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30 Second Book Review: Resonate – Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences

Who has time to read books? We all should, but it's tough to know what is worth reading. Each week, this blog will spotlight a new book relevant for marketers or people in business with ideas worth learning and sharing. Through a combination of a personal interview with the Authors, and short review – you'll get the basic premise of the book and why you might want to read it. To recommend a book to be featured, send an email pitch to

This week's featured book is Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences, a visually driven guide to creating compelling stories through presentations from one of the most well known communication consultants in the world.

THE INTERVIEW (Thoughts from Nancy Duarte):

IMB_ResonateBook 1. What inspired you to write Resonate?

There are three components of a presentation: content, slides and delivery. My first book slide:ology covered the visual components of a story but I realized that even though readers learned how to craft attractive slides, their content was still a mess. No matter how attractive the slides are, if the content is still bad, it’s like putting lipstick on a pig. So, I set out to uncover why only a few presentations are riveting, while the rest are boring. I knew that there had to be an underlying narrative structure to presentations that hold the rapt attention of an audience. I studied literature and cinema plus studied the transcriptions of great presentations and believe I have uncovered a hidden pattern that the greatest communicators have unknowingly used for years.

2. What is the big idea of the book?

The underlying theme of the book is persuasion. At the core, the only reason we present is to persuade. The book will walk you through a process of brainstorming ideas that support your Big Idea, define the journey you want the audience to go on and then build a presentation that gets them to adopt your perspective, buy your products, or invest in your company…whatever it is you’re persuading them to do. Resonate reveals a way of creating presentation content that germinates from story structures and frameworks instead of a document mindset. Central themes of the book are that the audience is the hero and the presenter is the mentor.

3. Who is the perfect person to read this book?

The book appeals to anyone who communicates (and particularly persuades) on a regular basis. I’ve been getting feedback that it works beyond just a presentation, it works for all types of communication.

THE 30 SECOND REVIEW (Why You Should Read It):

Ever since finding Nancy's first book, slide:ology, I have been a big fan of her work and thinking – using the book to create a visual presentation for PNI and also assigning it as required reading for a Masters level Global Communications class I teach at Georgetown University. While slide:ology was very focused on the principles of creating a great presentation, this book is described in her own words as a "prequel" because of its focus on how to create a compelling story instead of just offering best practices on how to share it. As a communicator who does both on stage presentations and works on creating compelling markting strategy through storytelling for clients, I found Nancy's framework to be both simple and useful. While some of her observations like "the audience is the hero" and the need to "create common ground" may seem like obvious suggestions – the way she packages these truths with the teaching style of a storyteller in the book makes them actionable. Ultimately, as she also shares in the book – there is "always room to improve" and she manages to follow her own advice in this second book by thinking outside the slides. Even if all your presenting is done with powerpoint, focusing on the story instead of the slides is the real secret to being a compelling presenter and communicator. Resonate is a brilliant guidebook to help you get there.  (Review written by Rohit Bhargava)


Official Book Website:
Author's Website:

REVIEW PHILOSOPHY (Why This Review Matters):

All the books that are reviewed in this series are worth your time. That's why you won't find any negative book reviews on this blog. As a Author myself, I have hundreds of book on my shelf and have researched hundreds more. I get many invitations to preview books and choose just one every week to share here on this blog. Read my other book reviews at

3 thoughts on “30 Second Book Review: Resonate – Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences”

  1. Rohit – long time no see!

    As you know I read many business books – 100’s in a year and this one is certainly one of my favourites. I interviewed Nancy for The Engaging Brand podcast – should be up this Friday. This book is a wonderful insight and merges business + movies + art + communication. The book more than a good read, I thought it was a wonderful example of how to set out a book….and no I don’t know Nancy or the publisher!!! All my own views


  2. This is a great review that offers more depth than usually found elsewhere. I was introduced to Resonate a few weeks ago through another blog. Before that point, I had never heard of Resonate or Slide:ology, but after reading about the books and the author I became very intrigued by the ideas behind these books. Although, I have not yet purchased either book, I thank you for re-sparking my interest and pushing me a few steps closer to buying these books.


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Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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