Sometimes, "pretty" presentations just don't cut it.

In today's rapidly changing professional landscape, we've got a lot to communicate. In-depth analysis of Big Data, market research, and comprehensive strategic planning initiatives—the list goes on.

That influx of information has made getting across all the necessary data using only sparse, cinematic slides difficult. Presenters have begun packing more and more info onto their slides and either distributing them as documents or presenting them anyway.

Those solutions do a disservice to both your audience and your ideas. Busy schedules leave little time to digest dense documents, and overly complex presentations are a recipe for boredom. By attempting to be both a presentation and a document, those half-baked decks aren't accomplishing either goal.

Those circumstances have created the need for a new medium: a slidedoc. It's a well-designed, visual document that is intended to be read, not presented.

So, when do you need a slidedoc? Below are four reasons you should seek a new medium.

1. When you've got too much data to digest

When you need to convey a lot of complex ideas and information, creating sparse slides is probably not the answer. A slidedoc allows you to include all the important data you want to share, along with the visual and textual support your audience needs to grasp the concept.

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image of Nancy Duarte

Nancy Duarte is CEO of Duarte Design. She released Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences (Wiley, 2010), which identifies hidden story structures inherent in great communication. She authored the award-winning book slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations (O'Reilly Media, 2008), where more than 20 years of experience is distilled into visual-communication best practices.

LinkedIn: Nancy Duarte

Twitter: @nancyduarte