I have previously championed Nancy Duarte’s earlier books, Resonate and slide:ology, and her latest book is another great one. Illuminate expands on Duarte’s teachings regarding speeches, storytelling, and presentation modes. The difference is that instead of focusing on the public arena, she brings it into the workplace. By motivating yourself and your employees, you can make great strides in your company’s success.
Duarte discusses how organizations need “torchbearers” -- leaders who are empathetic communicators, good listeners and motivators. She also champions a five-step model that appeals to how humans have always shared ideas and congregated around change. Illuminate uses examples of when this has succeeded and when disregarding this model’s suggestions can be disastrous. It is up to a torchbearer to set the scene and establish what his or her vision can be; however, it can’t be done without the support of others: “Your idea is the spark, but you need others to carry the fire on the long trek ahead.”
Here is the summary on Amazon:
“’The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.’
“With these words, Apple Inc., and its leader, Steve Jobs, catalyzed a movement. Whenever Jobs took the stage to talk about new Apple products, the whole world seemed to stop and listen. That’s because Jobs was offering a vision of the future. He wanted you to feel what the world might someday be like, and trust him to take you there.
“As a leader, you have the same potential to not only anticipate the future and invent creative initiatives, but to also inspire those around you to support and execute your vision.
“In Illuminate, acclaimed author Nancy Duarte and communications expert Patti Sanchez equip you with the same communication tools that great leaders like Jobs, Howard Schultz, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to move people. Duarte and Sanchez lay out a plan to help you lead people through the five stages of transformation using speeches, stories, ceremonies, and symbols.
“This visual and accessible communication guidebook will show you how Apple, Starbucks, IBM, charity: water, and others have mobilized people to embrace bold changes. To envision the future is one thing, getting others to go there with you is another. By harnessing the power of persuasive communication, you, too, can turn your idea into a movement.”