Great Presenters Find a Perfect Mix of Data & Narrative

Written by Nancy Duarte Nancy Duarte is the author of HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, Slideology, and Resonate. She is the CEO of Duarte, Inc., which designs presentations and teaches presentation development.

Most presentations lie somewhere on the continuum between a report and a story. A report is data-rich, exhaustive, and informative–but not very engaging. Stories help a speaker connect with an audience, but listeners often want facts and information, too. Great presenters layer story and information like a cake, and understand that different types of talks require differing ingredients.