Nancy Duarte - How to be a Spice Girl

For the first time, I've met Nancy Duarte. Where has she been all my life? I have to admit, I'm a little pissed that I didn't find her first--but this presentation was shared within our internal sales/marketing community for good ideas on how to present better. Nancy Duarte has clearly mastered the art of dissecting a great speech. Her analysis of The Secret Structure of Great Talks, is clearly amazing and inspirational. I'm already working on how to explore this method when working on my next presentation for our team.

But at the beginning and end of this presentation is where I might have found a little mojo for myself. This was Nancy's self projection in the Suavitos Baking Spices girl.

Nancy says she was born from an economically and socially starved environment. "I chose a different story for my life," she says. How powerful is that?

Because what she was saying was so inspirational to me, I wanted to look up a little more about her. Wikipedia says she is a designer and writer. This really hits home for me, as I'm constantly asked, "What do you want to do, where do you want to go next?"

Like Nancy, my background started in design. I love the art of putting on paper (or on screen) what brilliant people are thinking. A lot of times our great innovators and incredibly intelligent change-makers can't design a presentation to show what they are thinking. But I can. My skills are growing every day and seeing presentations like this one, really change the way you think.

So for me personally, I'm looking for my inner spice girl. Nancy knew right away that she was this Suavitos Baking Spices poster girl.

When people ask me what I want to do next, or where am I going... does this mean I'm not where I should be? Should I be doing bigger and better things? I'm pretty excited about my current job, but I know I can't do this forever. I'll eventually discover, streamline, and conquer it's twisty path to success, and then I'll want something new. But what is that something new? How can I find my poster girl?

"The future isn't a place
we're going to go.
It's a place that
 you get to create,"
 - Nancy Duarte

It's inspiring to see how Nancy has taken design to an entirely new level. Recently, I helped to create some powerpoint slides for a presentation meant to inspire sales to use more marketing materials, and to show WHY we're investing so much in marketing. The presentation was intended to give sales a clear idea of how marketing was here to help, and how it will help their pipeline, and how it will help them make more money. The presentation was a huge success. We had rave feedback from the sales managers. I think it could have been better...and it will surely evolve over the next year as our audience expands.  

The excitement around this project was fun and invigorating. But I was a little confused with myself... Is this what I want to do next? Make powerpoints and find clip art? I started out as a designer back in 1997. Did I really want to go back? I was half embarrassed and half ecstatic. Could this be a full time gig? Are more people needing to find ways to show what they are thinking?

But it IS so much more than that. To be honest, I'm not that great of a designer - there are much more talented people out there for that. But what I AM good at, is helping communicate what YOU are saying.

I feel like this is my spice girl. I fell that the presentations, or whatever mode of communication the speaker chooses, should be a big part of my next path.  I can see what you are saying. It's like my sixth sense. It's my gift. So I will continue down this path. I will continue to learn about different forms of communication, different ways to send a message to your intended audience.

I'm really stoked about this. I feel now that this isn't going backwards. That creating inspirational materials for speeches and introductions can be much more than just a pretty powerpoint. I am creating stories. Your story. Who wants to go next?!

Oh, and here is my vintage poster girl. I don't quite have her body, but I'm kind of like a marketing-girl Godzilla, so I think it works.

Thanks Nancy. (We're on first name basis now, you can call me Rachel. or Marketing Girl Godzilla...either works)