The Parallels between Tennis and Public Speaking

When I took time off last summer to write a book about tennis, I had intended for it to be merely a diversion. Having played the sport for decades, I have long felt that there is little support for adult doubles players. The major networks feed us nothing but singles and the only content you […]

What Does “Design” Mean, Anyway?

Every year during and after the Presentation Summit, a fascinating exchange of ideas takes shape. This happens without fail — in the hallways and ballrooms during the days of the conference, in the lounge after hours, and in the post-conference evaluations that we read. This year’s discussion took its most salient turn with two observations […]

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 a person, the following two statements hold true: The biggest issue that presentation designers and content creators face is placing too much text on a […]

The Folly of “Ditching PowerPoint”

Every few weeks, someone speaks out on a public forum somewhere about how bad PowerPoint is. About how it should be eliminated from corporate culture. About how it is the root of all evil. Over on the Presentation Gurus LinkedIn group, one of the regular contributors, Eric Bergman, shared a link to an NPR article […]

What’s the Problem with “Creating a PowerPoint”?

Most presentation consultants in business today have become a bit oblivious  to the common practice of referring to a presentation by the tool used to create its visuals. No other product in the Office suite shares this distinction — I know nobody who composes a Word, crunches an Excel, or fires off an Outlook. For […]

Memorable Moments from the 2013 Summit

It is Sunday evening at the Presentation Summit, about 85% of our patrons have now checked in and most of them are in our ballroom foyer enjoying a beverage and a gnash. The energy is contagious as a sentiment of anticipation infects the room. Jetlag be damned, everyone is alive, alert, fresh, and full of […]

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 Attention, generated no small bit of commentary, including the two above. This doesn’t surprise me: the Animation engine within PowerPoint has been blamed for everything […]

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 have spent the past three months examining and being fascinated by the impact that attention span has on our society and on the profession of […]

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 it at the BetterPresenting website. ONE OF THE MOST INFLAMMATORY ideas circulating among PowerPoint skeptics has received quite a bit of credible press in the […]

Fighting the “Look at Me!” Syndrome

This is an excerpt from the soon-to-be-released third edition of Rick Altman’s provocatively-titled book on presentation best practices. Available by mid-June in paperback, PDF, ePub, and Kindle. You can learn more about it at the BetterPresenting website. AS WE APPROACH OUR TENTH ANNIVERSARY of the Presentation Summit, it is fitting that we look back on […]