Presentation Summit 2022: Conversation with Dierdre Wolownick

Presentation Summit 2022: Conversation with Dierdre Wolownick

Created: Friday, May 27, 2022 posted by at 9:45 am

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Dierdre Wolownick

Dierdre Wolownick
Of Dierdre Wolownick‘s many claims to fame, being the oldest woman to have climbed El Capitan (at the age of 70) earns a mediocre rank. Higher on the list is having raised a son who climbs it without any safety equipment. Indeed, the mother of Alex Honnold (of Free Solo fame) has marvelous stories to tell of maintaining her sanity raising Alex, finding her own way in life, and becoming a gifted storyteller and teacher.

In this conversation, Dierdre talks about her participation at the upcoming Presentation Summit 2022, being held on location in San Diego, CA, and virtually this year from October 9 to 12, 2022. is the official media partner for the Presentation Summit.

Geetesh: You speak at this year’s Presentation Summit about How to Succeed at Anything. Can you share a few thoughts about what attendees will learn and take away from your session?

Dierdre: Your takeaways from this session will depend on how open you are to thinking for yourself. On how willing you are to make your own decisions, without input from, or approval of, the media or the “experts”. On how well you know yourself. Anyone can do anything. The key that unlocks that outrageous, unlikely statement is simple, but you have to be open to hearing it. So put aside all your preconceptions — even those you didn’t know you had — and come find out whether you’re stubborn enough to succeed.

Geetesh: Tell us more about raising your son, Alex Honnold. What, according to you, were the factors that helped him succeed, as shown in the movie, Free Solo?

Dierdre: Alex was so hard to raise! All the parents around us, at pre-school, in the playground, in our neighborhood, etc, had advice for me about how to manage him, and how to make him more ‘normal.’ But I knew they were speaking from ignorance or inexperience.

The Sharp End of Life

The Sharp End of LifeWhen he was a small child, he was as physically / spatially aware and capable as he is now. Other parents didn’t recognize it, but I began to understand it when he was a baby, not even walking (the chapter in my book about how he learned to walk will raise your blood pressure!). I also recognized another quality in him, from a very early age, that would ultimately allow him to succeed at his passion. When we talk about people we admire for their outstanding feats, we often call that quality ‘tenacity.’ Or perfectionism. When I was a kid, my mother called it stubbornness. Alex is, and always was, as stubborn as he needed to be to accomplish his outrageous goals. And I had to master it, too, in order to out-stubborn him at home! That obstinacy, or tenacity, has allowed him to succeed, and that’s what this presentation is about: succeeding at whatever you dream about.

What is the Presentation Summit?

Presentation Summit 2022: Conversation with Dierdre Wolownick

Presentation Summit 2022: Conversation with Dierdre Wolownick

For 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: October 9 to 12, 2022

Location: San Diego, CA + 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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