it with your online audience. Thanks for a great resource. This truly may change my world!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I’m glad you liked the video.

      I am going back through my CatWest speech and mapping it. I think I can do much, much better!

      • Paul

        YES! I would love to see Nancy at Catalyst. Also would be great to consider Garr Reynolds.

        • Michael Hyatt

          Yes, Garr would also be excellent.

    • Michael Hyatt

      By the way, did you see Andy Stanley at CatWest? I thought he did an incredible job. I wish Nancy could have heard him. I have also recommended her to the leadership of Catalyst. I think it woud be great for all those pastors and worship leaders to hear her.

      • John Richardson

        Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to see Andy at the conference, but I have seen him on video. He is a very effective speaker. It would be interesting to see a graph of his presentations.

        Being a visual person, I really like these speech graphs that Nancy created. After seeing them it gave me an idea for using them in my own presentations. I think if I video tape my speech, load it into iMovie and then annotate it with titles, I can quickly see how to improve it. I’m going to have to experiment with this. This is powerful stuff!

        • Michael Hyatt

          It would really be cool if Nancy or someone would create software that would do this. I am not sure how that would work, but it would be cool.

          • Nancy Duarte

            Love this! I create my presentations using a sticky-note process (that follows the shape). But, we are coming out w/ an App next year.

            Right now, I transcribe them and use word to align left or align right for “what is” and “what could be”

          • Michael Hyatt

            I can’t wait to see the app. Very cool.

            In the meantime, I like the align-right, align-left method.


          • Anne-Marie Gosser

            I’m wondering if the Corkboard in Scrivner could be utilized in this way. I found Nancy to be very encouraging. I’ve certainly wondered why I have the ideas I have and no ability to communicate them in a way that made anyone else care about them. It’s very frustrating. This gives me hope!

            Thank you Nancy and Michael for sharing!

          • Brandon

            What is your app going to do? And what will it be available for?

          • Nancy Duarte

            We’re working on an interactive version of the book. We also plan to put the methodology into sticky-note format. The tablet app space is in such flux right now, we might delay the sticky-noting feature.

          • Brandon

            Very cool! I’d love to check it out!

          • Brendan

            One of the better presentation apps that allow for following more of a mind map model is at – Pulls you away from the slide driven presentation to the idea/concept/relational driven presentation. Some limitations, but a good too IMHO.

          • Michael Hyatt

            Yes, it is very creative.

          • allanwhite

            You might be on to something. I’ll watch it a few times. With iPad 2 having a cam, I could imagine a cool app for presentation analysis. I wonder if there’s any speech analysis web services that could be tapped. /hmm

    • Nancy Duarte

      Hi John,

      I’m glad you caught the importance of the contrast concept. People love comparing things. If they can’t see how an idea contrasts in its environment, they won’t think it’s very interesting.

      Glad to meet someone who’s putting time into the craft of presenting!


      • John Richardson

        As a visual person, I can’t wait to see the time line analysis tool that you come up with!

  • Shari

    Thanks for your post here as well as the video. I took your advice and ordered both books (multitasking) while watching/listening to the video.

  • Brian Webb


    Thanks for sharing this… great resources! Huge!


    • Michael Hyatt

      I think it is going to be huge for me, too!

  • Patlayton

    You have no idea how this blog post hit right where I am, right now, today.
    Honestly Michael, I know that many of your followers are interested in publishing. I hope you will believe that although publishing matters to me (I wouldn’t have found this blog otherwise) I am way beyond having my world revolve around that as what makes me successful or not.
    God has BIG ideas going on in me and through me, for the healing and restoration of women, which in turn, helps to restore the world, His one and only passion.
    That is what I care most about.
    I have received a donor gift that will help me step into a new ministry level.
    This post is what I needed TODAY!!
    Your blog post inspire me, teach me, equip me and encourage me.
    Thank you for that.
    Pat Layton

    • Nancy Duarte

      God bless you Pat!

    • Brandon

      It’s neat how sometimes God lets us see posts that apply directly for that particular day!

