2024 Keynotes Set for Presentation Summit’s Last Hurrah

Brilliance on display in three delightfully different genres

Guy Kawasaki to kick off 2024 Summit

Renowned author, podcaster, and venture capitalist has a thing or two to say about presentations these days.

Since the time that he essentially made up a job title (“Product Evangelist” at Apple) to his current work, Guy Kawasaki embraces the word that has now become his work mantra: remarkable. Indefatigable, excitable, philosophical, this 69-year-old appears to be in a constant cycle of reinvention. This is never more apparent than how he has enabled his award-winning podcast “Remarkable People” to inspire his latest book, Think Remarkable, a copy of which every conference patron will receive as part of registration.

Kawasaki’s own relationship with presentation is, yes, remarkable. “I was deathly afraid of public speaking when I started in 1986,” he recalls. “Working for Steve Jobs was hugely intimidating — how could you possible compete with Steve? It took me over 20 years to get comfortable with it and I want to share some of what I’ve learned along the way.”

“Guy Kawasaki will surely go down in conference history as one of our most influential speakers,” notes conference host Rick Altman. “His 10-20-30 rule is probably one of the most quoted lines from a keynote ever: ten slides, 20 minutes, minimum type size of 30 point.”

Kawasaki is an avid surfer, having taken up the pastime at the age of 60, and conference organizers made sure to point out to him that the host property, Zachari Dunes resort, sits alongside the California coastline. Nonetheless, he calls the allegation that he accepted this speaking gig only because of that, “a vicious rumor.” The resort acknowledges that his people called their people to inquire about board rentals after his people called the airline people to inquire about surfboards being accepted as checked luggage.

Kawasaki will deliver the opening keynote address, on Monday, Oct 21 at the final in-person conference, and on Monday, Nov 4 at the virtual conference.

Carmen Simon to ask hard questions about AI

Beloved neuroscientist offers her unique insights into how we regard AI and how it informs our perspective on learning and coaching

“The thing about my good friend Carmen?” says Summit host Altman. “She is the embodiment of her best-selling book: she is truly impossible to ignore. I could not possibly imagine our swan song taking place without her.”

Luckily for Summit patrons, nobody will have to imagine that, as Dr. Simon returns this year with a whole lot to say about artificial intelligence and how human beings react to it. In typical, but extraordinary fashion, Simon digs way deep, looking at data from brain science to address these topics.

“My audiences at the Presentation Summit are among my favorite in the world,” she says. “I just love their curiosity and their willingness to challenge convention. I love being surprised by data and so do they, and that fills me with excitement about joining them.

“The other quality that makes this audience unique is their loyalty to the event and their friendship with each other. Even among people who have just met — you just don’t see this at other conferences. Come for the learning, stay for the family reunion.”

Like Kawasaki, Simon denies that she only said yes to conference organizers because of the tennis courts on the resort property. Nonetheless, our sources report that she recently purchased a racquet-sized carry-on bag.

When not on the court, she will take to the ballroom on Tuesday, Oct 22, and then return for the virtual conference on Tuesday, Nov 5.

Nigel Holmes to deliver a “moving presentation”

World-renowned designer believes a fit body inspires a creative mind

While the Presentation Summit is famously anti-theme when developing its program, this one is now staring us in the face. From surfing to tennis to exercise — Nigel Holmes wants you to get up out of your chairs to jumpstart your creativity. The former Art Director for TIME Magazine wants you to get infografit. “I believe that any physical activity gives our minds the room and the time to think creatively,” says Holmes. “Pickleball, a brisk walk, skydiving — most scientists agree that physical activity helps stimulate the mind…or it enables us to clear our minds and not to think at all for a while, and that’s just as important.”

It is only fitting (ha ha) that Holmes bring something this unconventional to his morning keynote. After all, he is the one who has dressed up as a caveman, spread an entire tube of toothpaste across the stage, and inhaled helium for all to hear. These moments illustrate the balance that Holmes has created between technology and the avoidance of same — a fence that he has deftly straddled his entire career.

“I have been captivated by Nigel since long before Al Gore invented the Internet,” quips Altman, who vividly recalls watching Holmes represent complex visual ideas before there was slide software. “Not only was he wonderfully inventive, he couldn’t rely on clip art or stock photography to create the visual — we’re talking all hand-drawn. I have been a huge fan ever since.”

The feeling is mutual. “I am always glad to be back at the one conference where I can make a fool of myself in front of very serious people,” notes Holmes with his dry British sense of humor. “My presentation is usually the least impactful part of the Summit for me — the huge volume of stuff that I learn make these the most valuable three days of my year. I’m very excited!”

Holmes will keynote Day Three at the Summit: Wednesday, Oct 23 for roomies and Wednesday, Nov 6 for Zoomies.

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