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The Presentation Summit

Making the world a better place, one presentation at a time

October 23-26  2016, Las Vegas

Ask us about it  •  Register today

The Summit Welcomes
Guy Kawasaki

Our Tuesday morning keynote speaker

Ten Things All Presenters Should Do
Advice for anybody pitching anything to anyone


Creating successful presentations is about more than just software. It is about crafting sharp messages, creating intelligent presentation design, employing smart PowerPoint techniques, and developing comfort before an audience. The Presentation Summit offers all of this at levels you won’t find anywhere else.


We deliver insight, inspiration, and community to create a conference experience that you will remember forever. Our breadth of coverage, depth of expertise, willingness to help, and passion for creating engagement all add up to a business conference that is completely unlike any other you will attend.


The Presentation Summit enters its 14th season as we make our first visit to Las Vegas, Oct 23-26, 2016. Spend three days with us and never look at a presentation project the same way again. Three days and immediately distinguish yourself from 99% of the people creating or delivering presentations today.

The Presentation Summit

Making the world a better place, one presentation at a time

October 23-26  2016, Las Vegas

Ask us about it  •  Register today

How we design our seminars

At the Presentation Summit, you will get to choose among three concurrent seminars or workshops taking place at any given time.



Looks at questions of design and aesthetics, story and message, and audience connection. This track explores the qualities that make up excellent presentation content and is where we showcase the work of prominent presentation designers and communication specialists.



Dedicated to the nuts-and-bolts techniques and strategies that comprise effective use of PowerPoint and related software. It caters to those in the trenches—the ones who pump out slides by the truckload and need to learn how to be as efficient and as productive as possible. It is a haven for all of the nitty-gritty tips and tricks on myriad topics.



Explores all the various ways, conventional and unconventional, in which presentations can be delivered to audiences. There are more than ever these days, with so many cloud-based technologies, but we will never lose sight of the personal dynamic of presenter meeting audience.

Our 2015 partners

Would you like to partner with us in 2016? Click here to let us know.


Made In Office
Slide Source


Poll Everywhere
Pulse Design Studio


Get My Graphics
Roland Corp.

The Presentation Summit

Making the world a better place, one presentation at a time

October 23-26  2016, Las Vegas

Ask us about it  •  Register today

Schedule of
Seminars and Events

We will publish our 2016 program over the coming months. Here is the 2015 schedule, to give you an idea of the topics we pursue.

All speaker bios open in separate windows.


6:00pm - 9:00pm
Welcome Happy Hour
Meet the early birds
If you come to town early (several dozen do), join us in the hotel lounge for a get-acquainted happy hour.


12:30pm - 2:30pm  |  Crash Course
The Art of Motion
Animation without embarrassment
Is PowerPoint’s animation engine one of the finest works of digital engineering or one of the most loathsome creations? The real control is in the hands of the violinist, not the violin. This session will help you appreciate properly-conceived animation.
[Bios filename='raltman' name='Rick Altman']

3:00pm - 5:00pm  |  Crash Course
Template Creation Workshop
Secrets and recipes for building awesome PowerPoint templates
An introduction to the common and not-so-common issues most users encounter with template creation and management, along with practical advice on how to avoid them.
[Bios filename='eswinford' name='Echo Swinford']
[Bios filename='jterberg' name='Julie Terberg']

5:00pm - 6:30pm
Welcome Reception
Our unofficial launch party
We’re not really sure when the conference officially begins, but our hosted reception Sunday evening, open to all patrons, would be as good a place as any to call “Go.” The anticipatory buzz in the room is sensational and all patrons are encouraged to schedule their travel to be able to attend.


8:30am - 9:30am  |  Keynote Address
Lighten Up, Will Ya??
The role of humor in presentations
Does making people smile help them relax and better understand your message? Or does it just make them relax?
[Bios filename='nholmes' name='Nigel Holmes']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Design
Presentations 1A
Put the horse before the cart!
How to get started when you’re not really sure how to get started.
[Bios filename='raltman' name='Rick Altman']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Build
Cropping, shaping, and bending
Getting 1,000 words out of any picture
Making bad photos good and good photos great.
[Bios filename='tcroonquist' name='Taylor Croonquist']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Deliver
Presentation Tips from the Masters
Learn from the best of the best
What makes a presentation spectacular?
[Bios filename='mparkinson' name='Mike Parkinson']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Design
The Makeover Maven
Before-and-after examples from your work
You give us your ugly ducklings and we turn them into swans.
[Bios filename='jterberg' name='Julie Terberg']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Build
Click Here, Go There
Navigate your slides like a website
Leverage PowerPoint’s Custom Show tool to create powerful interactivity that allows presenters to customize presentations in real time.
[Bios filename='sjohnson' name='Sandra Johnson']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Deliver
Carpe Minutam!
Seize the (first) minute
The first few minutes determine whether you can captivate your audience and sell your story. This session uses practical examples to teach different approaches you can use to make the first few minutes count!
[Bios filename='ahanauer' name='Alexander Hanauer']

1:45pm - 2:45pm  |  General Address
Science can help you be memorable
Audiences will forget 90% of what you present, so here’s how to really score on the remaining 10%.
[Bios filename='csimon' name='Carmen Simon']

3:00pm - 3:20pm  |  Design
Tints and Shades
Tone down those colors that shout
Learn how to manually adjust your theme colors so tints and shades are more palatable.
[Bios filename='jterberg' name='Julie Terberg']

3:00pm - 3:20pm  |  Build
Visual Content in a Crowded World
Establishing your online identity
To attract people to your business through these channels you need to create engaging visual content.
[Bios filename='khollis' name='Kirsty Hollis']

