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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Some Schooling on Slide:ology from Duarte Designs

Eric Albertson from Duarte Design, the firm behind the excellent book Slide:ology, is here to tell us how to creat more effective presentations. I’m a HUGE fan of these guys, so this is very exciting for me. (One other great resource for presentations is the Presentation Zen blog.)

Erik from Duarte Designs (Slide:ology)

He starts off by telling us not to start a presentation by opening up presentation software to begin. “That’s not a presentation”.

“Step away from your computer, grab a paper and pen, and that’s how you begin to create a great presentation.”

The most important thing to know and understand before a presentation is the audience. Eric recommends creating an outline of just who is in the audience and creating a profile for who that really is, what he calls this an “audience map”.

Slideology - audience needs map
(download link)

He’s talking a lot about process of how you go about ideation of the presentation, not about how to really create the slides themselves to be compelling. So far, it’s been about how you understand the presentation arc, the audience and the logic and/or emotion that goes into the way you communicate.

S.T.A.R. Moments


To really nail a talk, you need to find a STAR moment, one that’s repeated at the watercooler the next day. It’s the way that people remember your talk, that phrase or visual that resonates well after the presentation is over.


We finally, after all the other parts of the process have been done, start to put together the actual slides and lay out our story and data.

“Minimize the unimportant, maximize the important visually.”

3D charts are really hard to work with, be careful with them, and also be careful with choosing the right type of chart.


  1. I think making presentations is one of the hardest information design problems, I’m not sure why I think it’s super hard. I guess audience definition is a good start huh — just like a website.

  2. Hey. I might be able to use that. 🙂

  3. Notice the releasing of mosquitoes by Bill Gates? Yup, S.T.A.R. moment. Good job, Bill. We’ll remember that one.

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