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Duarte Design is on a mission to change the world, one PowerPoint presentation at a time. Nancy and Mark Duarte, the wife-and-husband team behind Al Gore's famous slideshow about global warming, have built a thriving business out of creating high-impact PowerPoint and Keynote presentations. Their company has become the go-to presentation resource for some of high technology's most visible companies, such as Adobe, Cisco, and HP. But Nancy will be the first to tell you that it's not the technology that matters most, but rather the story. This installment of Creative Inspirations tells the story of how this power duo elevated lowly PowerPoint presentations to arguably the most compelling form of modern media.
(Music playing.) Doug Neff: Sometimes when we get wrapped up in presentations and things with charts and graphs, and a presentation is something with the slide behind you and you're holding a clicker and a microphone and things like that. But really presentations go way back, to olden times, when there would be a fire and the storyteller would have the best spot by the fire and that was a presentation.
And the fire gave everyone in the room something to focus on, like they'd just stare into the fire and their imagination would play out the scenes in their head, while the storyteller was telling them things. And what we do today is we sort of make a campfire for people. We give things to put behind and so people's imagination can go off on what they're saying. But it's important for us as people who do that to also learn how to tell stories and practice that. So, that we're not just painting slides, and we're not just forming charts and graphs in the background.
We also have to be people who are in the trenches too. So we do a story club to practice that and hopefully have fun. So, we have six stories today. They'll make you laugh, some may make you cry, they will touch you and we're going to end with a children's story. Male Speaker1: Augh!!! What the? What's going on? What's going on? And I am like freaking out. I am like, Are you okay? What's happening, what's happening? All of them are gone. Gone? And she goes, The dogs have chewed them all up. Female Speaker: Pick up like this fast, and I am like this could be kind of cute.
It's like I am putting in on and it's weird because like the size, they are like one size only and I'm like whatever. Maybe I'll be that one size whatever. Male Speaker2: As I was in this bank and I had been about six weeks on this job, I noticed that wow! Everybody in this bank is a woman. All the employees, all of the patrons, every one of them were women. And not only were they women but they were really flirtatious toward me.
Male Speaker1: And at this point I knew the day was just-- that was it. Nothing at this point mattered. It was like, okay, it just got weird. Children at Wal-Mart, 1:30 in the morning, and I need to find black leather shoes. Doug Neff: We're in the business of telling stories. So, before we bring in the visual aspect of the story, we need to figure out what that story is. There is nothing that goes on in the world of entertainment or instruction or education or sales, or anything like that, that you wouldn't consider a story.
At some level, it's a story that you're imparting from one person to another. And if you're selling something, you're telling the story of where this thing came from and what it can do for the customer. If you're trying to explain to the world why global warming is a crisis, you're putting that inside a story. So, all of those things already are stories and human beings have been telling those for thousands of years and we've been listening to stories for thousands of years. So, the better we get at that fundamental skill, the better we get at doing that, the better we'll get at standing up in front of a thousand people and selling our product or convincing them our idea is important, or getting the students to pay attention to what we're trying to teach.
By practicing that fundamental skill, we get better at those other things too.
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