3:00pm - 3:20pm  |  Deliver
Emazify your Presentations
Can machines create beautiful presentations?
The next generation of online presentation software
[Bios filename='mnisani' name='Motti Nisani']

3:30pm - 3:50pm  |  Design
Boosting PowerPoint Productivity
Empower an entire organization to create better presentations
Learn how companies have increased PowerPoint productivity by over 30%.
[Bios filename='skuhnert' name='Stephan Kuhnert']

3:30pm - 3:50pm  |  Deliver
Poise and Posture
The secret weapons of superior presentation delivery
Can your body influence your mind? Big time!
[Bios filename='rbretschneider' name='Ric Bretschneider']

4:00pm - 4:20pm  |  Design
Alignment & Balance
Designing for your audience is designing with intention
These two fundamentals can help your slide designs more than just about anything.
[Bios filename='tchollar' name='Troy Chollar']

4:00pm - 4:20pm  |  Deliver
Perfect Presentation Practice
The online video feedback platform for trainers, coaches, and mentors
Learn about the advantages of cloud-based presentation coaching.
[Bios filename='cjardine' name='Chad Jardine']

4:30pm - 6:00pm  |  General Session
The Annual Trivia Contest
The intersection of creativity, ingenuity, and foolishness
You haven’t lived until you have watched, or played in, our PowerPoint Trivia Contest, conducted entirely within PowerPoint, entirely about PowerPoint, and entirely with an open bar.

9:00pm - 11:59pm  |  General Session
The Late-Night Guru Session
Stay up with us and learn all those insider stories
We hardly ever stop at the Summit and the Guru Session is proof positive. Led by a 17-year veteran of the PowerPoint development team, this session features stories you won’t get anywhere else.
[Bios filename='rbretschneider' name='Ric Bretschneider']


8:30am - 9:30am  |  Keynote Address
Ten Things All Presenters Should Do
Advice for anybody pitching anything to anyone!
Advice for anybody pitching anything to anyone!
[Bios filename='gkawasaki' name='Guy Kawasaki']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Design
Simple Wins
Apply simple concepts to create fantastic results
See how design basics can improve your slides and add to your arsenal.
[Bios filename='bauck' name='Bethany Auck']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Build
The Great PowerPoint vs. Keynote Clickoff
A heavyweight showdown
Experts with each tool will square off on specific tasks. No ties allowed.
[Bios filename='tchollar' name='Troy Chollar']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Deliver
Pitch Perfect
Secrets to successful sales presentations
Use behavioral psychology and “neuromarketing” to improve your sales performance.
[Bios filename='mparkinson' name='Mike Parkinson']

10:45am - 1:45pm
Digital Photography Field Trip
Special Event
[Bios filename='phuntington' name='Paul Huntington']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Design
Real-World Makeovers
For the busy professional for whom everything is due yesterday
The makeovers during this hour, taken from patron submissions, carry with them the hope that you will look at them and say, “Hey, I can do that.”
[Bios filename='raltman' name='Rick Altman']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Build
Outside the PowerPoint Box
Smart solutions for making PowerPoint more powerful
Most presenters rely exclusively on PowerPoint, but integrating other tools and methods can get you more impact with an audience.
[Bios filename='ahanauer' name='Alexander Hanauer']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Deliver
Disrupting the Presentation
Moving beyond slides for powerful collaboration
How to create memorable presentations that beat short attention spans with non-linear motion and space.
[Bios filename='asomlai-fischer' name='Adam Somlai-Fischer']

1:45pm - 2:45pm  |  General Session
Only as Good as Your Last Idea
Why innovative thinking is your most valuable asset
Insights and best practices for effective idea generation.
[Bios filename='kharmeyer' name='Keith Harmeyer']

3:00pm - 3:20pm  |  Design
No More Bullets!
Quick solutions for transforming bullet point-laden slides
What to do when faced with a slide full of bullet points? Learn new theories and techniques to turn boring bullet points into highly visual slides.
[Bios filename='nhaims' name='Nolan Haims']

3:00pm - 3:20pm  |  Build
Best Tip Ever for PowerPoint Trainers
If you teach PowerPoint, you must know this!
One of the most forlorn and forgotten features under Windows will be your best friend as a PowerPoint trainer.
[Bios filename='raltman' name='Rick Altman']

3:30pm - 3:50pm  |  Design
Engage, Showcase, Improve
New technology all about making you better
New technology all about making you better
[Bios filename='vsundaram' name='Vijay Sundaram']

3:30pm - 3:50pm  |  Build
Sync Animation to Video
All you need are triggers and bookmarks
Learn how to use triggers and bookmarks to take total control of your videos.
[Bios filename='eswinford' name='Echo Swinford']

4:00pm - 4:20pm  |  Design
Lost in Space!
Why Presentations Fall Through the Digital Cracks
PowerPoint and the dynamic, collaborative strategy-making process
[Bios filename='rbefus' name='Robert Befus']

4:00pm - 4:20pm  |  Build
Quick Customizations
Bending PowerPoint to your will
Learn the secrets to save your sanity!
[Bios filename='rbretschneider' name='Ric Bretschneider']


8:30am - 9:30am  |  Keynote Address
What Not to Say
The 10 dumbest things speakers say
Let us be brief...and let us be perfectly honest with you...there are some things that speakers just shouldn’t say!!
[Bios filename='ahoffler' name='Alan Hoffler']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Design
Pitch Craft
The magic tricks you should keep up your sleeve
The magic tricks you should keep up your sleeve
[Bios filename='akernitsky' name='Ashley Kernitsky']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Build
All About Imagery
The ultimate how-to guide
Everything you never even knew to ask about integrating photos into your slide work.
[Bios filename='nhaims' name='Nolan Haims']

