Presentation Summit 2020: Conversation with John Rahmlow

Presentation Summit 2020: Conversation with John Rahmlow

Created: Monday, June 8, 2020 posted by at 9:45 am

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John Rahmlow

John Rahmlow
John Rahmlow is an experienced presenter and presentation designer who has decades of experience across a number of industries. He is the Events Director for the Presentation Guild and recently retired from one of the leading financial services companies in the world where he was responsible for delivering hundreds of webinars each year. During his career, he has delivered presentations in many settings, including courtrooms, conference rooms, auditoriums and webinars. John enjoys providing information and strategies to people to help them reach their goals.

In this conversation, John talks about his 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: John, you are delivering a session, Bridging the Divide at this year’s virtual Presentation Summit. What is this session all about, and what takeaways can audiences expect?

John: Bridging the Divide is a session that focuses on a challenge that is new to many people, how to connect with a virtual audience and keep their attention. The global Covid-19 pandemic has forced most presentations to become virtual events, including this year’s Presentation Summit. This session will focus on the unique challenges that arise when attempting to connect with a virtual audience and solutions that presenters can use to turn those challenges into opportunities.

The session will cover the design and delivery aspects of virtual presentations that will help presenters connect with their audiences. When we present in-person we can use our bodies and space in the room to connect with our audience and regain their attention when we see that it has wandered. When we present virtually, we have to approach things differently. When presenting in-person we get visual cues from our audience that help us adapt and adjust our content and delivery style to ensure that we are connecting with them. Those cues are not available to us when we deliver a session virtually. As a result, virtual presenters need to be aware of the challenges they face and the tools and resources that may be available to them to help connect with an audience, check-in with the audience and reengage the audience periodically throughout the session.

The key takeaways for this session will be understanding the challenges that arise when presenting virtually and how to overcome them. I will cover information on how to design a presentation specifically for virtual delivery and how to use the tools and resources that are available on delivery platforms to help connect with the audience and maintain that connection.

Geetesh: You’ve been a pro at virtual presenting long before it became normal and necessary. What according to you are learnings in this field that will help us after the Covid-19 pandemic is referred to in the past sense?

John: I believe that once we have therapeutic drugs to treat Covid-19, and an effective vaccine to prevent its spread, we will once again see in-person presentations become the preferred method of delivery in many situations. However, I also believe that there will be times and topics where virtual presentations will make more sense and possibly be more effective.

Virtual presentations make a lot of sense when you are discussing something that is web-related because they allow the attendees the opportunity to click into the program or tool during the session. Asking an in-person audience to open up a laptop or tablet, type in a URL, and then balance the device on their laps as they follow along can be more difficult to manage than simply clicking a link on the screen or in the chat room while sitting at your desk. They can also be significantly more cost-effective due to reductions in travel expenses. However, at this time, they do not replicate the experience of an in-person event, so I do not see them replacing in-person presentations when the stakes are high and emotional connection is a priority.

What is the Presentation Summit?

Presentation Summit John Rahmlow 2020

Presentation Summit John Rahmlow 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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