Presentation professionals
are unicorns #1

As one video on the internet said: “if you happen to see one, do not spook it off, capture it, we need to study it.” This post is to provide you with the sources that helped me.

I saw my first TED talk presentation in 2009 and I was lucky enough that the first talk I saw was the one that Sir Ken Robinson gave. Until now his “Do schools kill creativity” is the most viewed and popular one on the platform. From that moment onwards I was intrigued and wanted to know much more about public speaking. So the question was where could I get the information from.

Presentation agency sites & professionals were the answer.

I started Googling and found some of the best minds that already worked on improving presentations back then. Some professionals had great blogs where they posted, some established agencies providing end to end service in presentation development and some were authors of best-selling books. I will provide you with a few.

Garr Reynolds & Presentation Zen 

www.garrreynolds.com

The very first source I found was Garr with his book Presentation Zen. He also wrote blog and shared his knowledge on stage. The content was distributed in between areas of content, design and delivery side of the presentations. The biggest novelty was the minimal design on slides. That was crazy at that time.

What I love about his work is that he makes a lot of analogies with Japanese culture, minimalism and him playing jazz. He worked for Apple in the US and is the educator on Kansai Gaidai university in Kyoto.

Garr wrote additional books Naked presenter and Presentation Zen Design.

Nancy Duarte & Duarte design agency

www.duarte.com

Shortly after I followed Garr the references he provided guided me to one and only Nancy who is recognized as the leader of presentation design. I liked that those two were friends.

Nancy is the author of many well-written books and runs the agency Duarte Design in Silicon Valley, in Santa Clara to be more precise. They had been preparing world changing keynotes leaders gave on international stages and among their clients are top global brands.

Game-changing books are for example Slide:ology, Resonate.
Followed by Persuasive Presentations written as HBR Guide and Data Story.

With her colleague Patti Sanchez they wrote Illuminate and Patti recently published also Presenting virtually. 

I was lucky enough to meet Nancy in person and feel her energy when she gave her talk in Wien. Nancy and her team are really setting the bar high and their resources set the trend in presentation creation for all.

Emma Bannister & Presentation studio

www.presentationstudio.com

The agency based in Australia showed me that there are unicorns on the other side of the planet as well. The link is that they partnered with Duarte Design providing Visual Story training in Asia-Pacific areas. I always loved their own communication on their website and their reels.

Simon Morton & Eyeful presentations

www.eyefulpresentations.com

When I dived in more into the topic, I realised that there are more similar agencies providing presentation services closer to where I lived. In 2009 and 2010 I studied in the UK at the University of Huddersfield and so Eyeful presentations agency is the european representative 🙂 You can learn a lot from their posts and toolkits they are sharing. 

Scott Schwertly & Ethos3 agency

www.ethos3.com

Now we are getting back to US. A few days ago I read Scott’s blog post on how the guitar playing made him a better speaker. That is funny because I am postponing putting new strings to my guitar for months 😀 He also added reading and endurance sports and I believe in that too.

Anyways, when you go through their blogposts and resources too, it can be highly beneficial as well. Enjoy.

The number and the proportion of the US presentation professionals and agencies only suggests that there is a big market for such services but also a big emphasis on having the communication on-point, clear and very powerful.

As we tend to say we have a great minds, brains and content in Europe but we cannot sell it. Well in the US or Australia they can surely sell and we can be glad that professionals like these I mentioned has been out there and can be an inspiration worldwide.

By LUKAS HRDLICKA

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