  • Patricia Zell

    Michael, thank you for sharing this video. With my book coming out soon (self-published), I need to work on a presentation. I’ve been trying to avoid even thinking about that, but this video gives me the structure I need to create that presentation. As an English teacher, I teach story structure (I just finished the first Star Wars trilogy with one of my film and fiction classes), so what Nancy shared makes a lot of sense to me.

    Michael, I want to comment about mentors. Even though I never talk in depth and person-to-person with you, what you share on this blog and in your comments qualifies as mentoring. You have been the spur for me to take some risks and I appreciate it. So, thank you for being willing to give of yourself to the world.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thank you, Patricia. I really appreciate your encouragement. I love doing this!

    • Benjamin Lichtenwalner

      Although a bit off topic, I want to reinforce what you write on mentors, Patricia. The lessons I learn here from Michael inspired my post on virtual mentors. In that post I describe how, now more than ever, technology empowers us with the tools to learn from outstanding mentors who are willing to share their experiences and advice. I agree – Michael is among the best in that community. Thank you for sharing, Patricia.

      • Brandon

        Yes! This blog is really great! Really thankful for it!

    • TNeal


      You’re voicing the same thought I’ve recently had and it comes in connection with this particular post. I’ve followed Michael for a couple of years now but his recent posts have hit me where I live for often than not. I also consider him a mentor via the blogging world.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and prompting me to second them.

      • Steven Cribbs

        I must agree. I learn so much from this blog. So many posts/topics have been exactly what I needed to hear. And, like a good mentor would do, Michael often-times speaks into topics that I would not have thought to seek out on my own. Thanks Michael!

        • Michael Hyatt

          You are welcome, Steven.

        • TNeal

          Steven, you’ve added a point I strongly concur with. Michael has taken me to places I would not have traveled on my own, places that have broadened my view and stretched my soul.

          I add my thanks to the growing list, Michael.

          • Steven Cribbs

            It amazes me that synergy like this can come through an online community. I am learning that if you stick around long enough, are willing to be a little vulnerable and share some thoughts, that it begins to look a little like family. And, of course, a vision set out and modelled by the leader is essential.

          • TNeal

            Amen to that. Names beyond that of the leader’s are now as familiar to me as comfort food and a lot healthier for the heart.

  • Ron Dawson

    Duarte is a top-notch firm. They do all the presos for Apple and Adobe. You’re in great company Michael. :)

  • Brian Zehr

    Nancy’s video was amazing in part because of the timing in my own life. To me the structure of the presentation resonates so much with how my ideas can make a difference. I think I have often made myself the hero instead of focusing on how the audience is the star. I love the examples and the resonating truth that our ideas can change the world if we can learn how to present them. Timely words powerfully presented.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Andy Stanley’s book, Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication is excellent on this point, too.

      • Dylan Dodson

        That’s the first book I ever read on communicating, it was a great place to start!

        • Steven Cribbs

          That was also one of the first books I read on communicating. Great book – probably time for another read:-)

  • Gina Burgess

    I, too, am beginning to work on my presentation for my book coming out in April published by Westbow Press. I’m excited to see these ideas and how much better I can be at conveying my thoughts. I have a presentation mapped out similar to Nancy’s to teach grant writing to non-profits. I see now exactly how much better it could have been! Although, it is really tough to get a huge amount of information squished into one hour…

    So, thank you Michael for the incredible timing of this post.

    P.S. I heard Jim Roan giving a speech about how much passion it takes to change the world. He focused on Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus. The analogy was powerful. In no way did he take any attention of Jesus’ sacrifice, instead he used that event to show how Saul’s passion was redirected by Jesus, and then continuously fueled by God.

    • Brandon

      Very cool!

  • Peter Monbailleu

    Together with Garr Reynolds (Presentation Zen), Nancy Duarte is my greatest inspiration to create good, captivating presentations…

  • Dave

    This video was really helpful. Checking out and her books right now… thanks again for the great information, and inspiration!

  • Karyn Brownlee

    What an amazing recommendation! I’m thrilled for Nancy, although I do not know her, and excited to learn of her. You’ve convinced me to seek her wisdom and surely influenced many more to do so, too. Thanks for your consistently intentional leadership, Mike!

