Politics, PowerPoint, And Algae

Most of my summertime rituals are full of joy, but at least one of them has become maddeningly routine. There I am, in my backyard, 15-foot pole in hand, regarding a swimming pool that, despite my diligent efforts, inevitably collects light-green algae stains on its wall.

There is some combination of chemicals that would prevent this, but the secret society that knows all about that does not let me join, so instead I scrub the walls every day.

I do this while listening to a variety of podcasts. If my local sports teams are doing well, I listen to ones about them; if not, I turn to a rotation that follows our political landscape. Meet the Press on one day, The New Abnormal on the next day, and then maybe some Axe Files.

These days, they all talk about how broken and divided we are, how nobody listens to anyone any longer, and how hopeless the whole situation is.

The irony is not lost on me that I listen to this programming while scrubbing away algae that is sure to return a few days later. In other words, I listen to hopelessness while engaging in a hopeless activity.

It is also not lost on me that many regard their own relationships with PowerPoint this same way. They are full of good intentions and they know what kind of experiences they want to create for their audiences. But when theory meets reality, somehow the results more closely resemble January 6 than the beautiful symphony they hear in their heads.

Is bad PowerPoint like algae? No matter how much you try to eliminate it, it keeps coming back? Is it like our politics? No matter how adament or eloquent you are, someone is going to tell you that you’re full of you-know-what?

If so, you have come to the right place, as the Presentation Summit is your safe haven to press the giant Reset button. For those things about PowerPoint you don’t understand, the design principles that you just can’t seem to master, story and data visualization that sprain your brain. You won’t find a more supportive and nurturing gathering of peers and experts anywhere in the world. And it doesn’t matter what you believe about the world—we’re all in this together.

We are mindful that for most of you joining us in person, this will be your first public gathering since Covid. We are committed to showing you a safe, nurturing, and at the same time, celebratory conference experience.

We also know that most of you joining us virtually will be getting your first taste of a true hybrid conference. We are equally enthusiastic about showing you the potential for this type of experience and how much more engaging it can be when the two audiences are effectively blended.

And now, after the fact, those of you reading this are hoping to find enrichment in our on-demand seminars.

We eagerly await all of the above. We are excited for your reunions with life-long friends that you haven’t seen in over a year and for first encounters with people that, having met them, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.