Presentation Summit 2020: Conversation with Nolan Haims

Presentation Summit 2020: Conversation with Nolan Haims

Created: Monday, June 1, 2020 posted by at 9:45 am

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Nolan Haims 2020
Nolan Haims has over 20 years of experience in the fields of visual communications and presentation, having created every type of presentation from Fortune 500 CEO keynotes, to TED talks to multi-million dollar agency pitches. He trains organizations to think visually, speaks at national conferences, writes on visual storytelling at PresentYourStory, and is a co-host of the long-running Presentation Podcast. And as one of only 34 Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs in the world, he works with and advises the software development team. He runs his own visual communications consultancy in Montclair, NJ.

In this conversation, Nolan Haims talks about his sessions 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: You are delivering two sessions at this year’s virtual Presentation Summit 2020: What the Font! and Tables, Tables, Tables. What should audiences expect from these sessions, and what will their takeaways be?

Nolan: In my session on tables, we’ll focus largely on how to design more effective and better-looking tables. I always say that while tables may not the sexiest aspect of design and data visualization, they are a necessity, and we shouldn’t rely on PowerPoint’s incredibly poor defaults for their design. Just as with text and charts, tables should be given the design attention they need so that they are as glanceable and readable as possible. We’ll go over how to minimize “table junk” and extraneous elements so we can focus on the information, best practices for how to sort and highlight information, how to add additional visualizations, and how best to let Excel and PowerPoint play together when it comes to tables.

Nolan Haims Table Slide

In What the Font!, we’ll discuss some design aspects of using typography in PowerPoint, but mostly we’ll focus on more technical aspects of using system, local, and the relatively new cloud fonts. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of embedding and potential pitfalls with replacing fonts, applying bold and italics, and even which fonts to avoid when using a lot of numbers. We’ll discuss best practices including the use of theme fonts and even hacks for outlining type, adding placeholder copy, and how to implement paragraph styles in PowerPoint. This session is good for anyone who wants to better understand how Microsoft handles fonts and how to more confidently move beyond the worlds of Arial and Calibri.

Nolan Haims Type Slide

Geetesh: How does slide design differ for presenting in a remote world. What, according to you, is the most important aspect of remote slide design?

Nolan: I wouldn’t say that creating slides for remote presenting is fundamentally different, but I do advise people to think about reducing text even more than usual in favor of visuals as you can never be sure just how small a screen area people will be viewing your presentation on. Since it could be a small laptop, an iPad, or even a phone, you need to keep text as large as possible and limit the number of words on a slide significantly. Additionally, you want to make sure to keep your pacing to about 1 slide per minute give or take. If you use too many slides, you run the risk of losing your audience if they look away, and yet if you use too few slides, you’ll lose audience attention because they are not being engaged by content that is regularly changing. You need to find that balance and a good pace. Lastly, while some platforms and situations are pretty good with handling animation and even video, I still recommend avoiding this due to lag and poor internet bandwidth which you often simply can’t control.

What is the Presentation Summit?

Presentation Summit Nolan Haims 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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