Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Presentation Summit—Wow (again)

Once again, Rick Altman and his team put on a tremendous conference in beautiful Austin, Texas. We learned so much at the Presentation Summit and met so many amazing industry professionals whose knowledge alone would fill a book (as large as War and Peace with loads of interesting visuals). We had wonderful talks with presentation expert Dave Paradi, who gave us insight on marketing and who contributed to our previous blog. Check out his site for creative resources on how to design and deliver effective PowerPoint presentations. With Connie Malamed (whose book Visual Language for Designers is now in paperback), we watched the bats ... yes, I said bats ... stream out from under the famous Congress Avenue Bridge (shown in photo) where 1.5 million Mexican free-tail bats reside and stream out at sunset to feast on 10,000-30,000 pounds of insects each night. Unfortunately, I don't recommend standing under the bridge to watch this phenomenon—we got a little wet and it wasn't raining. :)

Jennifer and I also had a booth during the Expo for BizGraphics On Demand where attendees could try out our product and pick up a poster of our Graphics Cheat Sheet. The feedback was overwhelming, and we introduced new users to our product who bought credits onsite to begin using the product. Then Geetesh Bajaj, Microsoft MVP and owner of Indezine.com, gave suggestions for new offerings, which we will be implementing in the coming months. Check out his feature articles on Indezine.com highlighting a few of the inspiring keynotes from the conference.

I had another brainstorming session with Jamie Garroch of GMARK about how to increase our product offerings in new ways. Jamie impressed us with his enthusiastic approach to his business of creating better PowerPoint add-ins that meet the needs of users. His company, GMARK, will even work with you to create custom Add-Ins for PowerPoint. If you can imagine it, they can do it. What an amazing service! One GMARK product that stood out to me was MapPrez. If you use maps in your presentations, MapPrez will allow you to integrate maps through Google Maps with your PowerPoint slides and turn any of those maps into editable vector images. You can colorize and style each country differently, remove and expand map sections, and automatically locate and place markers on specific cities and sites. Definitely a time saver!

I'll write more in a post later this week about helpful tips I learned at the Presentation Summit.

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