9:45am - 10:45am  |  Deliver
When It All Goes Wrong
Making your speech good when your situation turns bad
Strategies for speakers to deal with any curve ball thrown at them.
[Bios filename='ahoffler' name='Alan Hoffler']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Design
Give a Nerd a Number...
Improve how you visualize your data
How to use data analysis, graphic design, and statistics to tell better stories.
[Bios filename='jschwabish' name='Jonathan Schwabish']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Build
Presentation Speed Dating
Playing the field with PowerPoint alternatives
A crash course with each of the major presentation programs to find Mr. Right for the right project.
[Bios filename='akernitsky' name='Ashley Kernitsky']

11:15am - 12:15pm  |  Deliver
Your Pecha Kucha
Embracing constraints, awesome presentations
Twenty slides, 20 seconds each. The Pecha Kucha presentation style entertains, informs, and is the antithesis of Death by PowerPoint.
[Bios filename='rbretschneider' name='Ric Bretschneider']

1:45pm - 2:45pm  |  General Session
Encore Performances
Reruns...by request
Sadists at heart, we love torturing you with too many choices. Here is an opportunity to attend one of the sessions you missed the first time around.

3:00pm - 3:45pm  |  General Session
Five Minutes
Tips to match your attention span
By Wednesday afternoon, we’re all fried. So here is a friendly procession of short stories, as told by the conference team and patrons alike.

Presenters and Experts

We will announce our lineup of presenters and experts over the coming months.
Here is our 2015 team, to give you an idea of the type of talent we pursue.

Choose a Category
Keynote Speakers
The Presenting Team
Help Center Experts
Technology Partners
Choose a Category
Keynote Speakers

Keith Harmeyer

Keith Harmeyer is a thought leader on the topics of innovative thinking, creative problem solving, idea generation and advanced presentation and communication skills. He co-authored the book, SmartStorming: The Game-Changing Process for Generating Bigger, Better Ideas. At SmartStorming, Keith has shared his insights with an international audience of thousands of corporate professionals from companies like Google, Under Armour, NBC Universal, Siemens, as well as with graduate students at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Keith worked in advertising and strategic marketing for over 20 years, at New York agencies in the Omnicom and Publicis networks, where he created successful marketing campaigns for some of the world's leading brands. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and the Florida Speakers Association.

Alan Hoffler

Raised around America's Space Program, Alan Hoffler has earned degrees in aerospace engineering and applied mathematics, never bothering to pursue a living in either field. At some point in almost 25 years of technical training and public school teaching, he became passionate about helping others communicate with excellence. He believes that communication has the power to change a person, an organization, a community, and the world. His blog identifies solutions to common communication foibles and highlights his analytical eye and desire to improve himself as well as his clients.

Alan is the co-author of 6 Steps Forward, a parable about change in a man’s life and leads retreats based on the concepts in the book. His next book about how to excel on the stage, Presentation Sin, is pending publication. His most challenging training endeavor is also his most enjoyable: raising two children.

Nigel Holmes

Nigel Holmes moved to America in 1978 to work for Time Magazine. He became graphics director and stayed there for 16 years. Despite academic criticism, he remains committed to the power of pictures and humor to help people understand otherwise abstract numbers and difficult scientific concepts, whether in print or in presentations.

His most recent books are “The Book of Everything” (2012) and “Instant Expert” (2014).

Guy Kawasaki

The former chief evangelist for Apple and current chief evangelist for Canva, Guy Kawasaki is known the world over. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation and is an executive fellow of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He is the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and nine other books.

Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University, an MBA from UCLA, as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Carmen Simon

Dr. Simon has helped companies revolutionize the way they communicate and relate to their employees and clients. A co-founder at Rexi Media, Carmen’s focus is on communication design, applied in face-to-face, virtual, or on-demand settings. A published author, she has kept audiences alert and entertained in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, China, and Japan.

The Presenting Team

Rick Altman

Rick has been hosting end-user conferences since 1989. He is the author of 15 books on presentations and graphics, including “Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck…and how you can make them better.” This is his 13th season hosting the Presentation Summit.

Bethany Auck

Bethany has been working in the presentation design industry for nine years. She cut her teeth at a small litigation consultancy, where she consulted on major trials helping her clients build persuasive narratives and poignant demonstratives. Bethany founded SlideRabbit in 2012 to bring high-quality design to all industries at low cost levels.

Ric Bretschneider

Ric Bretschneider spent 17 years working on the Microsoft PowerPoint team, building features you both love and fear. Along with his passion for software design, he has spent many years teaching users good presentation practices, and fighting "Death by PowerPoint" through hard and soft skill building. He created the Microsoft PowerPoint Team blog, writing more entries there than any other individual blogger, and still writes on the subject today.

A featured speaker at every Presentation Summit, Ric notoriously and accidentally created its popular “Late Night Guru Session.” There patrons learn PowerPoint secrets and talk presenting into the wee hours of the night. At ricbret.com you can discover even more about him and how he can help you as well.

Troy Chollar

Troy Chollar is President of TLC Creative Services and a Microsoft MVP for PowerPoint. TLC Creative Services has grown to a 10-person graphic design firm that specializes in large-scale presentations, across multiple screens, with dynamic animation, multimedia integration, and high impact visuals. TLC Creative Services is now in its 18th year and Troy has been hosting www.ThePowerPointBlog.com for the past seven years. He has attended every Presentation Summit...except that spooky New Orleans/Halloween year...

Taylor Croonquist

Taylor is the co-founder of Nuts & Bolts Speed Training, a website delivering actionable PowerPoint training to working professionals around the world. He helps his students build professional corporate slides in a third of the time. Prior to Nuts & Bolts, Taylor lived and worked in China for 10 years in finance and consulting. When he’s not busy crafting PowerPoint training, you can find him traveling and scuba diving.

