BLAST OFF TO STELLAR SLIDES - Presentation Masterminds

Learn how to storyboard, design, and deliver amazing presentations in just 8 weeks.



Are you ready to learn how to communicate effectively when using slides?

Then let me tell you all about Blast Off to Stellar Slides!

Blast Off to Stellar Slides! is a course for...

(1) academics, researchers, scientists, evaluators, and similar professionals. (It’s not ideal for corporate folks).

(2) people who use slides (PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, or LibreOffice Impress) to inform or educate other adults. (It’s NOT for sales marketing).

👇 Sound like you? Then KEEP READING:👇

This is not a "slide design for marketing" course. This is for EDUCATORS (academics, evaluators, scientists, etc).

BOSS is an online professional development program that will show you how to design effective:

☑️ Course lectures & guest lectures

☑️ Conference presentations

☑️ Job talks, keynotes, and other high stakes presentations

☑️ Lab or research team presentations

☑️ Community outreach presentations

☑️ Workshops or other group trainings (webinars and in-person)

☑️ Presentations to policymakers and decision makers (including evaluation clients).

☑️ And more!

If you're reading this then I'm guessing you already know the value of designing & delivering a captivating presentation. A presentation that INCREASES the LIKELIHOOD your audience will:

  • Be hooked, and pay attention to you, from start to finish. 👀
  • Totally get what you're saying, in the moment. Enthusiastic head nods and all. 💡
  • Remember what you said. 🧠
  • Change their mind or use the information later on! 🙌

So now it's time to teach you the skills that will FINALLY MAKE THAT HAPPEN.



BOSS is NOT just about making "pretty slides."

BOSS is NOT just a "PowerPoint Tips & Tricks" course.

BOSS is about ending #DeathByPowerpoint and FINALLY communicating effectively when you use slides.

(Using ANY slide software: Powerpoint, Keynote, Google Slides, and Impress)

(And for ANY audience of adults: College/uni/ grad students, academics, scientists, evaluators, policymakers and decision makers, practitioners, community members)

"...elevated communicating my work to a level I didn't know existed."

"Since starting her class, I have gotten at least one compliment after every presentation I have given, on everything from color choice to slide design to content. BOSS is a multi-faceted approach that has elevated communicating my work to a level I didn’t know existed."

- Dr. Ana Maria Porras, Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell University

Here are some examples of what communicating effectively with slides could do for you:

Ask yourself: Are all those happening for you now? 👆 What would it mean to you if they started happening in just a few months?

Here's a quick overview of BOSS

BOSS is a cohort-style online program structured to take you from creating okay slides to oh-MAZING slideshows...in just 8 weeks!

The INDEPENDENT STUDY is the base package and includes over 12 hours of advanced on demand lessons for you to watch as needed, over time. Everyone who enrolls receives:

  • The BOSS core curriculum
  • The Creative Your Visual Database Masterclass
  • The Custom Handouts Workshop
  • A Resource Library
  • Advanced Data Visualization with Ann K. Emery of Depict Data Studio

Upgrade to the PRAXIS PACKAGE for peer support & feedback and support from me in a group setting:

  • Everything mentioned above, PLUS
  • An orientation-style group kickoff call so you can get to know your cohort and set your goals.
  • (4) 60-minute small-group coaching + practice calls so you can practice your new skills with the group!
  • 8 weekly co-working sessions in our private online community.
  • A peer-learning private community.

Upgrade to the MENTORING PACKAGE, for individualized support and training from me:

  • Everything mentioned above, PLUS
  • (3) 90-minute 1:1 sessions with me!
  • 30-minutes of additional email TTA.

"My presentations are far more dynamic and engaging."

If you want to improve your presentation skills, I highly recommend the BOSS course. It is an excellent online course that is well organized, user friendly and practical. It is well worth the investment of your time and money. Since taking the course, my presentations are far more dynamic and engaging. My audiences have offered comments such as “Wow, great presentation,” “Love the visuals,” and “Compelling presentation.” Honestly, it was a fabulous learning experience from beginning to end. Thank you, Echo.

Lesley Allen, Senior Consultant, Allen & Allen Consulting and Research



(every student gets this)



"The self-paced online format made it easy for me to make space in my day"

I found the lesson modules to be well-organized and worth the time it took to do them. The self-paced online format made it easy for me to make space in my day for the lesson. And Echo has been responsive and encouraging in her communications with me.

Gerda Zonruiter, Research and Evaluation Consultant

The core curriculum trains you on my unique effective communication framework, and will help you develop advanced slide-based communication skills.

The core curriculum includes these 6 modules:

(1) Effective Presentation Foundations

Efficiency is critical to helping you avoid overwhelm as you apply the framework. You will start by learning how to use your time more efficiently, plus some key strategies to creating engaging presentations without having to think too much about it.

