This year, PPTLive was in Atlanta. I’m still processing all that I heard and learned. Overall, it was a great conference, as usual. My husband wonders how I can learn anything more about PowerPoint, but I can. And I learn best practices, design principles, and new concepts. I’ll be posting tips that I learned over the next few weeks, but here is an overview. By the way, to vicariously attend the conference, go to your Twitter account and search for #pptlive, the hash tag for the conference. You’ll see my tweets as well. Rick Altman is a great host and organizer; he makes the conference both a learning and a fun experience. Everyone is informal and friendly so the feeling is comfortable, even for new attendees.
Cliff Atkinson (www.beyondbulletpoints.com), author of Beyond Bullet Points, opened the conference with a keynote called, “The Presentation Evangelist: How to change the world, one deck at a time.” He challenged the audience, many of whom consult or provide internal presentation advice within their companies, to become superheroes in the quest for better presentations. For example, presentation specialists can pull a meaningful story from a bunch of bullet points and help presenters understand design elements and the audience’s point of view. He said that the value of a presentation specialist is in getting results and urged the audience not to think in terms of x dollars per hour. By the way, Cliff is coming out with a new book, The Back Channel, about Twitter, chat room and other comments that go on while a presenter is talking. He told us about some of the events where the back channel became an event in itself. One example, from the SXSW conference is discussed here. The second day, Carmen Taran (www.reximedia.com), author of Better Beginnings, spoke on the topic “The Naked You: Presenters have nowhere to hide—can you turn that into a blessing?” Carmen talked about finding the real you and letting that show when you present. In other words, she talked all about authenticity. Carmen uses striking images on her slides that are hard to forget—she advocates using what she calls “edgy” and top-quality graphics. Dave Paradi (www.thinkoutsidetheslide.com), author of The Visual Slide Revolution, spoke on how to “Recession-Proof Your Career.” He explained how to measure the value of what you do, especially in terms of results, and make sure that others know about it. For example, Dave talked about using internal newsletters, industry publications, and corporate blogs (including Twitter) to mention successes. As a group, we developed a list of thought leaders in the areas of speaking and presenting, which I’ll share in another post.
Most of the sessions are 3 at a time, so you can’t attend them all. Here are the ones I chose:
- Glen Millar (www.pptworkbench.com) showing off his over-the-top animations that you can’t believe he did in PowerPoint. I wrote a tip about one of his techniques, “The magic of false backgrounds,” a while back. I’ll share another with you in a future post.
- Julie Terberg (www.terbergdesign.com), a Microsoft Valuable Professional (MVP), explaining good design principles. Many of her ideas are in my tip, 10 steps to create a better PowerPoint theme.
- Geetesh Bajaj (www.indezine.com) talking about “Slides in the Clouds,” meaning ways to create and share presentations online.
- Glenna Shaw (www.pptmagic.com) explaining how to create demos using animation
- Rikk Flohr (www.fleetingglimpse.com) doing his annual photo tour and follow-up Photoshop editing session
- Peggy Duncan (www.peggyduncan.com) talking about how to get found online with “shameless self-promotion and do-it-yourself PR”
I’ll continue the story in a future post.