I knew Argo would win best picture before you did

Nancy Duarte

Written by

Nancy Duarte

More than an hour before Argo was announced as the winner for Best Picture, I declared to my husband that it would win.

How did I know? Because the film had won for Best Film Editing. Since 1981, every film selected as Best Picture has also been nominated for the Film Editing Oscar, and about two thirds of the Best Picture winners have also won for Film Editing.

The magic of editing is the difference between a good movie and a great movie. If you’re unclear as to what value an editor brings, here’s a clip that’ll make it clear.

Jodie Foster, who has been behind the camera for years, said that she didn’t even know what editing really was until she was in the editing suite herself.

Great editing improves movies, and it can improve your next presentation. Editing and filtering your idea is very important. If you don’t edit your presentation, the audience will respond negatively—because you’re making them work too hard to discern the most important pieces.

Use these three tips when developing your next presentation:

1. Prepare great content, and a lot of it.
You need a great story and fantastic, original raw material to work with. Create much more than you need so you have plenty of content to shape well.

2. Have someone else edit your work.
Sometimes we get too close to our own material to edit deeply enough. Ask someone who is unfamiliar with your subject matter to help make sense of it, and decide what needs to be cut.

3. Make edits with the audience in mind.
You’ll probably never have an audience clamber for your talk to be longer. So cut out everything that’s there for you, and amplify the parts that will transform your audience.

For more information on the power of editing, Garr Reynolds has been studying story for his latest book project and talks about the power of great editing: The secret to success is in the editing and Visual presentation lessons from Alfred Hitchcock.

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