Nolan Haims

With more than 20 years experience in the field of visual communications, Nolan helps organizations and individuals show up differently and tell better stories with fewer words. As a designer and art director, he has created high-end presentations, keynote addresses and pitches for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions, top foundations, and all the major television networks. Nolan trains organizations to think visually and to create and give more effective presentations. He speaks at national conferences, writes extensively on visual storytelling and is recognized by Microsoft as a PowerPoint MVP.

In a past life, Nolan was an award-winning magician and juggler and performed with the Moscow Circus and Vermont's Circus Smirkus before turning to theatre. He directed and wrote professionally, creating stories on stages in New York and around the country for a decade.

Alexander Hanauer

Alexander is backed by decades of experience as a creative director and coach. He specializes in transforming facts and figures into emotion-packed images and narratives that effectively communicate complex issues. His innovative, dialog-oriented style is based on attention-grabbing storylines and captivating content. His clients include McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, LG Electronics, Symantec, ThyssenKrupp, and Varian.

Paul Huntington

The camera has been an integral tool during Paul's 30+ years in marketing. His experience includes product and event photography and trips to a number of developing countries to record the efforts of aid agencies. He makes liberal use of Photoshop and other software to convert reality into art, often with stunning results.

Ashley Kernitsky

With over a decade of diverse experience in design, brand strategy, event production, and advertising, Ashley is able to offer a multitude of skills to her clients. She puts intelligent ideas at the very heart of everything she does--striving to create exceptional work that is distinctive, engaging and above all, memorable.

By day, Ashley leads a team of incredible designers at R/GA, one of the top creative agencies in the world. Working with brands such as Nike, Google, Samsung, and countless others on product launches, pitches, demos or something entirely new, Ashley and her team work with clients to shape messages into stories that inspire people in a live setting.

After hours, Ashley can be found cheering on the New York Red Bulls, participating in adventure races (she's done over 25!), and decorating her new home in New Jersey. When a real break is needed, you will have trouble finding her: chances are she and her husband are traveling off the grid to an exotic location like the Arctic Circle (been there, done that).

Mike Parkinson

Mike Parkinson is an internationally recognized visual communication and presentation expert, solution and strategy expert, award-winning author, trainer, and popular public speaker. He is a key contributor on multi-billion dollar projects and helps Fortune 500 companies improve their success rates. Mike shares his expertise through books like Billion Dollar Graphics, articles, and online tools. He is also partner at 24 Hour Company (www.24hrco.com), a premier creative services firm.

Jonathan Schwabish

As a Senior Research Associate for the Urban Institute and its Income and Benefits Policy Center, Jonathan is a leader in the data visualization field and is a leading voice for clarity and accessibility in research. He specializes in data visualization and presentation design and his research agenda includes such areas as earnings and income inequality, immigration, disability insurance, retirement security, data measurement, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other aspects of public policy.

He was named a “visualization thought leader” by AllAnalytics in 2012 and speaks widely on the issues of data visualiz ation, open data, and data use in organizations. He also co-hosts the Rad Presenters Podcast, which aims to improve people's presentation skills.

Echo Swinford

A Microsoft PowerPoint MVP since 2000, Echo Swinford began her PowerPoint career in 1997. She holds a Master's degree in New Media from the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis School of Informatics. Echo is the owner of Echosvoice, a PowerPoint consulting firm specializing in custom template development, presentation creation, makeovers and cleanup, and training for large and small corporate clients. Echo has written and co-written three PowerPoint books and has a string of tech editing credits to her name. Visit Echo’s Web site at www.echosvoice.com

Julie Terberg

Julie specializes in designing creative presentations. As the owner of Terberg Design, Julie helps presenters better communicate their ideas with an audience through the use of clear visual concepts and images. She’s a member of the Microsoft PowerPoint MVP team and enjoys sharing knowledge with other presentation designers.

Help Center Experts

Geetesh Bajaj

Geetesh does three things: he runs a PowerPoint specific site called indezine.com, he trains business users in creating and delivering presentations, and he writes books. When he is not doing any of these, he is probably traveling somewhere. Based in Hyderabad India, he has been a Most Valued Professional (MVP) for PowerPoint since 2001 and has attended all 11 conferences, selflessly giving of his time and expertise in the Help Center.

Troy Chollar

Troy Chollar is President of TLC Creative Services and a Microsoft MVP for PowerPoint. TLC Creative Services has grown to a 10-person graphic design firm that specializes in large-scale presentations, across multiple screens, with dynamic animation, multimedia integration, and high impact visuals. TLC Creative Services is now in its 18th year and Troy has been hosting www.ThePowerPointBlog.com for the past seven years. He has attended every Presentation Summit...except that spooky New Orleans/Halloween year...

Sandra Johnson

Sandy Johnson helps presenters PowerPoint. Responsibly. She has owned her presentation design business since 2001. As a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise, she works with individuals and corporations across the globe to ensure that they PowerPoint. Responsibly.

Sandy first earned the Microsoft PowerPoint MVP Award in 2008. For more information, visit www.presentationwiz.biz.

Steve Rindsberg

An MVP since 1996, Steve has assisted PowerPoint users online for ten years. He has conducted numerous seminars and written magazine articles and books on PowerPoint. In a former life, he ran a slide service bureau and learned far more about PostScript and Acrobat PDF than is reasonable for a growing boy. He is the author of many of the popular PPTools PowerPoint add-ins. He swears he talked Rick into hosting this conference in the first place. [Editor’s note: He did...]

