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A New Era of Video Making?

If you think creating videos from PowerPoint is a difficult endeavor, you have not met one of the Presentation Summit’s newest partners. Powtoon is a leading visual communication platform that lays stake to the claim that anyone can create their own successful videos and presentations, without any design or technical skills.

You can “create a Powtoon” by using an add-in from within PowerPoint, by importing PowerPoint slides to Powtoon, or by bypassing PowerPoint altogether. Those who are comfortable creating in PowerPoint will most likely want to start there, and it is that synergy with PowerPoint that inspired the Powtoon Sweepstakes that ran throughout the spring and attracted hundreds of entries from presentation makers from all over the world.

Staged and judged by a three-way partnership of Powtoon, Microsoft, and the Presentation Summit, the contest received entries from Alabama and Antigua, Zimbabwe and New Zealand. Four finalists were chosen and from those four emerged these delightful 90 seconds from Daniella Balona from Johannesburg, South Africa:

“Be the Third Pig” discusses the stress of everyday life and the ubiquity of anxiety and depression. Borrowing from the simple themes of the Three Little Pigs children’s story, Daniella’s video encourages us to build a strong foundation, just like the third pig’s home that was made of brick and could not be blown down by the big bad wolf. She promotes five things we can all do to build that strong foundation: 1) express gratitude; 2) keep a journal of positive experiences; 3) meditate; 4) exercise; and 5) perform random acts of kindness.

For her efforts, Daniella wins a full-conference passport to the Presentation Summit, three nights at the conference hotel, a one-year license for Microsoft Office 365, a one-year license for Powtoon, and a copy of Why Most PowerPoint Presentations Suck, by conference host Rick Altman.

She heard about the contest from her boss at Missing Link, a presentation training company in Johannesburg. “If you win, we will fly you there,” said CEO Don Packett. That was all the incentive she needed to think about a good story to tell and she didn’t have to look far. “As South Africans, we are living in a stressful time,” she explains. “Our GDP is at its lowest and expenses are at their highest. With those five actionable steps [detailed in the video], we can reduce stress and live a better life.”

When first told of her victory, Daniella was in a literal state of disbelief. “I forwarded the email notification to my bosses and then asked my husband to read it to make sure I wasn’t in denial or something. Then I laughed, cried, laughed again, and cried some more. I think I am still in shock.”

Daniella had stiff competition, in particular from three finalists:

Dominique Gavotto from Valence France, whose video illustrates the relationship issues that exist within an organization and the importance of resolving them.


Laís de Camargo from Cotia Spain, whose nifty explainer video teaches all about SAP Ariba, a cloud-based procurement platform.


And Jeri Taylor, from Belmont CA, whose up-tempo video extols the virtues of sustainability:

Jeri owes her livelihood to working in PowerPoint and there is not much left for her to learn, but she found the Powtoon experience eye-opening. “It was extremely easy to use,” she describes, “with very little ramp-up time. Not everything worked exactly like PowerPoint, so I had to make some design and animation adjustments. But I ended up preferring the changes to my original presentation. I loved the one-stop shopping of copyright-free music and then being able to sync it with my slides.”

These three finalists earned a healthy discount to the conference and a one-year Powtoon license.

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Many of our patrons arrive at the conference on Saturday for better airfare and/or more relaxed travel. As a result, one of the most popular parts of the event has been our optional crash course program. These two-hour workshops are designed to jump-start your conference experience, offering primers on the fundamentals and on topics with which you might not be familiar or feel you might need a bit more grounding. These courses carry a modest extra fee; they are the only part of the curriculum that is not covered by your registration fee.

We will announce our three crash courses for 2020 soon after the new year; for reference here are the 2019 offerings, and they follow our established pattern: a workshop on presentation skills, another on presentation design, and one on an essential PowerPoint skill or technique.

Present with Presence
How do elite speakers succeed? Learn the secrets
Presenting is a blend of the artistic and the technical. This two-hour interactive workshop explores how elite speakers deliver messages with power and impact.

Farewell to Death by PowerPoint!

A guide to the presentation universe
Can a two-hour course arm you with all of the fundamentals for effective presentation work? This one will try with a tour of all four of the key tenets to good presentation: message, design, PowerPoint, and delivery. It is the perfect jump-start to your conference experience. This is normally an $895 workshop and is only offered here to conference patrons; no day passes available.

From Story to Slides
A killer start-to-finish approach to making amazing presentations
Create clear, compelling, and powerful presentations in less time and with higher success.

Want more detail?

Read fully-formed outlines of these courses