A Microsoft PowerPoint MVP since 2000, Echo Swinford began her PowerPoint career in 1997. She holds a Master’s degree in New Media from the Indiana University School of Informatics. Echo is the owner of Echosvoice, a PowerPoint consulting firm specializing in custom template development, presentation creation, makeovers and cleanup, and training for large and small corporate clients. Echo has written and co-written five PowerPoint books, developed a number of video publications, and has a string of tech editing credits to her name.
In this conversation, Echo discusses her sessions at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2015 series.
Geetesh: Echo, you are doing two sessions this year at the Presentation Summit called Template Creation Workshop: Secrets and Recipes for building awesome PowerPoint templates and Sync Animation to Video: All you need are triggers and bookmarks. Can you tell us more about these sessions, and what takeaways can the audience expect?
Echo: Co-conspirator Julie Terberg and I have led the template workshop for a number of years, but it’s different every time. We ask that the attendees provide us with their templates and specific questions and we use those as a framework for discussion. We end up tackling various design and technical issues and give strategies for overcoming them. The goal is for those in the audience to walk away with practical advice they can apply to their next template project.
I’m really excited about the session on synching animation to video. First, the short format is new, and I’m looking forward to a quick, down-and-dirty session. But more importantly, multimedia is becoming more reliable in PowerPoint, and I’ve seen a definite increase in the use of short video clips in presentations. But nobody annotates them, ever! I think it’s so cool that we can add drawings and text to video to point out things people should pay attention to or add captions or whatever. And the fact that we can control when those things appear is a huge bonus.
Geetesh: You’ve been part of the Presentation Summit for several years — can you share your thoughts about how this event benefits new attendees, and also how it helps repeat visitors?
Echo: I’ve actually been a part of Presentation Summit since it was just an idea, and I haven’t missed one yet. It’s like a family reunion – but one where you actually like all the relatives! Seriously, our community is wonderfully cooperative and welcoming. I find the interaction incredibly inspiring, and I learn something new every single year. It’s amazing to see new attendees as they start to realize they’re not just attending a conference and learning new techniques, but they’re taking the first steps to participating in a true community. That’s a very cool thing.
For many years now, Rick Altman has been hosting the Presentation Summit, a highly popular event that is geared towards users of PowerPoint and other presentation platforms.
Date: September 27 to 30, 2015
Location: Astor Crowne Plaza, New Orleans, USA
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