Glenna Shaw

Glenna Shaw has over two decades of experience with presentations, data visualizations, dashboards, demos, prototypes and system user interfaces. She is a Certified Project Management Professional and a Microsoft PowerPoint Most Valued Professional (MVP). Glenna is frequently sought out for her innovative information management solutions using SharePoint and Microsoft Office as well as her creative visual communications designs.

Glenna is also the author of tutorials on using sensory psychology to improve visual communications at www.visualology.net.

Echo Swinford

A Microsoft PowerPoint MVP since 2000, Echo Swinford began her PowerPoint career in 1997. She holds a Master's degree in New Media from the Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis School of Informatics. Echo is the owner of Echosvoice, a PowerPoint consulting firm specializing in custom template development, presentation creation, makeovers and cleanup, and training for large and small corporate clients. Echo has written and co-written three PowerPoint books and has a string of tech editing credits to her name. Visit Echo’s Web site at www.echosvoice.com

John Wilson

John is the C.E.O. of PowerPoint Alchemy, based in the North of the UK, and has been a Microsoft MVP since 2007. The company specializes in writing custom PowerPoint plug-ins for major multinationals around the world. The company motto, “If it’s impossible, it might take longer” comes from John’s passion for problem solving.

Technology Partners

Robert Befus

Bob Befus is passionate about helping scientists and clinicians present the results of their research. In the 1980s, he co-founded Spectrum Multi Media Inc. as a full-service presentation graphics company servicing medical and pharmaceutical organizations. In later years, the company name was changed to Research Presentation Strategies to reflect its focus on helping customers with high profile regulatory and scientific presentations. He has worked in just about every area of presentation graphics—digital presentations, video production and interactive multimedia.

Kirsty Hollis

With a passion for creating presentations that influence, Kirsty is mastering the art of brevity to help businesses create content that says more with less.

Chad Jardine

Chad Jardine is the Head of Marketing at GoReact. In his spare time, Chad teaches Finance courses to graduate students in the business school at the University of Utah. He’s spent the past 20 years as a marketing executive and CEO building and growing companies. Along the way, he earned a BFA from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Utah. He’s the co-author of Pillars of Inflection: Seven fundamental strategies for explosive company growth.

Chad will tell you that there’s only one reason to get up in the morning—to change the world; which is why he teamed up with GoReact to evangelize one of the coolest tools he’s ever seen for hacking communication and presentation skills.

Stephan Kuhnert

Stephan Kuhnert is the founder and managing director at Made in Office. He studied information systems at INSEAD, and worked for IBM and Accenture before founding Made in Office in 2005. He is a well-known speaker in Germany in the area of PowerPoint for sales and marketing departments in corporations.

Motti Nisani

Motti Nisani brings to emaze 20 years of experience in the high-tech industry. Prior to emaze, Motti served as VP Business Development at Israeli software giant NICE.

Adam Somlai-Fischer

Prezi is the zooming presentation software that uses an open canvas instead of traditional slides to help people explore ideas, collaborate more effectively, and create visually dynamic presentations. More than 27 million people from over 190 countries use Prezi from their desktops, browsers, iPads, or iPhones.

Founded in 2009, and with offices in San Francisco and Budapest, Prezi provides a unique solution for anyone who needs to deliver a “wow” experience or simply share an idea—anytime, anywhere.

Vijay Sundaram

Vijay Sundaram currently drives the strategy and direction of the Zoho product suite.

Before joining Zoho, Vijay was an entrepreneur for a number of years. He co-founded GT Nexus, today one of the largest cloud supply chain management and execution companies. He also started Zad Mobile, a mobile ad tech company in San Francisco and spent 3 years in India on various entrepreneurial ventures. Previously, he was a strategy consultant working in Europe and in the US for global clients like Bank of America and Coca-Cola. Early in his career, Vijay was a product leader at Hewlett-Packard and Apollo Computer. He has led marketing, sales, engineering, finance, and operational teams.

Vijay graduated from IIT Madras, earned an MS in computer science from New York University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

The Presentation Summit

Making the world a better place, one presentation at a time

October 23-26  2016, Las Vegas

Ask us about it  •  Register today


(All links open in separate windows.)

What type of an event is this?

The Presentation Summit is not a web conference and it is not a big trade show. It is a user conference, featuring live presentations, workshops, and a hands-on support center. People attend in order to learn how to become better content creators, better presentation designers, better storytellers, better presenters, and better users of PowerPoint and other software. They leave with a much broader and deeper understanding of the principles and best practices for presentation design, creation, and delivery.

The more wired, Internet-centric, and impersonal our professions become, the more important it is to create a sense of belonging with a group of users. You can only go so far with social media and webinars; there still is no substitute for meeting colleagues and peers face-to-face. It is almost magical the kind of energy created when several hundred people convene, all of whom have something in common before even meeting one another. And if it really does take a village to evolve a group of professionals, we are the ones to create it. We are now in our fourth decade of hosting conferences like the Presentation Summit.

What types of people come to the Presentation Summit?

While it might be accurate, it would not be terribly helpful to simply answer that this conference is for everyone involved in business pursuits, so let’s categorize:

FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES have obvious stakes in the game, whereby the first impression of a sales call in a conference room or a large-scale announcement could make all the difference in cultivating business relationships and winning hearts and minds. Large organizations have been slowly awakening to the realization that investing in presentation skills is essential, and with that comes the conclusion that neither “PowerPoint training” nor “public speaking classes” is sufficient on its own. They need a more comprehensive learning experience for their communication teams.

