Cliff Atkinson is an acclaimed writer, popular keynote speaker, and an independent communications consultant to leading attorneys and Fortune 500 companies. He crafted the presentation that persuaded a jury to award a $253 million verdict to the plaintiff in the nation’s first Vioxx trial in 2005, which Fortune magazine called “frighteningly powerful.”
Cliff’s bestselling book, Beyond Bullet Points (published by Microsoft Press) was named a Best Book of 2007 by the editors of Amazon, and has been published in four editions and translated into a dozen languages including Chinese, Korean, and Russian. Cliff’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Fox News.
In this conversation, Cliff talks about the Presentation Summit, being held in San Antonio, TX this year from October 6 to 9, 2019.
Geetesh: Cliff, you are presenting a keynote at this year’s Presentation Summit called, The Real Value of Visual Storytelling – what will be the principal takeaways for the audience from this session?
Cliff: A well-told visual story can win new business, inspire millions and move markets. In this session, I’d like to explore the value of these type of high-stakes stories, and how presentation professionals can understand how they work and how they can ensure they are part of the big value they deliver.
Geetesh: What is your breakout session, Agents of Change, about?
Cliff: When people try to make improvements to presentations within large organizations, they often face resistance to change with comments like, “We’ve always done it this way,” or “I need to fill my slides with data or I’ll lose credibility.” How do you respond to resistance and bring about change when your culture has deeply entrenched beliefs and practices?
In this working session, we’ll brainstorm ways we can help one another to overcome obstacles and clear the pathway for better presentations for all.
Geetesh: You return to the Presentation Summit after appearing in 2009. What has changed in the presentation industry in this last decade?
Cliff: The major shift is away from all the bells and whistles of the technology, to the human stories that help us inform, persuade and enlighten one another. It’s the message that matters most, and when you can use presentation tools to take the message to the next level, you’ve got a winning combination.
Geetesh: If there’s just one effort that presenters can make to deliver their messages better, what should that effort be?
Cliff: Distill your message to its essence. Put your slides away, and ask the simple question: what are the three most important things I want my audience to apply from this topic? Then make those the anchors of your presentation.
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