I've been reading a great book about presenting:  Nancy Duarte's HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations. And it's reinforcing my experience that the key to an effective presentation is not flashy slides--it's a compelling, well-told story.

As Ms. Duarte says: "My best advice is not to 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."

Here are 19 other inspiring quotes to consider next time you need to create a presentation:

  1. "Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it 'to whom it may concern." - Ken Haemer
  2. "The whole purpose is to enable people to learn. Your mission is not to transmit information but to transform learners." - Harold D. Stolovitch and Erica J. Keeps
  3. "If you can't write your message in a sentence, you can't say it in an hour." -Dianna Booher  
  4. "The success of your presentation will be judged not by the knowledge you send but by what the listener receives." - Lilly Walters
  5. "If you don't know what you want to achieve in your presentation your audience never will." - Harvey Diamond
  6. "They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel." - Carl W. Buechner
  7. "No one can remember more than three points."?- Philip Crosby
  8. "Ask yourself, 'If I had only sixty seconds on the stage, what would I absolutely have to say to get my message across."? - Jeff Dewar
  9.  "The simplest way to customize is to phone members of the audience in advance and ask them what they expect from your session and why they expect it. Then use their quotes throughout your presentation."?- Alan Pease
  10. "Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much. "?Robert Greenleaf
  11. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." - Albert Einstein
  12. "Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening."?- Dorothy Sarnoff
  13. "Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all."?- Sir Winston Churchill
  14. "The brain doesn't pay attention to boring things." - John Medina
  15. "Performance is not about getting your act together, but about opening up to the energy of the audience." - Benjamin Zander
  16. "People don't remember what we think is important. They remember what they think is important." - John Maxwell
  17. "Naturally sticky ideas are stuffed full of concrete words and images." - Chip Heath
  18. "A great presentation gives smart ideas an advantage." - Nancy Duarte
  19. "If you think presentations cannot enchant people, then you have never seen a really good one." - Guy Kawaski