On the other side of the spectrum, ENTREPRENEURS and SMALL BUSINESSES are never not trying to distinguish themselves. Whether you are offering consulting services to law firms, graphic design services to the retail industry, or restaurant supplies to a downtown district, potential customers all want to know the same thing: how are you different than the next? If you know how to tell a compelling story and engage an audience, large or small, you immediately distinguish yourself from nearly all of the other people doing what you do. Good presentation skills make up a transferable commodity: audiences are more likely to trust you with your core message when they see the confidence with which you deliver it.

And in the middle are MEDIUM-TIER BUSINESSES, MARKETING TEAMS, and COMMUNICATION DEPARTMENTS across the country and around the world. People in these groups tend to go on auto-pilot, as it is all too easy to trot out the company template, freshen up the language, and head out the door with it. They rely on their slides to an unhealthy degree because they lack the perspective to question the conventional wisdom that likely has prevailed since before they took their current jobs. We don’t allow anyone to go on auto-pilot at the Presentation Summit — we question everything! And from this healthy scrutiny, you are certain to come away with a total reboot of how you approach the presentation process.

From all three of these broad categories, we attract active content creators, heavy users of PowerPoint, and those who are tasked with delivering presentations to audiences, both in person and virtually. We also garner the attention of the department heads who lead the afore-mentioned people. Advertising departments, market research, sales, educational, judicial, financial, medical, government, military…in short, anyone who wants to become more proficient, more productive, and more effective with presentation content is a likely candidate to apply for registration.

Every detail about this conference is designed for and dedicated to the presentation professional and the end users of presentation software. Your pursuit to become more capable, more creative, and more productive make up our Job One.

PowerPoint is easy—why would I pay to go to a conference?

It’s true, PowerPoint is not difficult to pick up and begin creating slides. Our host’s daughters began creating slides when they were each 8, and we all know people who installed it and immediately began creating slides in advance of an upcoming presentation they had to give. It is probably the easiest program in the Office suite to learn.

This is the bad news, not the good news.

This is why the risk is high with PowerPoint. This is why Death by PowerPoint is in everyone’s lexicon. With other creative apps, such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Access, potential users know that it is too difficult to develop proficiency without help. But inexperienced PowerPoint users can already be on their fifth not-so-attractive slide within 15 minutes of breaking the seal. And PowerPoint presentations are rarely created for private use — they are made to be shared with others. That means that an entire company’s reputation goes along for the ride when an inexperienced user begins creating and delivering presentations.

New PowerPoint users need something like the Presentation Summit precisely because the program is so accessible. They need to begin developing taste, sensibility, and restraint before they become a hazard to their own careers!

Perhaps more important, proficiency with the software does not imply expertise with crafting and delivering an engaging and successful presentation. In fact, all too often, the software actually gets in the way. The Summit goes far beyond mere PowerPoint training, covering the whole of the presentation process in a uniquely organic way.

Intermediate users stand to gain even more; they are ready to begin mastery of the techniques that could separate them from the pack. They know how to create slides; now they need to understand how to craft a message that will have maximum impact. They know how to animate bullets; now it is time to learn how to create animation schemes that complement the message. They understand how to import photos to a slide; they will learn how to integrate evocative visuals with simple text messages to ensure that audiences feel the weight of their messages. They will learn these and dozens of other similar skills at the Summit.

Advanced users up the ante even further and this conference delivers with fully-conceived workshops on advanced automation, deployment across thousands of seats at an organization, and a host of secrets revealed for working at maximum speed and efficiency.

This might be a tight budget year. How do I justify attending?

When we debuted this conference in 2003, presentation skills were barely on anyone’s radar. Companies were content to invest in traditional advertising and branding initiatives, secure in a belief that PowerPoint was an easy skill to pick up.

Everything has changed.

From Fortune 100 firms to the sole proprietor, everyone now realizes the importance of creating professional-grade presentation content and delivering it with maximum impact. With the result of bad PowerPoint everywhere you look, the danger of being ill-equipped in this medium is crystal clear.

If you are the head of a communications department who wants to improve presentation skills, your choice is to hire new people with those skills or to train the people you have. Even in an improving economy, Door No. 2 is the most viable option, and the last thing you need is just to send your team to another PowerPoint training class or to a vaguely-defined learning event that promises to turn them into presentation gods or rock stars. They need a more complete exposure to the principles, philosophies, and finer points of presentation design and creation. They also need to widen their network of peers and support avenues. No event on the planet delivers these resources as well as the Summit.

If you are the independent contractor, small business owner, or employee of a budget-strapped firm, you make yourself instantly more valuable to your clients or your bosses when you give your presentation skills this kind of shot in the arm. We choose our cities carefully and manage our cost structures diligently so that we can remain affordable to small businesses and independent professionals.

If you need help convincing your boss of the value of the Presentation Summit, here you go…

How do I know it won’t be boring and tedious like so many business conferences?

The end users who join us at the Presentation Summit in the fall will not have to sit through keynote addresses about sales forecasts, industry trends, or document object models. Instead, if you are one of the 225 to secure a seat at this conference, you will be watching the true experts in the presentation community. You will be watching the most talented presentation experts showcase their talents:

  • How to choose the most effective way to communicate your message.
  • How to deliver that message with maximum impact.
  • How to connect with your audience on an emotional level, not just an intellectual one.
  • How to tell an engaging story, not just recite facts and figures.
  • How to create content for e-learning and instructional design projects.
  • How to increase your understanding of the software many times over.
  • How professional templates are created.
  • How transitions are tuned.
  • How animations are perfected.
  • How slide layouts are made to look inviting and not obnoxious.
  • How to scrutinize your own work and be your own best critic.
  • How to ensure that your presentation looks as good on a notebook PC 3,000 miles away as it does on your own computer.
  • How to work seamlessly on tablets, mobile devices, and in the cloud.
  • How advanced users can write powerful scripts to automate workflow.
  • And how to become dramatically more efficient and productive.

