Rick Altman, a presentation consultant based out of Pleasanton, CA, USA is well known as the host of the annual Presentation Summit and has a strong sense of the needs of the presentation community. He has also authored books on PowerPoint.
In this conversation, Rick discusses the Template Contest for the upcoming Presentation Summit being held in San Diego this October.
Geetesh: For how many years have you been holding a template contest for the Presentation Summit (or PowerPoint Live)?
Rick: We have been doing this since 2005 and every year we have had a totally unique design. We are blessed to have incredibly creative people participating in the contest.
Geetesh: What does the winner receive?
Rick: The winner receives a full conference passport, providing total access to all parts of the Summit, from Oct 18-20. We waive the $995 conference fee in its entirety.
Geetesh: Do you know what you are looking for, or are you open to surprises?
Rick: I have no clue and I love that type of ignorance. It has become impossible to anticipate or even make wild guesses. The year that we were in New Orleans, Liane Fuji from San Francisco created wonderful sketches of typical French Quarter scenes. Previous entries for years when we were in San Diego have incorporated beach scenes, animals from the San Diego Zoo, Shamu the whale at Sea World.
Geetesh: Is it required that there be a local angle?
Rick: No, we do not require it, but we appreciate when contestants think creatively, and that is often the result of creative thinking. Above all, we look for a good clean design that will wear well across four days of heavy use.
Geetesh: I see that entries can be in any version of PowerPoint. Do you expect them to work with PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 themes?
Rick: We do not require that they show expertise with the software, but I’d be lying if I said that it hasn’t had an impact on the judges in the past. Again, what we seek first is a great design; we’ll take care of all of the software plumbing to ensure that the template functions properly. If there were two designs that were both fantastic, and one of them showed expert use of a Version 2007 theme and the other just included elements on a slide, perhaps the first one might resonate better with the judges, perhaps even on a subconscious level.
Geetesh: Who are the judges?
Rick: We will go with the usual cast of characters — Nancy Duarte, Julie Terberg, Garr Reynolds, Echo Swinford, somebody from India named Geetesh, and Ric Bretschneider of Microsoft. In addition, we will make all of the entries available for viewing at the conference’s FaceBook fan page and invite comments from anyone who signs on as a fan.
- PowerPoint Live Template Contest 2009: Conversation with Rick Altman
- PowerPoint Live Template Contest 2008: Conversation with Rick Altman
- PowerPoint Live Template Contest 2008: Entries