2013 Content Quest City Tour: Last Stop Austin

2013 Content Quest City Tour: Last Stop Austin
May 28, 2013

The Spring 2013 Content Quest Tour started and ended in Texas and included stops in Houston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago, San Francisco, Southern California, Denver and Austin.

We met hundreds of customers and attendees, and heard from one of three fabulous keynote speakers, Tim Riesterer, Joe Sabia or Nancy Duarte. The role of the keynote speakers was to look at presentation creation from the big picture. If I had to sum it up in two words it would be STORIES and CREATIVITY. 

Recapping the Tour

We all love stories and according to Tim Riesterer, they can be a great way to open a presentation. In addition to the beginning of your presentation, where you need to be the most creative is during the bulk of your presentation.
For more from Tim Riesterer’s talk, watch this replay of Breaking the Status Quo Barrier.

Joe Sabia talked about what we can learn from viral videos, and 6 ways to keep a presentation engaging by using popular culture, the element of surprise, unscientific research, and even vegetables/dessert.
For more from Joe Sabia’s talk, watch this replay of Getting Creative.

Nancy Duarte spoke about creating a moment when you dramatically drive the main idea of your presentation home by intentionally placing Something They’ll Always Remember—a S.T.A.R. moment—in each presentation. The S.T.A.R. moment should be a significant, sincere, and enlightening moment during the presentation that helps magnify your big idea—not distract the audience from it.
For more from Nancy Duarte’s talk, watch this replay of Resonate.

After each keynote, the lads from Bright Carbon in the UK dove deeper into the mechanics of what makes a good presentation, with workshops on advanced animations and presenting from an iPad.
For more great PowerPoint training visit their web site.


BrightCarbon's Richard Goring taking a deeper dive into presenting from the iPad

Finally, we concluded the sessions with a Brainshark Power Hour with a focus on the features, benchmarking data, and examples to help take your presentation to the next level. Click here learn about some Brainshark features that can help make your presentations more engaging.  Additionally, if you’re looking for a recap of tips and tricks for creating top notch Brainshark presentations, this blog post is packed with resources to help you enhance your presentations.

Presentation Advice is Everywhere

This was the first time we held an event in Austin and it was a fitting place to end the trip. Similar in many ways to Boulder, Palo Alto and Cambridge, there is something in the air that brings together entrepreneurship, technology and creativity into a vibrant package.

While in Austin, my hotel had the Renaissance Hotels magazine on the bed, which they must have wanted me to read. Coincidentally, it had an interview with John Medina, a molecular biologist and author of Brain Rules.  He spoke about the ways science can help run better meetings. When talking about PowerPoint, he implored presenters to incorporate videos into their presentations, and to use more visuals and less text - something that we continually encourage Brainshark authors to do.  In fact, we’re constantly offering up tips and resources for creating more engaging slides consisting of visuals and a creative use of text.  

According to Brian, on average a PowerPoint slide has 40 words and "text is one of the most impoverished ways of projecting information....the brain simply gets tires seeing text on the screen...lead with a visual and make it move."  Brian also wrote about taking a live 30-minute presentation and breaking it into three 10-minute sections with something engaging to connect the sections.

What is interesting to note is that the average Brainshark presentation is 11 minutes, but we stress that, the ideal length of any given presentation depends on its subject matter.  For instance, training presentations tend to be longer, or consist of multiple short modules, while marketing presentations should adhere to a much shorter duration.  If you’re wondering how long your presentation should be, this blog post offers some guidance.  

After a successful 2013 Content Quest City Tour, on my way out of town after our final stop, I ran across a renovated building on which was displayed the marquee of the former Austin Theater: Creativity is Contagious, Pass it On.  As I headed into the sunset, this was the prefect summation of the Content Quest Tour.


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