  • Ramon Presson

    First, I just have to say Thank You for being a Value-Added Poster. As in your blog posts always add value to your readers. :-) I’ve learned a lot and am still learning not just from WHAT you share (content) but HOW you share (consistenly adding value by including resources you have found helpful). I think I speak for all of us in saying THANK YOU.

    As for the video, I found Nancy’s thoughts on accomodating and utilizing resistance the most helpful. As therapists we know we are always dealing with forms of resistance in our clients, even in the ones seemingly begging to change. And a counselor may try to OVERPOWER resistance and he will fail…as evidenced by further resistance or the epitome of resistance–the client doesn’t come back. A wise therapist (and wise speaker) learns to skillfully Acknowledge resistance, Accomodate it, Reframe and Utilize it to enable the client to do what the client really needs & desires to do–change. The only caution is that the therapist or speaker must be careful in not presuming to know what it is best for his audience. The creative tension for a counselor, speaker, or preacher is being persuasive without being manipulative.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Your are welcome, Ramon, and I appreciate you taking the time to express it.

      I agree with you on not presuming to know what is best for your client or audience. Thanks.

  • Jonathon Burns

    Wow! As an aspiring writer I loved how seamlessly she incorporated story structure into her presentation. The key examples were phenomenal – I probably won’t be listening to speeches the same way anymore.

  • Josh Hood

    You hit another homerun with this post, Mike.
    As a writer, speaker, and very analytical thinker, I am fascinated by great speeches and what makes them work. There is a magic in great speaking that is captivating.

    Whenever I’m sitting there listening to a powerful speech that sends chills down my spine, I think, “Why is this so good? What makes this so powerful? How can I harness that magic they’ve captured and utilize it in MY delivery?”

    The way she mapped the speeches was phenomenal. I have a speaking engagement in the morning. It will be better because of this post. Thanks! :)

    • Brandon

      True! Speeches that are great are rememberable. I have heard many speeches, but I only remember the great ones…

      • Josh Hood

        That’s the litmus test of a great presentation, isn’t it?
        If I have simply entertained, my speech is a failure because I didn’t

        A successful speech is one in which the audience takes action as a result.

        • Brandon


          • Nancy Duarte

            I’m glad you guys see that. The greatest communicators (the ones who moved people to change) do follow the form. The book analyzes 8 speeches in great detail. I recently analyzed the speech the king gave in the King’s Speech and it follows the form. As does Jesus’ sermon on the mount.

            It’s a fun tool.

          • Brandon

            Very cool!

  • Kerry Palmer


    This post is yet another example of why your blog has become so indispensable to me. In just two short weeks I have found more “rubber-meets-the-road” material than months of other material put together. Thanks for your resources and advice. But most of all, thank you for your transparency. It is truly refreshing!

    All the best!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Thanks for your kind words.

  • Uma Maheswaran S

    I make presentations with my clients often. Its part and parcel of my assignments. The video post was fabulous and Nancy gives creartive idea on improving the style of our public speaking. And thanks for the two books. I will be lloking for it.

  • Brandon

    Michael, have you ever taken speech classes (particularly in college)? I was just wondering… I have a Comp class right now where I had to give a speech, but I was also thinking about taking a speech class.

    • Michael Hyatt

      No, I have not. Sorry.

      • Brandon

        Oh ok… I heard it s pretty beneficial!

        • Steven Cribbs

          I took a speech class in college. The class I had was fairly simple in what it taught; but, it gave challenges that were beneficial. First, we had to write several different types of speeches (informational, persuasive, etc.). This helped to expand my outlook and experience in addressing topics in a variety of different manners. Second, the speeches we presented in class were video-taped. I usually don’t like to watch (or hear) myself; but, this was a great tool in helping to understand what my stage presence and mannerisms were like and provided a platform for evaluating and improving my speeches. Of course, that was my particular class…

          • Brandon

            Oh ok… thanks for letting me know about it! I might have to consider it now! :)

  • Anonymous

    I loved this! When she was doing the analysis of Martin Luther King Jr.’s & Steve Jobs speeches I wondered when they wrote their speeches/presentation if they put that much thought into the structure. Wow…

    I do feel more comfortable on stage when I think of myself as a teacher rather than the main attraction. So when she said the speaker was the mentor that resonated with me. Thinking the audience is the hero is going to revolutionize my presentations/speeches. Thanks for sharing.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I wondered that, too, or if this is a case where some people just figured it out intuitively. My guess is that it’s a little of both. Regardless, we can all benefit from knowing the “secret sauce.”

