Presentation Summit 2020: Conversation with Echo Swinford

Presentation Summit 2020: Conversation with Echo Swinford

Created: Thursday, June 11, 2020 posted by at 9:45 am

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Echo Swinford

Echo Swinford
A Microsoft PowerPoint MVP since 2000, Echo Swinford began her PowerPoint career in 1997. She holds a master’s degree in new media from the Indiana University School of Informatics 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. Echo has written and co-written five PowerPoint books, developed a number of video publications, and has a string of tech editing credits to her name. She is President Emerita of the Presentation Guild, a not-for-profit trade association for the presentation industry which she founded in 2015.

In this conversation, Echo talks about her session at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2020, being held virtually this year from August 10 to 13, 2020. is the official media partner for the Presentation Summit.

Geetesh: Echo, you are doing your Template Talk session this year virtually, along with Julie Terberg. I remember attending many of your Template Talk sessions at previous Presentation Summit conferences. How do you manage to make the content fresh and different each year? And what can we expect at this year’s virtual session?

Echo: You know, that’s actually a bit of a challenge every year. We’ve found that the best way is to simply ask the attendees for examples so we can see the kinds of things they may be struggling with. We can supplement these with our own examples, of course, but it’s helpful to focus on the issues that others are facing most frequently.

This year we’ve decided to do a Q&A. Everyone, bring your burning template questions, and let’s get them answered!

Geetesh: How does one convince someone that a professionally designed PowerPoint template is miles apart from templates available for free from many sites, including Microsoft’s own offerings within PowerPoint? Can you share a few thoughts about what one can do to ascertain a template’s quality?

Echo: I could go on and on forever about this, so it’s a difficult question for me.

In some ways, templates sell themselves. Our clients usually know that their templates don’t work properly when they come to us in the first place. They may be fighting with their fonts or the colors, and often the layouts don’t actually support the kind of content the client usually creates. Those are generally the hallmarks of a good template – does it support your brand, does it help enhance rather than interfere with the content, do the fonts work properly, are the colors built-in?

The whole point of a template is to save people time and manual steps. If you’re having to do something manually over and over again, it’s worth exploring if that can be incorporated into the template.

What is the Presentation Summit?

Presentation Summit Echo Swinford 2020

Presentation Summit Echo Swinford 2020

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: August 10 to 13, 2020

Location: Virtual Event

Register now!


The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

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