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 and 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. She is the President of the Presentation Guild, a not-for-profit trade association for the presentation industry.
In this conversation, Echo discusses her sessions at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2016 series.
Geetesh: You are doing the Template Creation Workshop, which is an optional Sunday crash course. Additionally, you are doing the fun session called Life is Full of Crop(ping) and another template oriented session called Learning to Love Layouts. Tell us more about what you believe attendees will take away from these sessions?
Echo: In the Template Creation Workshop, Julie Terberg and I will discuss best practices when building templates—especially when you’re building templates for other people to use. The patrons will hear about some of the most common issues we see in the templates that cross our desks every day, and they’ll get some tips on how to avoid those problems. Of course, the attendees will also have a chance to ask questions about their own templates and processes.
Life is full of Crop(ping) is a quick and dirty tour of PowerPoint’s cropping tools, which are way more powerful and flexible than most people realize. Patrons will become awesome croppers in one 20-minute session!
In the Learning to Love Layouts session, I’ll show attendees how to leverage PowerPoint’s custom layout feature in any file, not just in a template, to make repetitive production tasks faster and easier. I’ll be demonstrating how custom layouts work—and how you can make them work for you.
Geetesh: Can you share an experience from previous Presentation Summit conferences—and have you indeed attended all the previous 13 conferences?
Echo: Yes, I was there in the very beginning—actually as far back as when the conference was just an idea, and I’ve made it to every one since! I think you, Ric Bretschneider and I (and Rick Altman and Sheila McGurin, of course) are the only ones with that distinction, right? I love that we’re a part of something that’s become such a lasting influence.
I think one of my favorite memories happened on the first morning at one of those early conferences—maybe 2005 or so. I spent a few minutes in the Help Center with a patron who needed to learn how to create a specific type of animation technique. When we finished and she felt she had a solid solution, she ended our conversation with, “This just made the whole conference worthwhile; everything else is a bonus!” Heck, the conference hadn’t even really begun! And I’m betting it paid for itself a few times over.
See Also: Echo Swinford on Indezine
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: October 23 to 26, 2016
Location: Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, United States
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