      • Nancy Duarte

        The greatest communicators have intuitively known when the structure and flow felt right. Granted, they have a clear beginning, middle and end, but they knew how to craft…really craft a great speech. They naturally incorporated contrast but this is the first time the form has been revealed.

  • Larry Yarborough, Jr.

    1) This post is yet another reason why I enjoy & follow your blog so closely – you give info away. You don’t try and recreate it as your own. You elevate others. I want to be like that.
    2) Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait to dig in and get better at sharing the best, most compelling Story humankind has ever known.
    Blessings all over you: head to toe & skin to soul!

  • Dan Miller

    Wow I loved this video. I spoke at two churches this week and get lots of invitations. This video is prompting me to be much more intentional about delivering a quality message rather than just resting on the fact that I’m pretty comfortable as a presenter.

    Thanks so much for bringing value like this through your blog. I appreciate that you’re not only sharing your wisdom and experience but pointing us to other amazing resources.

  • TNeal

    As a storyteller, I appreciated how Nancy put the hero’s journey in a form that clicked with me. I had seen it on paper but the idea for whatever reason didn’t jell in my mind. And to apply the concept to public speaking, that never entered my mind. I knew the power of stories–I’ve seen it in listeners as I preached and I’ve felt it when others spoke–but a presentation that followed storytelling principles, how marvelous an idea.

    I paused the video often and wrote copious amounts of notes. Thank you for exposing me to another excellent source.

  • Lucy Ann Moll

    Awesome video. Awesome examples. Awesome dream.

  • Janet James

    knocked my socks off!

  • Scott Meyer

    Thanks Mike!
    As a preacher and student of preaching I find Nancy’s “shape of a presentation” what of the most applicable to the preaching moment/sermon that I have seen or studied. I look forward to incorporating her structure into my sermons. It seems natural to move back and forth between what life is like and what God is calling us to.

    Thanks again for locating and sharing top notch material.
    Grace & Peace

  • Matt Blazer

    This reminds me of Daniel Pink encouraging people to draw more. I am preaching tomorrow and may see what a drawing of the sermon looks like. I appreciated that it wasn’t super-techy.

  • Randy Willis

    Awesome video!

    As a preacher, I love the illustration/analysis of MLK’s speech and the comparison with a modern-day speech (i.e., Jobs).

    I also thought of Stanley’s book, “Communicating for a Change” (interestingly, I blogged about the book a few years ago and it’s still the #1 most popular post on my blog!).

    Stanley suggests a map — ME, WE, GOD, YOU, WE. Generally, the opening ME/WE are “what is” and GOD incorporates both “what is” and “what could be” but specifically introduces “what could be” from a biblical standpoint point. YOU is the practical application for getting from “what is” to “what could be.” And the closing WE is casting vision of “what could be,” that is, what it would look like if we implemented this is our lives.

    I’ve been using Stanley’s approach for 5 years (best ministry/leadership transition I’ve ever made). Nancy’s video could help me take my speaking to a whole new level (I hope!).

    BTW, if you’re interested, my post on Stanley’s book (i.e., one-point preaching) can be found here:

    I’m going to have to watch this video a few more times, I think! :-)

    • TNeal


      First of all, thanks for redirecting me to your website. I found your article engaging and helpful. A lot of what Stanley wrote crosses over from public speaking to writing. I can use the advice in both arenas.

      Finding your voice certainly applies in this case. I just read a piece where Harlan Ellison said he once dreamed of being the next James Joyce. He wised up. “I settled for being the first Me.”

      Secondly, I really liked your statement: “Peacekeepers want to make everyone happy; peacemakers want to make everyone healthy!” That’s a quote worth remembering.

  • Moe

    Wow, this was an amazing video. I follow Nancy on Twitter and I read both her books. She is quite a gifted speaker and a genius when it comes to presentations.

