Soon after we did the Halloween Pumpkin Contest conversation with Nancy Duarte, we planned another one with her about Duarte.com/edy — but she graciously mailed back saying “Duarte.com/edy is the creation of Eric Albertson, Doug Neff, and Corey Rothermel. I’ll let them answer your questions directly.” Thank you, Nancy!
Geetesh: Duarte.com/edy’s teaser trailer describes itself as a series of videos that teaches the ABCs of great presentations. What motivated this series, and is there a “comedy” factor somewhere?
Eric, Doug, and Corey: It all started about two years ago when the two of us who work at Duarte (Doug and Eric) discovered we shared a passion for all things ‘puppet’. We started meeting in the mornings before work to practice together and teach each other what we knew. That sounds a lot more focused and productive than it actually was in the beginning. Each rehearsal pretty much boiled down to which of us could make the other one laugh the hardest by the end. So, comedy has always been at the core of what we’re doing. I think we’d find it hard, in fact, to have puppets without trying to make it funny.
The project itself stemmed out of the question, “So how do we take this thing we love to do and make it into something we can share with others?” We really wanted to share what we love about puppetry. I’m not sure which one of us suggested it first, but at some point the idea of blending what we do before work with what we do at work became obvious.
At Duarte, Inc., we live on the cutting edge of the presentation world. Puppetry gave us a new (softer and fuzzier) cutting edge to play with, and Duarte.com/edy was born. We pitched Nancy on a series of short, Sesame Street style episodes that would teach the ABCs of good presentations to a variety of audiences Duarte, Inc. might not normally reach, from schoolchildren all the way up to executives.
Once we got the go from Nancy, we pulled in Doug’s partner Corey to be our director and help us bring this craziness to life. And here we are now, two years later.
Geetesh: Can you share some insight into what topics we can expect to be featured on Duarte.com/edy?
Eric, Doug, and Corey: Since Nancy literally wrote the book on presentations, our topic list was easy. We plan to draw heavily from the lessons in both of her books, Slide:ology and Resonate, for our skits. So expect to see episodes about avoiding clichés, moving your audience, and using S.T.A.R. moments in the coming months.