What are the components of speeches, presentations, and lectures that transcend individuals, place and time to cause audiences to be, not just interested, but enthralled, inspired and motivated by the information being delivered to them? Nancy Duarte answers that big hairy question in Resonate. I won’t say that she completely nails it, but several of her points have really stuck with me. Foremost among them: the idea that the most successful presentations engage their audiences by contrasting what is and what could be. Apparently, we, as humans, are hard-wired to respond to contrast in all forms and every time a presenter compares the dilapidated present to the shiny bright future, something in our brain tells us, “Hey! Wake up! This could be really important!” and we pay attention. Nancy goes on to explain quite a few different methods for creating contrast (different types of media, facts and stories, songs and prose) and she also covers some of the more obvious aspects of presentation development. The section on structure, struck me as the weakest section of the book. Perhaps if you’ve never once tried to communicate a big idea you might find value here, but the author’s insights seemed to be lacking a bit in this section. Overall, the book is a short read and worth the small time investment for anyone looking to up their communication skills.