    Thanks for sharing Michael.

  • Anonymous

    Hello, Michael. Long time viewer/subscriber, first time commenter. Just wanted to say a huge “Thank you” for this post! I’m in the process of revising my presentations from the typical, boring, bullet-point slides full of text, to telling an emotional and engaging story.

    Another resource that’s been a huge help has been “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs” by Carmine Gallo. This book is the reverse-engineering of Jobs’ presentations, and although not referred to with a line as in Nancy’s presentation, you’ll find the same thought process is found in this book, as well as some other very valuable content. I think readers who get a lot of value from Nancy’s talk and books will find Gallo’s book to be valuable and enlightening as well. It definitely was for me.

    Thanks again for the post. Your blog is certainly one of my favorites!

    • Michael Hyatt

      I loved the Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs. I found it both inspirational and practical.

    • Nancy Duarte

      I love Carmine’s books. The applicable insights he found in Steve Jobs’ work are very valuable. Glad you’re familiar with it. I recommend them everywhere I go.

  • Alicha McHugh

    Wow. Wow! WOW!
    I so enoyed learning from her and understanding more about speaches in general. But here’s the amazing thing I realized about the time Nancy got to the sailboat slide. It made my mouth drop and my eyes water up. You know why the pattern of “what is” compared to “what could/should be” works so well? GOD uses that same pattern in our lives to draw us to himself! The “safe harbor” of PS 107 doesn’t last but so long for a reason. Not long ago I wrote: But now, it seems, I’ve been too long on shore. My feet have gotten dry and I’ve begun to long for the salty air of ocean breezes and the constant dependency upon my Savior. I’ve seen the warning signs from the harbor, the storms are returning. But this time, it’s different. This time I remember…we do not walk so well with God in gardens anymore; so He takes us out into deep waters, that we may know our feet are made of clay.
    Said another way: The Lord allows believers the status quo for a season, THEN often shows us His big ideas IN the storm…and isn’t that when we are closest to Him, where we are drawn into his vision and become the torch bearing hero(ine)s with his flame?!?!

  • rick hubbell


    Something important clicked today, but not what I was expecting…

    My greater takeaway was this: Sometimes what you need is already right in front of you – OR -Keys to your future are often right within reach…

    After showering at the gym post working out the other day, as I reached to unlock the padlock to my locker I dropped the key. Looking all around, I couldn’t find it. I searched my bag on the bench seat, twice, inside and out. No key. Then I noticed a small crack at the bottom of my wooden locker, large enough for my key – given a perfect deflection – room to slip through. Aargh!

    So I fashioned a ‘fishing’ device to snatch it if possible. Down on my knees in a towel, still no key. As I fished, the weight of dumb increased, and I remembered my wallet, phone and car key inside, not to mention clothes. What’s the game plan now, Buddy, borrow someone’s cel phone and try to call my wife who I don’t think is available right now?

    Ugh. Ripped my bag apart one last time and finally gave up, setting it down. As I did, something literally popped out of my bag and made a jingling sound; THE KEY! Stunned, I realized somehow, right it was right there all along.

    I chuckled to myself and noted the point for a future message.

    Here’s the connection. I bought the book Slide:ology a couple of years ago. When it arrived, ironically, something about the layout just turned me off; probably the unusually small text size, which though sheik-looking, made me unwilling to sort through the content.

    I didn’t think about it much, just didn’t feel like delving. After letting it sit in the open as if I was going to read it for a few weeks, I flipped it on the shelf.

    However, after your recommendation, I just felt like finding and dusting off the book I never read. Sure, I watched the video too, but grabbing the book was like finding buried treasure you didn’t even know you buried back when. Your recommendation caused me to push through my initial friction to see what was really there: amazing stuff. It takes a little digging though.

    Here my question to you. With all the books, messages and ‘fresh’ content we digest, isn’t it funny how what we need is sometimes in a resource we already have but can’t pinpoint when we need it?


    • Michael Hyatt

      This is so true, Rick. Often, we buy something but the timing is not quite right.

      Great story about the key, too! Thanks.

      • rick hubbell

        Good point – the TIMING factor is also huge.

