Most of my professional life has been spent at conferences that dealt with a wide variety of subjects — neo-natal urology to snack vending machines to vintage magic posters. As a presenter or participant I’ve spent an unimaginable amount of time involved with presentations during 25 years of global convention hopping. However, nothing prepared for the lessons that I learned and the people that I met at Rick Altman’s Presentation Summit 2011 in Austin, TX. I was blown away.
The Presentation Summit is the leading users conference for presentation specialists and PowerPoint experts. Each year the conference draws an international following to a different US city where they share their passion for corporate story telling.
This year’s conference was in my favorite Texas city of Austin. From Rick’s pre-conference letters to the final educational session, the conference met my expectations and delivered more. In the first session of the first day I learned things that made the whole trip worth it. And there was still three more days to go.
To the conference I brought my new program, “Three Magic Keys of Successful Presentations.” Thanks to sessions and conversations with Dave Paradi, Lisa B. Marshall, Connie Malamed, Lisa B. Marshall, Olivia Mitchell, Nick Morgan, Garr Reynolds and Julie Terberg, the program went to a new level of refinement.
So what items can I pass onto you from my time is Austin? Here are five.
1 – When presenting, focus on your audience. It’s always about them.
2 – Frame your presentation with a story. Pick one of several, “The Journey”, “Love”, “Revenge” or “Stranger in a New Land.”
3 – Have fun while teaching and learning (Thanks, Nigel).
4 – PowerPoint animation can be used for good, but clip art is always evil.
5 – Speak from your heart. Although nothing substitutes for solid preparation and practice, telling your own story with passion will enliven any presentation.
I learned many things in Austin. However, the one thing that I appreciated most was Rick Altman’s permission given to all of us that it was okay to fail – as long as we failed forward. Rick, thank you. I can’t wait to fail forward at next year’s Presentation Summit in Scottsdale, AZ.
Charles Greene III Presentation Magician
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