(2) Choose Your Content & Storyboard Your Presentation

You'll learn how to choose what content to include on your slides, how to organize it, what to leave out, and what level of detail is needed. You'll also learn how to start with a hook and keep your audience paying attention from start to finish.

(3) Declutter Your Slides & Presentation Content

You'll learn how to set up your presentations in ways that don't let your data or info get lost in the clutter or among outdated design elements (like word clouds and clip art).

(4) Design Your Slide Text Effectively

Your slides will still have text, so you'll learn how to have beautifully designed text that doesn't bore or overwhelm your audience. This also includes a primer on information and graphic design principles that will make you look like a design pro.

(5) Choose or Create, and Use, Visuals Effectively

Visuals are magic, and you'll learn how to choose the perfect ones for your unique topic. You'll learn tips for using and/or creating: stock photos, your own photos, gifs, memes, videos, icons, and illustrations/drawings! You'll also learn how to use them correctly, so they resonate. You will also learn how to create your own visuals and gifs using a variety of free or affordable tools.

(6) Present and Design ANY Data Effectively

Learn how to present ANY data effectively using my unique 4-step approach. After you learn the univrsal approach, you'll see before/after makeovers for pie charts, horizontal bar graphs, clustered bar graphs, line graphs, data tables, and stacked bars. Plus, there's a lesson on presenting qualitative data effectively!

"I don't want to be another boring professor who talks at their students"

As a social psychologist, it was so comforting to hear Echo’s methods and perspective explained with psychological theory. She has Reasons! Evidence-based Reasons! Her course modules are laid out in easy steps and with the idea that I could continue making small improvements to always be a little better. As a professor, this is also helpful, because changing all of my lecture slides immediately was a pretty daunting task. I also learned that using awesome, full-slide visuals can convey what I want to say much better than some words can. And this has helped me start to rethink how I provide information via lecture to my students. I don’t want to be another boring professor who talks at their students. I want to be a professor who tells great stories and challenges my students to keep learning and asking questions.

Dr. Kathryn Klement, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Bemidji State University



The BOSS Program includes these 5 bonus trainings & resources:

(1) Create Your Visual Database Masterclass Training

You can't have visual presentations without great visuals. That's why the "Create Your Visual Database Masterclass" workshop is included. You will learn the basics of copyright law (in the United States), ethical image use, how to find the perfect visuals for your unique topic, my favorite FREE stock photo sites, and more!

(2) How to Create a Custom Handout & Infographic 101

As your slides become more visual & engaging, printing all your slides as your handouts becomes less useful. That's why every BOSS student has the bonus do-it-with-me style workshop about how to create a custom handout, FAST. The workshop also includes a mini lesson on creating one- or two-page infographic-style handouts!

(3) Advanced Data Visualization Strategies with Ann K. Emery

The BOSS core curriculum dataviz module teaches you a universal 4-step approach to presenting ANY data effectively. These bonus videos by Ann K. Emery will show you even more examples and provide training on how to present different types of data, like icon arrays, lollipop charts, and more!

(4) RESOURCE LIBRARY: Videos and Articles to Support Your Learning

This library includes extra resources that will supplement your training. These are hand picked articles or videos that will provide you with inspiration, actionable tips, and the latest research on effective or creative research communication.

(5) POWERPOINT & KEYNOTE 101 TRAINING: Extra Tech Training on PowerPoint and Keynote Basics

The BOSS curriculum includes tech training videos that accompany many of the lessons. However, for those who feel a little rusty on their PowerPoint or Keynote skills, you will also have these 101 training videos to help.

"Echo Rivera’s approach is more than powerpoint design, it is about effective teaching and learning."

I have used Echo’s tips in delivering my own dissertation defense. I invited a number of people to my defense, including many undergraduate students and non-academics. I used mostly dataviz tips and broke down a lot of my methodology and analyses step by step. I gave an interactive handout to attendees...Overall, Echo has trained me on how to make research, data, and information more accessible to people of varying interests and educational and professional backgrounds, allowing me to become a better communicator, presenter, and advocate.

Dr. Hirah Mir, Educational Psychologist, New York State Government Administration



"Echo...makes everything easy to understand and backs up her methods with solid evidence."

Echo’s teaching style is fantastic. She makes everything easy to understand and backs up her methods with solid evidence (something that appeals to the researcher in me). The technical skills, workflow and efficiency strategies, and effective communication skills she teaches are invaluable. Enrolling in BOSS was easily one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

Sarah Hellesen, Research Associate

BOSS is NOT just a bunch of random "tips and tricks" videos. This is a step-by-step, guided approach that goes in a logical order.

Trying to learn effective presentation design from books is difficult (at best) because you're reading something static (paper) and then you have to do the extra work to figure out how to apply it to something dynamic (slideshows). That's why every BOSS lesson has a video so you can both learn the content and see it in action.

Plus, each lesson comes with a handout and/or worksheet!

That way you can take notes and use them as a reference later on.

