We’re locally grown, woman-owned, and globally recognized for our work.
A story about storytellers
Being an entrepreneur in the Silicon Valley for over 35 years requires a lot of grit, risk-taking and the ability to laugh at yourself.
Meet Nancy and Mark Duarte.
Mark Duarte buys a Mac
Already a fine artist, Mark Duarte reads all the manuals (like he still does today!) and becomes a technical illustrator for local Silicon Valley companies. Nancy starts cold-calling and the business takes off! This scrappy duo starts to make a dent in how presentations are built.
With two little kids underfoot and a booming business, we hire our first employee. On day one, we hand him a thick manila envelope full of materials and say “Hi, here’s your onboarding packet. Read quick because you’ve got a client meeting at 2pm!” (Lucky for us, he stayed.) BTW, we’re a lot better at onboarding these days!
An apple seeds the valley
Our biggest account has a big layoff, which scatters our beloved customers to companies all over Silicon Valley. It’s a tipping point for us. Instead of losing business, we actually gain new accounts across the valley. To celebrate, we move into a real office. Now we’re legit!
Focus on your passion
The dot-com bubble bursts. Nancy reads Jim Collins’ Good to Great and his hedgehog concept inspires her to bet big—with passion and laser focus—on presentations. Our goal becomes transforming how presentations are made and delivered everywhere.
By now we’ve been working with Al Gore for a few years as he builds a climate change groundswell. A movie about his presentation goes on to win an Academy Award. (No, we didn’t get a statue, but we’re mentioned in the credits). Our work catches the attention of TED, as they start moving their content online. We start helping to shape how TED Speakers deliver their talks.
A book in the nick of time
Nancy publishes her first book Slide:ology the same month the housing crisis hits. Flat becomes the new grow, and the book puts Duarte on the map outside Silicon Valley. The phone starts ringing for training courses, and we start teaching the world how to give better presentations.
Leading through change
Curious about how to navigate change (because we’ve been in the throes of it ourselves), we embark on new research. After studying story patterns in movements, Patti Sanchez and Nancy publish Illuminate to help leaders spark and sustain change. We launch a communication consulting practice, and our training begins expanding globally.
Data is the new oil
Organizations are now collecting and visualizing data on almost everything. Nancy’s book, DataStory, provides insight into how orgs can turn their findings into actionable recommendations.
A moonshot goal
Kicking off the year, we set the goal to transform millions of lives by helping people communicate their best. When the pandemic changes everything, we pivot, leveraging our agile culture and applying our expertise to make our client events, and our own training, immersive and transformative virtual experiences. Patti captures these practices in the book, Presenting Virtually.
Not our first rodeo
Economic headwinds? We got this. This will be our sixth economic crisis, so our leaders are seasoned. Customer events are mostly back to IRL. The smart and witty duo of Maegan Stephens and Nicole Lowenbraun create a powerful course on Adaptive Listening that is changing lives, including Nancy’s!
We practice what we teach. That’s why we’re passionate about working and communicating in a way where everyone feels like they belong.
We’re always looking for smart, creative, interesting people. Want to join us? Heck, maybe you’re already a Duartian and you just don’t know it yet.
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