As the Presentation Summit enters its 17th season, Oct 6-9 in San Antonio, it also returns to its roots, announcing as its kick-off keynoter the best-selling author who opened the inaugural event in 2003: noted author and consultant Cliff Atkinson.

The author of the internationally-renowned Beyond Bullet Points, Atkinson travels the world as a communications consultant, with a particular emphasis in the legal field. Topping his pedigree is a presentation that he crafted that compelled a jury to issue a $253M award to a plaintiff in a well-covered 2005 court case.

Atkinson in 2003: “I was blown away by the energy and camaraderie of this group.”

“I first attended the Presentation Summit in 2003 and was blown away,” Atkinson recalls. “The energy and the sense of camaraderie among this close community–it was incredible. I’m excited to return this year to be with old and new friends.”

Atkinson delivers the opening keynote on Monday, Oct 7 and will lead a breakout session later that morning. His areas of focus will be on visual storytelling, effective communication, and predictably, moving beyond slides that contain staid bullet points of text.

Beyond Bullet Points (published by Microsoft Press) was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of, has been published in four editions, and translated into a dozen languages.

The book expands on a communications approach he has taught internationally at top law firms, government agencies, business schools, and corporations, including Sony, SC Johnson, Chevron, Toyota, Del Monte, Nestlé, Deloitte, BBDO, The NPD Group, Ipsos, Facebook, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Intel, Microsoft, the American Bar Association, and the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal.

And in the best journalistic tradition of “burying the lead,” we end this article by announcing that the first 100 people to register for the Summit will receive a free copy of the recently-published fourth edition.

4 Responses

  1. Looks like a great session. Hope I can make it.
    Oh, and not that I expect to get a free book or anything, but it’s actually “burying the lede”. Hey, I read the whole post to very end at least 🙂

    1. Hi Bill —

      Tell me more; I have never seen it spelled that way. We journalists refer to the thrust of our articles as “leads,” as in what we are leading with. Perhaps we are using lazy vernacular; what is a “lede”?

  2. Bill is quite correct:

    NOUN, US —
    The opening sentence or paragraph of a news article, summarizing the most important aspects of the story. “The lede has been rewritten and the headline changed.”

    It is also the cardinal rule for improvisational theatre, enabling actors to cooperatively and creatively build an interesting story.

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