    • allanwhite

      Rick, also consider Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen and follow-up books. His blog started me on the journey of presentation design and the Art of Presenting in general.

    • rick hubbell

      Thank you for the recommendation Allan! It appears most people only keep up with their own thread ;) – me included – so I especially appreciate notes from others in the community.

  • Joe Lalonde

    I’ll be checking out the video. Also, thanks for the book ideas. I’ll keep an eye out for them.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Just finished watching the video. I will probably be watching it a few more times to take notes and grab the great information in it. It’s pretty amazing how the structure of speeches can grab the attention of the audience.

      While watching it, it reminded me of something my wife was talking about the other day. She’s been reading a book called Exposing Darwinism’s Weakest Link. It discusses something called the Phi ratio. If you look at great works of art, music, architecture, literature, etc… they can all be measured by the Phi ratio. This makes me think and wonder if these speeches could be measured in the same way?

      • Nancy Duarte

        Fascinating thought. Phi is also known as the golden mean and divine number because it’s used all through creation. Had never wondered if beautiful communication follows it too. Crazy thought.

  • Karl Mealor

    It certainly made we rethink my sermon for tomorrow!

  • Stephanie L. Jones

    WOW and WOW backwards! Michael, thank you for sharing this video. I will be honest in saying that for the first 5-7 minutes, I kept thinking that her presentation style and the slides wouldn’t work for me, because I never prepare when I speak. I pray, sometimes days, weeks, and months in advance, and then I just go for it. I like to feed off of the audience, their facial expressions and body language.

    But I purposely silenced my mind and really begin to listen to Nancy. Thank God, because I learned so much from her presentation and those individuals she analyzed. I’m sure my next speaking engagement will be different and even better!

    Again, thank you! You’re a gem!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. I am glad you found it helpful!

  • Kathy

    What struck me, as she outline the structure, was the power of stating and restating the status quo. The repeated contrast to ‘what could be’ compels the audience to measure the new idea by their own values grid. It is far from emotional indoctrination when we ask our readers or our audience to weigh what we are suggesting against what they already accept. It engages their minds and allows them to intelligently consider what we propose.
    LIke classical music there is an inate order that sets the mind at rest to receive. Brilliant in its simplicity.

    • Nancy Duarte

      Hi Kathy,
      I love that you connected the presentation form to classical music. Toward the end of Resonate, we did just that. We used a similar visual form to analyze classical music so you could “see” the contrast in the music.


      • Kathy

        Thanks for the Mozart link. It was mesmerizing. This is definetly ‘head and heart’ teamwork here. It speaks to the idea that we ‘know more than we know’ if we just learn to use our senses in sync.
        I feel like Alice in Wonderland who opened an unexpected door…………..
        So glad you are working in your unique giftedness, Nancy!

  • Jim Martin

    I just listened to Nancy Duarte’s presentation. I found her presentation to be incredibly helpful. I then looked on my bookshelf and realized that I have her book, SLIDE:OLOGY. I have not read it yet, but the video is great motivation for doing so.

    Thanks for a helpful post.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Jim. I think you’ll enjoy her book. I liked Resonate even better.

  • Paul

    I just bought both books. This is the second “must buy” recommendation from guys I admire, so I had to get them. Thanks Michael!

  • Jeremy@confessionsofalegalist

    Thanks for sharing the “shape” of a speech. A good speech and a good speaker are clearly intentional and not just something that happens. One thing Don Miller has written about in his blog is the use of story to convince someone of your idea. Instead of stating the idea in 3 points, he suggests taking the audience or reader through a series of events that led you to the conclusions you came to, helping them to come to the same conclusions. Instead of telling people to believe you, you show them why your idea is good.

  • TNeal

    Today as I listened to the sermon at church, I used the “what is/what can be” template to organize the pastor’s message in my head.

    The result was a springboard of ideas for another message which I hope to share at my next preaching engagement. As I shared my “what is/what can be” thoughts with my wife later, I got more and more excited about what God did in Peter’s life (the basis of the pastor’s message and the germ of an idea that had already been working in my soul).

    I have to admit listening and thinking during the sermon today almost got me in trouble. I ran the PowerPoint for the pastor’s message. If my wife hadn’t prompted me, I would have missed posting his second point.

