Our story

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.

original mac computer

1988 — 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.

envelope that says welcome to duarte

1991 — Staffing up

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!

man in sunglasses wearing an apple hat

1993 — 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!

a book cover that reads good to great

2001 — 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 mission becomes transforming how presentations are made and delivered everywhere.

mark duarte and another man smiling at camera

2006 — Award-worthy slides

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.

slide:ology book cover

2008 — 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.

nancy on the ted talk stage

2011 — G-force growth

Nancy delivers her own TED Talk, based on her book, Resonate, and it goes viral. Her resulting speaking schedule creates an unwieldy season of growth (like a crazy 10G ride in a fighter jet).

illuminate book release

2016 — 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 Duarte publish, Illuminate, to help leaders spark and sustain change. We launch a communication consulting practice, and our training begins expanding globally.

datastory book cover

2019 — 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.

presenting virtually cover

2020 — 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.

Maegan Stephens and Nicole Lowenbraun smiling.

2023 — 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.

Our leaders

Meet the people at the helm of Duarte and learn more about what makes us tick. Hint: It’s you!

Meet our team

leadership of duarte
duarte employee culture

Our culture

We’ve worked hard to cultivate a culture where people feel a sense of belonging, purpose, and joy. We work hard, and play hard, and give back to others (and also, giraffes)!

Take a look at our culture


Ready to do amazing work with the world’s leading brands, while working and playing with a team of cool people? Join Duarte, and make a positive impact on the way the world communicates.

Find your purpose here

computer with employees faces on a zoom call
A group of three woman stand in front of a whiteboard with sticky notes, while one is talking and pointing.

Let’s talk about how we can help you

Communication is currency. Communication is currency. Let’s improve how you and your team persuade your audiences.