Articles of interest...we hope

My “Last Hurrah”

Rick Altman Hosting the Presentation Summit has been the greatest joy of my professional life, and it is not a close call. Across 21 seasons, going on 22, it has

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Are You Smarter Than a Kindergartener?

The story I told in 2018 was one of my favorites, because, first off, it was told to me by a good friend who teaches middle school, and second, because it was 100% true although you would never believe it.

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Carmen Simon Returns to the Presentation Summit

“The thing about my good friend Carmen?” says Presentation Summit host and organizer Rick Altman. “She is the embodiment of her best-selling book: she is truly impossible to ignore.”

The conference is delighted to announce her triumphant return this year as the Monday morning keynote presenter, Oct 16, live from Monterey CA.

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Lessons Learned from the 2022 Presentation Summit

If you were to look up epiphany at Dictionary.com, it should include the footnote “See Season No. 20 of the Presentation Summit.” In our 20-year history, no event has been more eye-opening than the four days in October over which we staged our hybrid conference.

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Dierdre and her Free Soloing Son

I recently watched Free Solo for the fourth time, so obsessed am I with the limits of human achievement and our capacity to face down pressure and risk. The parallels with public speaking are obvious, and that is why I am so looking forward to welcoming to the Presentation Summit Dierdre Wolownick, the mother of Alex Honnold.

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Dueling Ballrooms

Few moments capture the charm of the Presentation Summit better than the 30 spontaneous seconds that took place one afternoon in 2017. When good friends Mike Parkinson and Nolan Haims found themselves next to one another leading concurrent seminars, a delightful game of one-upmanship took place. Watch…

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The Summit’s First Virtual Performance

Long before Covid, the Presentation Summit dabbled in virtual, as one of our industry’s most prominent spokespeople, Garry Reynolds, lives in Japan.

It was 2010 and we rigged up Skype and the best camera and microphone we could find. It was pretty cool at the time, but now it’s laughable.

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Are We Ready to Travel Yet?

You know that saying about the weather? If you don’t like it, wait 15 minutes and it will change? That pretty much sums up how we all feel about business travel in the post-Covid age. Optimistic one week, pessimistic the next. The president says we’ll all be able to get vaccinated by May…optimism. The South African variant will create a new surge…pessimism. Infection rates are trending down…optimism. California cancels vaccines due to shortages…pessimism.

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We are not post racial

For the past 40+ years, I have been proud of the wrong thing. I attended a predominantly black high school in a predominantly black neighborhood. I once held a party at my house in which I was the only white kid. As sports editor for the Daily Californian at UC Berkeley, I interacted with many black athletes, and as a young adult, I bore witness to, advocated for, and fought alongside community leaders and policy makers, many of them black, for equal rights and opportunities. As my friend Robert said to me at the time, “you’re blacker than a lot of black people.”

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Found in Translation

I have colleagues who specialize in helping people communicate in languages other than their own. I know experts in this field, and I can say without equivocation that I am not one of them. I am pretty good at using words like equivocation in my native tongue, but when it comes to the finer points of communication across cultural divides, well…my daughters would tell you I don’t even know how to speak to millennials.

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Is My Conference Racist?

It came out of nowhere. A one-time patron and presenter — I’ll call him Jon because, well, because his name is Jon — called me out by name on social

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What Can We Learn from James Comey?

You don’t have to be a political junkie to have been interested in former FBI Director James Comey’s appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. And if you are

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Don’t Say That!

Six Things Presenters Should Never Say The digital world is littered with articles with titles similar to this one. A Google search turns up 750,000 of them. And most of

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Happy Accidents with Triggers

You never know what you might discover when you thought you were looking for something else. One of our more loyal Presentation Summit attendees, Mary Hampton, had a recent dilemma

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Guilty Pleasures

We turn the tables on one of the oldest scams in history… Reprinted from 2009 on Throw-Back Thursday… ALL OF YOU HAVE RECEIVED ONE, WE’RE SURE. The email with the

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Busted in Boise

How could a simple question during a routine workshop become such a game-changer? We were well into our day, about six hours into an all-day presentation skills workshop. My client

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Surviving Handout Hell

The height of my client-visiting season is May through August when I visit or connect remotely with dozens of client sites and meet with many hundreds of people. Almost to

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What’s On Your QAT…?

Longtime PowerPoint users, including this writer, remember fondly the days of version 2003. As old-fashioned as that version was — with its awkward slide layouts, unrefined visual aids, and often-bizarre

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On Software and Trust

“I don’t see how a software tool can create trust.” “I am fascinated by your analysis of trust and how animation contributes to it.” My last post, The Phenomenon of

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The Phenomenon of Attention

We no longer have four-year-olds in the house, so the most profound and egregious examples of limited attention span no longer occur on an hourly basis here. That said, I

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An Unforgettable Week

The drama that unfolded Around CorelWORLD ’01 Reprinted from Oct 2001 The events that overtook our country on Tuesday, September 11, had a profound effect on the conference that I

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Can PowerPoint Make You Stupid?

This is an excerpt from the third edition of Rick Altman’s provocatively-titled book on presentation best practices. Available now in paperback, PDF, ePub, and Kindle. You can learn more about

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It’s Not About Being Perfect

It takes a rock star to show us presenters what is truly important in communication Did you watch the Grammy Awards last week? Winners for Best Rock Performance, the Foo

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The Power of the Apology

As one year turns into another, I seek topics with larger reach, in the hopes that they could function as resolutions. This one certainly qualifies: the fine art of showing

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