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. He is the host of the Presentation Summit, now in its 17th season as the most prominent learning event for the presentation community.
In this conversation, Rick talks about the Presentation Summit, being held in San Antonio, TX this year from October 6 to 9, 2019.
Geetesh: Rick, you are leading several sessions at this year’s Presentation Summit including Farewell to Death by PowerPoint, a crash course of 2 hours, plus you are also delivering Teamwork, Act 1, Scene 1, with Mike Parkinson. Can you tell us about these sessions, and what will be the takeaways for participants?
Rick: Farewell to Death by PowerPoint has proven to be a good jumping off point for conference attendees who need to brush up on their fundamentals. It’s kind of a microcosm of the Summit experience: a bit of message, a bit of design, and a bit of PowerPoint. Taken together, our three Sunday courses go hand in glove to give people a smooth glide path into the conference. Then afterward, we have our 5 pm welcome reception, there’s a wonderful anticipatory vibe, and it just makes for a really good pace for starting out the conference. Those who choose to come in Sat or Sun morning and can start their experience in an unhurried way tend to have richer takeaways and a more fulfilling time.
As for Teamwork, Act 1, Scene 1, I don’t want to say too much about it except that it is unlike anything we have ever done at the Summit. That sounds coy, but part of why I can’t be specific is that I’m not exactly sure what it is going to look like! But I know that across 17 years, we have not attempted anything like it.
Geetesh: You are also doing something intriguing, called The Summit Goose Chase. Tell us more; this certainly does not sound like a typical session?
Rick: Oh, it’s not. Not by a long shot. It’s part of our after-hours programming, where things are a bit looser. This will be our third year doing this, and the first two times were super popular. We divide people up into teams, we give them an app, and we send them off to, um, to find things and do things. They show us their completed tasks by taking photos or video through the app, and a few kangaroo judges decide how well they did. Our tasks will send them all around the property.
Geetesh: You are also the host of the Presentation Summit. How many years have you worn this hat? Can you share some thoughts and ideas with wannabe attendees about what exactly happens at the Summit, other than the sessions?
Rick: This is our 17th season and to commit to any one thing for that long, you have to get something out of it beyond what you originally envisioned. We just wanted to teach people stuff; we had no idea that an entire community, practically a family, would spawn from it. That is what separates us from typical business conferences: people make real, meaningful, and lasting relationships from their Summit connections.
We have seen business partnerships forged, permanent friendship formed, and three couples have met and married. When you see that type of connectedness, you realize that something is taking place on a level well above just learning software and being exposed to a discipline.
If it were just that, I would have probably packed it in a while ago. But to see this whole other level of connection, that is a source of tremendous pride. Even though we’re starting to see folks attending who are nearly 1/3 my age, I’m not ready to retire yet. It’s way too much fun and so incredibly satisfying to see people create experiences so much greater than the sum of their parts.
What is the Presentation Summit?
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.
Indezine.com 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