Duarte cupWhat medical educator does not dream of improving their lecturing skills?  As a junior faculty member, I aspire to constantly challenge myself to do this better and better. As a part of this quest, I have read ample books that have inspired change in my material – but no one has been more impactful on my lecture skills than Nancy Duarte.

In the summer of 2014, I had the chance to attend the 2-day visual story workshop at Duarte Academy. This course went over both the idea of structuring your presentations effectively and the specifics of a clear visual display. My instructors included Mike Pacchione and Laura Wall Klieves. And yes, we did get to meet Nancy herself and on her birthday, in fact! Of course, the best thing about the course was learning about the Duarte Golden Rule: Never deliver a presentation you wouldn’t want to sit through.

[su_spoiler title=”More about my Duarte experience” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]

I learned a lot of things in this course, and they were very useful.  Since I already avidly use sticky notes in my life, the Duarte Academy completely hit the mark for me! Using sticky notes to plan, organize, and reorganize my lecture ideas helped me build a system to improve my thinking and planning.

First we started with a jumble of ideas…

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And then eventually, we organized them in groupings and then into a grid that creates the presentation story board!

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And the course did really push me to think hard about the visuals I use to make the statements. We did ample amounts of doodling and drawing to express ourselves in a visual manner.


Bringing a bit of Duarte to the #FOAMed world

The Duarte course was pretty good over all, and I would highly recommend it to other junior lecturers who really want to become better at this craft. But knowing that most of you won’t have the $$ or the time to venture to Sunnyvale, California for 2 days, I thought I would bring a bit of it to you!  In October, I had a chance to interview two of the Duarte course facilitators. Specifically, I spoke with Scott Stiefvaterm and Mike Pacchione.

[su_spoiler title=”Bio | Scott Stiefvaterm, Facilitator for Duarte, Inc.” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]

Scott has trained individuals and organizations within the financial, healthcare, pharmaceutical, packaged goods, marketing, education, high-tech, biotech, and non-profit markets to develop engaging presentations that move audiences to action. He brings 13 years of experience as a teacher and 10 as a corporate video producer to the Duarte Academy and holds a B.A. in Sociology from University of California, Santa Barbara.

[/su_spoiler] [su_spoiler title=”Bio | Mike Pacchione (@mpacc), Facilitator for Duarte, Inc.” style=”fancy” icon=”chevron”]

Mike (@mpacc) taught college Public Speaking for seven years before starting at Duarte in 2012. Since then, he has delivered storytelling training for some of the biggest brands in the world. Mike has presented at Nike, SXSW, the Northwest Communication Association and several startup incubators. He still teaches and advises on investor pitches.


Find out what suggestions they had for us poor medical educators that have to deal with such dense, data-driven, and often expansive material all the time!

Actually, in the true spirit of #FOAMed, most of the content that Nancy has published is actually available for free on the internet via the following links:

  1. The Slideology Book
  2. The Resonate Book
  3. Slidedocs Resources
 You can also watch Nancy give a TEDx talk about the concepts behind the Resonate book below.

Teresa Chan, MD, MHPE
ALiEM Associate Editor
Emergency Physician, Hamilton
Associate Professor, McMaster University
Assistant Dean, Program for Faculty Development, McMaster University Ontario, Canada
Teresa Chan, MD, MHPE


ERDoc. #meded #FOAMed Own views expressed. Contributor to @ALiEMteam, @WeAreCanadiEM, ICE Blog, #FeminEM. @MedEdLIFE founder. Works @McMasterU & @HamHealthSci