Tools of the trade.

Over the past year, I frequently found myself visiting the site of Duarte Design. (Confession: usually at midnight with a deadline looming, an educational way to procrastinate.) Headed by Nancy Duarte, Duarte Design is in the business of telling stories, usually through visual presentations.

After watching all the great videos and reading all the wonderful blog posts, I finally bought Nancy’s latest book, Resonate.

Let’s just say Resonate resonated with me. Unlike a lot of business communication books, this book really shows what happens behind the wizard’s curtain. Great presentations start with “the way it is.” They then present “how it could” be. My favorite part was where Nancy maps the presentations of master speakers like Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King. She pinpoints where tension and contrast of “the way it is” and “what could be” adds drama and emotional pull to each presentation.

What can I say? It's totally transformed the way I work.

She also reviewed the creative process. While a lot of this part wasn’t new, she reiterated the easy of working with stickie notes. While I have always been a fan of hanging work up and and white boards, I’ve had several long format assignments lately (books and videos) where I could put this to practice. I storyboarded each assignment entirely with pen and paper. While it is easy to type a script on a computer, it’s too linear. Working with stickies, index cards and paper makes it easier to move things around, edit and kill your babies.

Hello index card. Hello sharpie. Hello stickie note.

Analog, I love you. Again.