Presentation Summit 2019: Conversation with Nolan Haims

Presentation Summit 2019: Conversation with Nolan Haims

Created: Thursday, June 27, 2019 posted by at 9:45 am

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Nolan Haims

Nolan Haims

Nolan Haims has over 20 years of experience in the fields of visual communication, graphic and presentation design. He runs his own boutique consultancy that trains organizations to communicate more clearly and with fewer words. He speaks at national conferences, writes about visual storytelling at, is a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP and is one of the hosts of The Presentation Podcast.

In this conversation, Nolan talks about the Presentation Summit, being held in San Antonio, TX this year from October 6 to 9, 2019.

Geetesh: Nolan, you are delivering four sessions this year including Entrepreneurs’ Round Table, If I Only Knew, Taking Stock of Stock Photos, and Inclusiveness by Design. Tell us about each of your sessions, and what takeaways can audiences expect?

Nolan: Here are some thoughts about my primary three sessions. I’ll speak about the Entrepreneurs’ Round TableIf I Only Knew

I am really looking forward to this session as it will be the first one I have ever given with a partner. Ilene Bergelson, an old friend and speech coach, will be joining me to discuss the two halves of a typical presentation creation process: The speaker and the designer. We will discuss how to get the most out of this very important relationship to produce a top-quality talk and slide deck.

Often, the presenter and the designer, speak different languages, and they certainly have different skill sets. We will discuss how each can best communicate with the other and the questions each needs to ask of the other to best do their job. What does a presenter need to know technically about their slide deck, room setup and A/V hardware? What does a designer need to know about the messaging, story arc and style of presenting of the speaker? We hope this session will appeal to a wide audience—those behind the computer and those out in front of the screen.

Taking Stock of Stock Photos

When we discuss making presentation more visual, one of the first questions always asked is where one can obtain good visuals, and specifically where one can find quality imagery that doesn’t cost a fortune. The world of stock photography is always shifting with sites shutting down and popping up all the time, so I wanted to take the opportunity to look at the current landscape and cover a wide range of resources that attendees might not be familiar with. We’ll discuss how to obtain high-res imagery and icons for little to no money at all along with some shortcuts for doing so all from within PowerPoint itself. We’ll also cover some of the legal considerations when using creative commons and public domain imagery. And all attendees will get access to my personal stock resources list that lists hundreds of sites for all types of graphic and images.

Inclusiveness by Design

I’m really excited about this new session on how to create presentations that directly appeal and respond to a variety of audiences. We hear more and more these days about making communications accessible to those with various types of disabilities and limitations, and we will definitely discuss how PowerPoint can help make that happen—everything from the built-in accessibility checker to the incredible and new live subtitling feature. But we’ll also go further in addressing how to use more diverse imagery and graphics to appeal to our increasingly diverse audiences. We’ll talk about making presentations more share-worthy on social media for audiences who crave shareable content. And we’ll even discuss creating slides in ways that appeal to shorter attention spans and those easily distracted.

Geetesh: Your Entrepreneur’s Round Table session is now an integral part of the Presentation Summit? Do share a little history, and tell us what this session mean to you?

Nolan: This is always one of my favorite parts of the Summit. This informal late night session originated 8 or 9 years ago and was initially led by my friend Dave Paradi. I took over the role of session moderator a while back and have watched it grow from a few people around a hotel lobby bar to sometimes up to a quarter of the entire conference registration. We all grab a drink from the bar, pull up chairs and couches into a circle and spend a couple of hours in a frank discussion on the business side of presentation design. No topic is off limits, and attendees freely share their own challenges, mistakes, successes and solutions for running their own businesses. In the past we have talked contracts, NDAs, billing strategies, accounting software, marketing ideas, tax and legal tips, tricks for dealing with difficult clients and how to attract and retain talent. We have discussed confusions over the use of stock photography and even ethics when asked to do something inappropriate by a client.

Unlike the usual conference sessions, the Round Table is unstructured. While I lightly moderate, the discussion always moves in organic directions. Often we have attendees contemplating making the jump to freelance, and others who have already done so will provide advice and encouraging words. Those who run small agencies might get tips on expansion from those who run larger ones.

While some might see the session as a business classroom or even professional therapy, everyone is always thankful to finally have a forum to meet others in similar positions to theirs and to talk freely and openly about just about anything.

What is the Presentation Summit?

Presentation Summit 2019

Presentation Summit 2019

For nearly two decades, Rick Altman has been hosting the Presentation Summit, a highly popular event that is geared towards users of PowerPoint and other presentation platforms. is the official Media Partner for the Presentation Summit.

Date: October 6 to 9, 2019

Location: Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio, TX, United States

Register now!


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