Rick Altman has been hired by hundreds of companies, listened to by tens of thousands of professionals, and read by millions of people, all of whom seek better results with their presentation content and delivery. He covers the whole of the industry, from message crafting, through presentation design, slide creation, software technique, and delivery. Rick claims to have invented desktop publishing back in 1982 and can show a galley sheet of type that was produced by connecting his Osborne 1 computer to a typesetter across town with a 300-baud modem (that cost $800). An avid sportsman, he was not a good enough tennis player to make it onto the professional tour. All the rest of this has been his Plan B…
In this conversation, Rick discusses his sessions at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2016 series.
Geetesh: You are part of 8 sessions at this year’s Presentation Summit. Can you tell us a little about these sessions, and what you believe the attendees will take away from them?
Rick: Eight sessions, really? Why do I do this to myself? It’s like the older I get, the more I punish myself. No wonder I need two weeks off afterward.
As for takeaways, it would be hard to generalize about eight sessions, but if I had to, I would say that I want people leaving my sessions saying, “you know, I can do that, too. I see what he did there. That wasn’t so hard.” We have plenty of sessions designed to inspire people, and if one of my seminars happens to inspire someone, that’s great. But if they leave saying, “what’s the big deal—I could have done that,” that’s great, too.
Geetesh: As the host, you will be involved doing so much more. With all the sessions, late nights, early mornings, and more—how do you successfully develop bonding with every attendee?
Rick: Every single attendee? All 200 of them? That will require a bit of effort on their part! I’ll need people to seek me out to reach all of them. And let’s be fair, some people will treat the Summit just like they do every other business conference they attend. A certain percentage of our patrons – and I do think it’s small – will attend a dozen conferences this year, this is just another one of them, and they might decide to eat lunch in the restaurant and go straight up to their rooms each afternoon when the seminars break. But to the ones who are willing – and that proves to be a much larger percentage – we’re going to show them what community is all about. We’re going to make it so easy for them to meet others, they’re going to feel as if they are on vacation.
And I’m happy to be their conduit in that quest. Before we even begin, I will have established some sort of meaningful contact with about 50 of them through email. Even if it’s something mundane like they need help with their room reservation or should they stay over Wednesday evening. I’m going to field those queries myself, and when those folks come up to me Sunday evening to thank me for, what, providing them with the phone number for the airport shuttle, that’s the beginning of a bond. And because by the time we begin, these folks will have already received about a dozen emails from me, it’s pretty easy to circulate. I don’t do that so easily in other settings – I never could just walk into a bar and talk to women when I was single, and I don’t attend a business function and walk away with 30 business cards. But here at this conference, there is this sense, and it’s almost magical, that we all kind of know one another before we actually do.
Rick Altman with a patron
What is the Presentation Summit?
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
Twitter Hashtag: Presum16