  • Daniel Decker

    Powerful. I’m a big Duarte fan myself. Really enjoy her work and suggest it to every speaker / author / person with an Idea that I know.

    Is there presentation they did you for you online somewhere? Would love to see it.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, no. It was for internal use.

      • allanwhite

        Understood – any chance you’d share a sample slide or two? It would be most informative to see how Duarte interpreted your branding and message.

        Presentation design has become my favorite activity (right up there with motion graphics, at least). I get to do a fair bit for Kevin Palau, which has been a blast. At its best, it’s a wonderful brainstorming and collaborative exercise, where a designer hopefully gets direct access to the presenter and their ideas.

        I also love it because the medium seems easier than many other kinds of design mediums. You design, illustrate, animate – and push play. No exhaustive press checks, web coding, or rendering. Just speaking and design. Keynote is part of the reason for that – easy to push around, looks great.

        What slideware platform did you use, internally and at CatWest?

        • Michael Hyatt

          I will have to go back and find it. It was for a one-time presentation I did three years ago.

          I use Apple Keynote exclusively. In addition to presentations, I also use it for creating e-books and wireframes of Web site pages. It’s an incredibly versatile, easy-to-use tool.

  • guy m williams

    This was incredibly inspiring to me. As a pastor, it is clearly relevant, especially naming me, the preacher, as the mentor for the congregation — a marvelous way to view oneself that seems wonderfully aligned with Scripture to me. And as person with social entrepreneurship dreams as well, this is hugely relevant. I’ve got a handful of approaches I lean on most that I have crafted into my preparation for messages (like Michael’s workflow comment).

    But in addition to the informative side, Nancy’s passion about helping people communicate more effectively was really moving and affective to me. Great stuff from someone who believes an idea can be a world-changer. Thanks to Nancy for her work and passion for releasing our dreams!

  • Alisahopewagner

    I love her presentation because she pulls from rhetoric and lit! I can apply all of it :)

  • Ben Tune

    I watched this over the weekend. I can’t wait to incorporate this.

  • Jim Whitaker

    In my experience in speaking nothing replaces passion to ensure that you provide a good presentation. I remember as I was developing my skills in Toastmasters that when I was able to really write and talk about what I was passionate in, that those speeches always did better than the ones were I was pigeon holed into a corner and had to write about something that I was not so passionate about. Passion even over comes some hiccups or ums or even a bad PowerPoint, although this slide show was helpful for Gore. As for the future of my speaking, this provides some real food for thought, especially considering a lot of my presentations are done in my current work and always look the same. Maybe the next office meeting will be a little more exciting.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this link. After viewing this information I changed the outline of a simple presentation I was to give to our staff today. I believe it was more successful because of thinking in the simple terms of: ‘what is…” and “what could be…”

  • Chris Denning

    I like how she talked about how you have to pull the idea out of yourself. If you don’t, they’ll just die with you. Also, she’s right about the fact that communication is important. We could have the same kind of idea, but the stickiness of the idea will be determined by how well it is communicated.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for posting this video. Very confirming. It makes me thankful to have a few novels in my back pocket as a storyteller.

    One time I had an expert review one of my talks. Unfortunately he didn’t have many good things to say about it (and of course, I had much to learn so I incorporated his feedback). But later, as I thought about it, I remembered my audience’s engagement. I remember the stories I told. I remember how lives were changed. I remember how the Holy Spirit moved mightily. And I realized in the end that God has created us uniquely to share, that my presentations won’t look like everyone else’s.

    We need models, yes. But we also need to leave room for individuality and the moving of the Holy Spirit.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I don’t know why more novelist don’t speak. Because they understand story structure, I think they have a natural advantage.

  • Tom Billington

    Fabulous video and advice. I produce conferences for a living and this has changed the way I think about how presentations can truly create change, not just convey information. Thanks for sharing this and thanks for sharing so many great tips over the past few months, such as the Lose It! app recommendation too (lost 10 pounds so far!)…If the web can be a ministry, this is one of the best I’ve found out there! Thanks, Michael.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tom. I appreciate your encouragement.

  • 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