Book Review: slide:ology


I recently received a review copy of slide:ology – The art and science of creating great presentations by Nancy Duarte, published by O’Reilly Media. I’m consciously making an effort to increase my frequency of speaking engagements, so I was thrilled to see a modern text on visual aids from a heavy usability-oriented angle. I’ve read the first two chapters so far and skimmed the majority of the remainder.

slide:ology is cleverly designed to read and flow like a presentation itself, although the content is far more in depth than an ordinary slide deck. Each of the 275 pages is a pleasure to look at, and the individual page designs themselves provide a great deal of inspiration. I’m particularly thrilled to see such creative use of negative space and negative geometry in many of the designs. Many texts on marketing effectively use the exact opposite approach.


  • Visually inspirational. Tons of great ideal for your next keynote.
  • Useful outside of the speaking domain. Many of the design ideas can be applied to print media and web design as well.
  • Good copy which is brief and easy to follow.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • A great coffee table/break room book.


  • You may have to implement many of these designs yourself. I’d easily pay an extra $5 for an optional download of Keynote templates ready to go, as well as the raw graphics files used in production.
  • A slightly awkward print format. I understand why, but it doesn’t fit as well on the shelf as I’d life.

Overall, slide:ology is a great little piece of speaking inspiration by Nancy Duarte. Great job! (I expect more like this.)

Buy slide:ology here.

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