Our conferences spawn lasting relationships. We bring people together who share a common bond and spirit and we turn them into colleagues, business partners, best friends, soulmates…even bride and groom (it’s happened three times).

Do I need to be an advanced user to attend?

Definitely not. We design the Summit for those who use the software regularly, or expect to do so, but we make no assumptions about your level of expertise. We offer three concurrent seminars and workshops, and there will always be a seminar taking place designed for beginning and/or intermediate users, or else there will be instructors in the Help Center dedicated to working with new users on fundamentals and basics.

So we are by no means a conference just for experts, although you’ll surely meet your share of them there and your career is likely to be enhanced by the relationships you’ll be able to cultivate with them. We think of ourselves as a conference for earnest users, for those who have made a significant commitment to the presentation industry.

What is Microsoft’s Role?

Does Microsoft run the event?

It does not. The conference is independently owned and operated. Microsoft contributes in a very important and tangible way, but does not participate financially. This suits both parties — we produce an independent event, in which you know you are getting real-world advice and instruction, and Microsoft can support a conference that doesn’t create a resource drain.

If this is an independent show, will Microsoft be there at all?

Yes. There will be several representatives at the event, ranging from customer service reps, product managers, programmers, and developers. If you have a new feature to request for PowerPoint, the likelihood is high that you will be able to share it with the person who decides what features go into the next version. If you want to ask about a company policy, you’ll find a receptive ear for that, as well.

Microsoft’s Chris Maloney on the value
of the event to the PowerPoint team
and the product’s development

How do I know that it won’t be a bunch of hype?

As we said above, the Presentation Summit is independently owned and operated. The host, Rick Altman, is a computer journalist of over 25 years with a noted lack of shyness for offering opinion and commentary. So while many trade show events have as their primary purpose the selling of goods, services, and technology, our primary purpose is the teaching of them. Trade shows offer carefully-staged demos in which the software always looks terrific; our presenters are there to show you what to do when the software doesn’t look so terrific. If a feature is awesome, we take delight in showing you. And if a feature doesn’t work properly, we take seriously our responsibility to tell you so, and more importantly, to show you the way around it.

Our sole interest is in expanding your understanding. We expect that by attending this conference, it means that you are already a user of PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or another software tool, or that you have already chosen to immerse yourself in the presentation medium. The last thing you need is a sales pitch.

Jamie Garroch on the open
and direct dialogue that
the conference promotes

If it is not a trade show, will there be vendors present?

The Presentation Summit is not a trade show, but it features one. The Summit qualifies 15 to 20 third-party vendors to exhibit their goods and services on one of the days. The Summit Expo is held on the Tuesday of the conference, and we integrate it into the program, so you can visit the vendors and not miss out on any seminars you want to attend.

What happens on Sunday?

Sunday is our Registration day and also our so-called Crash Course Day. On this day, we offer optional seminars for those who are new to the software, who want to brush up on their fundamentals, or who want to explore a topic more deeply before the main part of the conference begins. Our Sunday Crash Courses are the only part of the curriculum not covered in the base conference fee. They carry an extra charge of $149 per two-hour course.

Sunday evening, we officially kick off the conference with our Welcome Reception, beginning at 5:00p, open to all patrons and partners.

Why should I choose this conference over a hands-on training course?

This is the question we are asked the most. We think that the Presentation Summit offers the best of all worlds, as we provide both hands-on and hands-off components.

The formal seminars are presentation style, with sessions typically attended by several dozen people. If they were conducted like a training class, all in attendance would be forced to go at the pace of the slowest person, and you would not be satisfied. Instead, you will be watching the program in action or illustrations of ideas on a large screen with a state-of-the-art projection system, professionally prepared and paced by one of our accomplished presenters. You are certainly welcome to bring a notebook computer with you to follow along (about 25% do), but it is neither required nor expected.

The hands-on component features our renowned Help Center, at your beck and call from morning to night every day. At the Help Center, a staff of experts flanks a small armada of networked computers, and their job is to say “Yes Ma’am” or “Yes Sir” when you approach them with any question or problem. You can bring files with you on media or bring them on your notebook. You can watch over their shoulders, have them watch over yours, or have them clear out so you can just experiment. However you decide to utilize it, the Help Center is about as hands-on as you can get. We have patrons who come just for the Help Center, and others who describe to us about the 15 minutes spent there on Sunday afternoon (before the conference officially began) that made the entire event worthwhile.

You write often about “experts”—who are these experts?

Got an hour? The list reads like a who’s who of presentation professionals and PowerPoint experts. We combine the following groups of people to form our team:

  • The true luminary and transcendent figures in the presentation industry, such as Garr Reynolds and designers from Duarte.
  • Members of Microsoft’s Most Valued Professional (MVP) team of volunteers who assist users from around the world.
  • Technical specialists who have developed international acclaim for their books, tutorials, training expertise, and perspective on presentation.
  • Leaders of firms who create presentations for some of the largest organizations in the world.
  • Members of the Microsoft team of product developers, the people responsible for creating PowerPoint.

What if the topics to be covered don’t address my particular needs?

See our comments above about our incredible Help Center. There, you can ask any question under the sun.

Why did you choose Las Vegas?

Ten years ago, it would not have been plausible to bring our type of conference to Las Vegas and we know many people who don’t think highly of the Strip, the signature area for which the town is famous. In fact, we count ourselves among them — if the Las Vegas Strip were our only option, we would not have considered it. Irrespective of all of its energy and excitement, one of those monster hotel/casinos would have devoured our 200-person event.

