Nancy Duarte at TEDx

Nancy Duarte, who gave the TEDx talk, “The secret structure of great TED talks”, was interviewed for the TED blog. When asked, “What is the best way to start creating a presentation?” she said:

My best advice is to not start in PowerPoint. Presentation tools force you to think through information linearly, and you really need to start by thinking of the whole instead of the individual lines. I encourage people to use 3×5 note cards or sticky notes — write one idea per note. I tape mine up on the wall and then study them. Then I arrange them and rearrange them — just work and work until the structure feels sound.”

I, along with hundreds of other presentation experts, have found that for some reason ideas seem to flow better when we’re sketching them out on a piece of paper as opposed to doing things on a computer. I suspect that one of the reasons might be because sketching engages our right brain – the motion of sketching ideas on a piece of paper spurs our creativity – which results in more ideas that we can choose from.


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