A Microsoft PowerPoint MVP since 2000, Echo Swinford holds a Master’s degree in New Media 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. The past few years, Echo’s spare time has been consumed by the Presentation Guild, a not-for-profit association established for the presentation community.
In this conversation, Echo talks about her sessions at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2017 in Clearwater Beach, FL.
Geetesh: You are delivering five sessions at the Presentation Summit this year, including Template Creation Workshop, a crash course. You also deliver four other sessions: Fun and Powerful XML Hacks, Stellar Speaker Ready, Understanding Background Styles, and Designing User Instructions. Can you explain what you believe will be the biggest takeaway for patrons attending these sessions?
Echo: Omigosh, I keep asking myself, what were you thinking?!
Julie Terberg and I love kicking off the conference each year with the Template Workshop. Templates get a bad rap, and they really shouldn’t. There are a lot of hidden gotchas, though, and we try to make people aware of those things along with best practices that will pay off in the long run. That’s really what it’s all about – getting your questions answered so you can build a solid foundation for your PowerPoint template.
Powerful XML Hacks: I’ve done a couple of XML courses over the years, and the past couple of conferences people have been asking for one again. This time I plan to show where you can tweak the default table settings and how you can find and remove that random font that just won’t go away.
Stellar Speaker Ready is a quick tapas session. I thought setting up a “speaker ready” area was something everyone does at a conference or day-long meeting, for example, but apparently, that’s not the case. So I thought it would be useful to do a short session to remind folks of some simple things they can do to help the speakers before they hit the stage.
Understanding Background Styles. If you’ve ever inserted a chart onto your presentation and had the text disappear into the background, it’s probably because the background style is set incorrectly. It’s so frustrating, but it’s a fairly simple fix – if you know about it. After this session, you will!
It’s pretty common to provide example slides when you roll out a corporate or event template. But there are actually a whole bunch of ways to provide user guidance in template files, some of which you may not have considered. I thought it would be good to review the pros and cons of each, so that’s where the Designing User Instructions session came from.
Geetesh: I’ve often found you at the Help Center when you are not delivering sessions. What pulls you to the Help Center?
Echo: I think it’s my MVPness. 🙂 I became a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP back in 2000 because I was helping other users in the newsgroups and elsewhere online. The Help Center is just an extension of that, a place where we can help people face-to-face.
Indezine.com is the Media Partner for the Presentation Summit.
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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: September 24 to 27, 2017
Location: The Sheraton Sand Key Resort, Clearwater Beach, United States
Twitter Hashtag: Presum17