But Las Vegas has grown up. In particular, the adjacent cities have evolved from sleepy bedroom enclaves to vibrant communities. Green Valley Ranch is in the city of Henderson and is much more able to support the environment we seek to create than one of the 2000-room mega hotel on the Strip. We will have plenty of ballroom space, lots of elbow room at the pool and spa, and ample parking. The casino is clean, quiet (no ringing bells on the slot machines), and unimposing. All of the incredible shows, gambling, nightlife, and wild and craziness is a simple cab or free shuttle ride away. As far as we’re concerned, it’s the ideal setup.

That’s how we chose Vegas.

Can I bring my spouse or a friend and will he/she have to pay full price?

Yes and no, respectively. Spouses, domestic partners, and companions in general are welcome, and for as long as we have space available, we offer two options for accommodating them:

1. Single-day attendance at $500 per day. This includes full access to sessions, breakfast, lunch, breaks, and an after-hours reception for the day.

2. After-hours social activities at $150 for the duration of the conference. This provides access to our hosted after-hours receptions daily Sunday through Wednesday.

If you would like to provide for a companion through either of these options, he/she must register in advance and show a conference badge to enter the ballroom or reception area. Should the conference sell out, we will be unable to accommodate anyone not registered.

For more information, please call or email us.

So meals are provided?

Yes. Buffet breakfasts each morning, full sit-down lunches on Monday and Tuesday, morning and afternoon snacks, and evening hors d’oeuvres on multiple days. Wednesday’s lunch is on your own, as many in attendance choose to take some time for themselves or head out in small groups to local restaurants.

BREAKFAST: The conference provides a buffet-style continental breakfast which includes sliced fruit, breakfast breads, and a protein enhancement.

LUNCH: There is also a plated lunch on Monday and Tuesday. We can accommodate certain dietary restrictions at lunch. Should you require it, please indicate during the registration process whether you’d prefer a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free option. Special lunch selections must be ordered in advance.

Luncheon selections are published several days in advance via the conference app. If your individual dietary needs are not met by the above, there are many other dining options available both in the hotel and at the adjacent shopping area.

Will there be after-hours events?

Yes, we are already busy checking out all of the city’s hotspots. And you haven’t lived until you’ve watched or participated in our famous PowerPoint Trivia Contest, which will take place on Monday, right after the seminars conclude. Imagine a cross between Jeopardy and Family Feud, set to questions about PowerPoint.

How should I dress?

You should be comfortable, however you define it. Some people wear business suits and pants suits to our conferences, but most don’t. Most wear pants and slacks, many wear jeans and conference t-shirts. Expected Las Vegas temps in mid-October are high-70s during the day and mid-60s in the evening.

How do I get there?

Flying into Las Vegas is one of the easiest travel assignments you might ever have. McCarran International is serviced by all the major airlines, including Southwest, and offers robust international service. Most major U.S. cities offer non-stop service, and there are few cities across the globe that cannot get to Vegas within one stop.

Once there, it is about a 10-minute drive to our host hotel, and if you choose to rent a car, you will be able to park it for free all week long.

The Presentation Summit

Making the world a better place, one presentation at a time

October 23-26  2016, Las Vegas

Ask us about it  •  Register today

Video from
The Summit

Nolan Haims: In the Corporate Trenches

Julie Terberg, the Makeover Maven

Rick Altman: When Animation is Done Right

Dr. Carmen Simon: Seduction and Presentation

Mike Parkinson: Group Exploration into Creativity

Glen Millar: Stupid Pet Tricks PowerPoint Style

Chris Bliss: The Hidden Miracle of Comedy

Ken Molay: Winning with Webinars

Echo Swinford: XML Files for the Masses

Rick Altman: How to Write Goo-, um...Well

Dave Paradi: Number Crunching and Presenting

The Magic of the Summit

Watch this movie about the conference and
see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

The Presentation Summit

Making the world a better place, one presentation at a time

October 23-26  2016, Las Vegas

Ask us about it  •  Register today

Affordable, Accessible, Invaluable

Continuing a tradition of being one of the best values in end-user education, the Presentation Summit has maintained small business-friendly pricing since its inception in 2003. While comparably-sized conferences have fees that run in the several thousands, we maintain a perfectly-tuned infrastructure specifically designed for events of 200-225 patrons. We promise to keep our prices below the $1,500 mark for several years to come as long as you promise not to equate low prices with low value.

Main Conference:

$1,395 until Mar 1 ($1,495 afterward)
  • All seminars and workshops
  • Unlimited access to the Help Center
  • Buffet breakfast each morning
  • Full sit-down lunch on Mon and Tue

Optional Courses

$149 per course
  • Two-hour deep dives into fundamental topics
  • Small classes, lots of individual attention
  • The perfect jumpstart to the conference

Host Hotel:
Green Valley Ranch

$189 per night
  • In Henderson, less than 15 minutes from the Strip
  • Five miles from McCarron Airport
  • Call 702.617.7777

All conference registrants receive our robust Conference Guide and companion app, providing comprehensive information on all of the presentations offered, as well as valuable supplemental notes, useful applications, and other resources and literature.

You can hold your seat with a signed company purchase order or a credit card used as a guarantee. In either case, you would then get net+30 to pay for your registration.

This negotiated Conference rate is inclusive of all resort fees and is guaranteed through September 23. (If you are shopping online, make sure to note that resort fees are usually extras at the online hotel booking sites.) After Sep 23, the room rate is likely to rise to its typical October rate of over $250/night.

CANCELLATIONS: 80% refund given if cancellation is received in writing more than 21 days before event; 40% refund if between 14 and 21 days before event; no refund within 14 days of event.

The Presentation Summit

Making the world a better place, one presentation at a time

October 23-26  2016, Las Vegas

Ask us about it  •  Register today