ISBN — 978-0-470-63201-7


Read — 2/1/17

Rating — 8/10

Go to the Amazon page.

Read more of my book reviews here.


Author Nancy Duarte does a fantastic job researching and outlining what it takes to give a great speech!

I would recommend this book to any professional communicator, especially preachers. If you fall into that category, you stand to learn much from Resonate.

This book taught me a few great lessons. Primarily, how to create contrast or tension in a presentation.

If you don't know how to do this, or have never heard of doing this in a speech or sermon, you need to read this book now.

I rated this book an 8 of 10. It has some enormous takeaways! Especially for speakers.

But, it is also redundant, as are many books in my opinion. I feel that most of the points could have been made in half the time.

Long story short, you should read this if you speak. If you don't, no big deal.


It all starts with becoming a better storyteller.

More than any other form of communication, the art of telling stories is an integral part of the human experience. Those who master it are often afforded great influence and enduring legacy.

The future isn’t just a place you’ll go; it’s a place you will invent. Your ability to shape your future depends on how well you communicate where you want to be when you get there.

The audience does not need to tune themselves to you—you need to tune your message to them.

Presentations with a pulse have an ebb and flow to them. Those bursts of movement result from contrast—contrast in content, emotion, and delivery. In the same way that your toe taps to a good beat, your brain enjoys tapping into ideas when something new is continually developing and unwrapping. Interesting insights and contrasts keep the audience leaning forward, waiting to hear how each new development resolves.

The more you want your idea adopted, the more it must stand out.

An audience should never be asked to make decisions based on unclear options.

Don’t blend in; instead, clash with your environment. Stand out. Be uniquely different. That’s what will draw attention to your ideas. Nothing has intrinsic attention-grabbing power in itself. The power lies in how much something stands out from its context.

You can have piles of facts and still fail to resonate. It’s not the information itself that’s important but the emotional impact of that information. This doesn’t mean that you should abandon facts entirely. Use plenty of facts, but accompany them with emotional appeal.

Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission—which is emotional connection.” — Seth Godin

Stories are the most powerful delivery tool for information, more powerful and enduring than any other art form.

Tell a story and people will be more engaged and receptive to the ideas you are communicating.

Self-centered people don’t connect. No one wants to date, work with, or sit through a presentation given by someone like that.

You are not the hero who will save the audience; the audience is your hero.

When you’re presenting, instead of showing up with an arrogant attitude that “it’s all about me,” your stance should be a humble “it’s all about them.”

Changing your stance from thinking you’re the hero to acknowledging your role as mentor will alter your viewpoint.

Presentations are not to be viewed as an opportunity to prove how brilliant you are.

Audience insights and resonance can only occur when a presenter takes a stance of humility.

So if a report primarily conveys information, then stories produce an experience.

Navigating between fact, then story, then fact, then story creates interest and a pulse.

A good presentation is a satisfying, complete experience. You might cry, laugh, or do both, but you’ll also feel you’ve learned something about yourself.

Let’s remember that there is one indisputable attribute of a good story: there must be some kind of conflict or imbalance perceived by the audience that your presentation resolves.

Proposing what could be should throw the audience’s current reality out of balance.

To create the call to adventure, put forth a memorable big idea that conveys what could be. This is the moment when the audience will see the stark contrast between what is and what could be for the first time—and it’s crucial that the gap is clear.

Your job as a communicator is to create and resolve tension through contrast.

Building highly contrasting elements into a presentation holds the audience’s attention.

Oppositional content is stimulating; familiar content is comforting. Together, these two types of content produce forward movement.

The ending of a great narrative is the first thing the audience remembers.

Your goal is to figure out what your audience cares about and link it to your idea.

No matter what the tool is, the audience should leave each presentation knowing something they didn’t know before and with the ability to apply that knowledge to help them succeed.

Ultimately, there are only two emotions—pleasure and pain. A truly persuasive presentation plays on those emotions to do one of the following: Raise the likelihood of pain and lower the likelihood of pleasure if they reject the big idea. Raise the likelihood of pleasure and lower the likelihood of pain if they accept the big idea.

Give critics a voice, and they’ll become advocates.

Facts alone are not sufficient to persuade. They need to be complemented with just the right balance of credibility and content that tugs at the heartstrings.

Audiences are screaming “make it clear,” not “cram more in.” You won’t often hear an audience member say, “That presentation would have been so much better if it were longer.”

Presentations that follow rabbit trails lead nowhere and leave the audience lost in a confused maze of dead ends.

Screenwriters carefully ensure that the emotions are moving between pain and pleasure so that the audience remains engaged.

Phrases that have historical significance or become headlines don’t just magically appear in the moment; they are mindfully planned.

Presentations fail because of too much information, not too little.

“The first draft of anything is shit.” — Ernest Hemingway

Great communicators create movements.

You have the opportunity to shape the future through your imagination. Imagining a future where your idea has been implemented will keep you inspired to communicate your idea passionately.

I sincerely hope that this summary is a blessing to you! I'll be posting more soon, so be sure to subscribe below.

How'd you feel about this post? Please leave a comment below.