Give an Effective Presentation Like Al Gore

Give an Effective Presentation Like Al Gore

ImageThe Wired How-To Wiki asks Nancy Duarte from Duarte Design—the company that put together Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth slide show—to share her tips and tricks for creating a successful slideshow. For example:

Presentations work best when the presenter uses it as a mnemonic device to help the audience remember a message. The message suffers when its used as a crutch for the presenter. Nobody wants to see the back of a presenter and nobody wants to watch someone read a list of bullet points from a slide. When they do, it makes the presenter look lazy and distills the emotional message.

Many of the tips are common sense, but there are a few gems worth taking note of if you’re looking to boost your presentation chops. If you prefer the presentation flair of a Steve Jobs to Gore, check out how to give a presentation like Steve Jobs.


  • Great post Adam. Thanks! Wish I were there.

    Mr. Gore’s slides are built in Apple’s Keynote.

    Good catch on the misuse of “distill”, we submitted much more comprehensive content to Wired and they spliced it together incorrectly unfortunately, Here’s the original submission:

    3.) What makes a compelling slideshow? Presentations are best when the slides serve as a mnemonic device for the audience to remember the message, not for the presenter to use as a crutch. Great slideshows are dependent on the type of relationship they have with their presenter. Is the relationship that of actor and stage? Or drug and dealer? If the presenter is addicted to bullet points, then everyone in the room suffers. It’s a cop-out for presenters to cram slides full of words and doo-dads solely so they remind themselves of what to say. When they do that, it makes the slides all about the presenter’s lack of commitment to learning the material and not about the audience’s needs. If a presenter has genuinely internalized the key messages and is supported by distilled visual themes and emotional evidence, lightning strikes. Amazing things happen. It’s cinematic and interactive.
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    Watch the book URL unfold at

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