Nancy Duarte has been a Principal of Duarte Design since 1990. Her firm is in the heart of the Silicon Valley and the client list is loaded with Fortune 500 companies. Her passion for business communications that are clear, meaningful and attractive has opened doors for her in a business world full of cluttered and complex visual communications.
In this conversation, Nancy goes off the beaten track to discuss pumpkins rather than slides!
Geetesh: The Pumpkin Contest that you folks at Duarte conduct every Halloween has become an annual tradition – tell us something about how this evolved? And was it always so much fun?
Nancy: We started the pumpkin contest when our firm was in a small office above a Starbucks and across from a Dentist office (this was LONG before the internet existed). The dentist would send their patients across the hall to cast a paper ballot for the best pumpkin. We also have had to put some rules in place so employees don’t cheat.
We had a gal that worked here who was relatively famous in the Philippines and her pumpkins always seemed to get 100 times more votes than anyone else’s. So we put a rule in place that you can’t tell anyone which pumpkin is yours. Decorating the pumpkins is a blast. Each year, I feel all crafty carving mine and patting myself on the back confident I would win and then I bring my pumpkin and all my hopes are dashed. The creativity from the team is so CraZy I’ve NEVER won.
Geetesh: Tell us about this year’s contest – have you seen some of the entries? Do you also get to vote?
Nancy: We changed the voting this year. You can like as many pumpkins you want and the pumpkins with the most likes will win. We also won’t reveal the winner until Halloween day. The entries are clever and the winner gets $500! I’ve already voted. I liked 6 of them, it was a tough decision.