BOSS was made to fit YOUR SCHEDULE.

Most video lessons are about 5-10 minutes each, with some going up to 15-20 minutes.

These aren't 1-hour long lectures: it's broken up so you can easily squeeze this into your schedule! If you stay on schedule (about 2-4 hours per week), you'll be done in 8 weeks. If not, no worries!

There is no monthly fee to continue accessing course material (The Core Curriculum, Bonus Workshops, and Resources). Once your tuition is paid in full, you have access for the life of the course. That means you can take longer than 8 weeks if you want.

BOSS was made to fit YOUR LIFESTYLE.

Again, BOSS is a self-paced online course with no monthly fee (after your tuition is paid in full). That's part of why it will fit into your schedule. It also has some benefits for fitting into your lifestyle.

You'll be enjoying BOSS lessons in the comfort of your own home, which means pants are completely optional. You're welcome.

It also means that if you just "aren't feelin' it" ... then you don't have to watch BOSS. You get to learn on your schedule, and when you're feeling up to it, not on my schedule.

Once you pay your tuition, you've got access to the course material without needing to pay a monthly fee. That means you get to re-watch the videos when you need a refresher. That means you don't have the pressure of trying to remember everything right now and forever.


As if all that wasn't enough to help fit BOSS into your schedule and lifestyle, BOSS is also designed to reduce your overwhelm.

BOSS lessons are released on a drip schedule. You will have INSTANT ACCESS to the key modules you need to get started:

  • The Create Your Visual Database Masterclass
  • The Welcome Module
  • Module 1: Foundations of Effective Presentations

From there, once the cohort begins (when enrollment closes) one new modules or bonus resources will unlock once per week until the entire program is unlocked. In all, it's about 2-4 hours of lessons per week.

"Altering my presentations felt gradual and manageable as we progressed through the modules, but looking back at the end of the course, there was a staggering change!"

The BOSS modules move at a comfortable pace, with small action prompts after each lesson that help consolidate knowledge. The individual lessons are short enough to easily rewatch the occasional one to review content. I started by ignoring the handouts that came with each lesson and just watched the videos, but soon realized that meant I wasn’t really engaging with the content. Once I printed the handouts and had them ready to complete during the videos, and I committed to trying out the actions, learning started to really happen. Altering my presentations felt gradual and manageable as we progressed through the modules, but looking back at the end of the course, there was a staggering change!

Dr. Jennifer de Beyer, Research Coordinator & Publication Specialist



Don't want to do the BOSS program entirely solo?

Want to ask questions, get feedback, and join our peer-learning environment? Want support from me in a group setting?

Then make sure you sign up for the PRAXIS PACKAGE. In addition to the entire BOSS program, you'll get group coaching calls, co-working sessions, and a private community.

That translates to:

  • More accountability to finish the program.
  • Opportunities to practice your new skills in a safe, supportive environment.
  • Less isolation as you go through, and finish, the BOSS program.
  • Additional learning opportunities and resources shared in the community.
  • Opportunities to get feedback from peers on your slide design, storyboard, or related materials (e.g., conference posters, handouts/infographics).
  • Opportunities to get some feedback from me during the group coaching calls or community "office hours/co-working sessions," if they'll benefit the group.



One (1) 60-min video orientation session


Four (4) 60-min video group coaching calls!

"The BOSS VIP (Praxis) option has been an amazing investment."

I'd been dithering over the extra bit of cash, thinking I'd be fine just going through the modules on my own. But the coaching calls and prompts have been incredibly helpful in keeping me accountable...

I’ve particularly loved that the course learning doesn’t stop between cohorts. There are small but growing communities on the private BOSS group. Whenever a presentation issue or new experience pops up, we can chat it through and keep asking questions. It’s also really fun to be able to share new slide designs or good experiences!

Dr. Jennifer de Beyer, Research Coordinator & Publication Specialist


During the first official week of the new cohort, I will host an orientation call so we can all get to know each other. Each student will also set their goals for the program, and I'll share some tips and strategies to help you achieve your goals. I will also show you how to use the course platform and the private community.

These calls take place on Zoom and everyone is invited to share their video and mic, so we can all chat with each other.


The focus of each group coaching call is set by the needs and interests of students on the call. They tend to be a combination of training, mentoring, coaching, and practice opportunities.

These calls take place on Zoom and everyone is invited to share their video and mic, so we can all chat with each other. We typically begin with an open Q&A session, and for many questions I encourage other students to answer and provide feedback. This allows you to both learn from and help your peers. Of course, I also share my suggestions and recommendations!

After the Q&A session, we use the remaining time for hands on activities. For example, a popular activity is when students share their slides about a week before the call. Then, another BOSS student does a slide makeover of them and reveal it during the call. This has been a student favorite, with two students even writing a blog post about the experience!

We have also used this time for me to do live edits to students' slides during the call, to build our visual database together, or I've used it to show "behind-the-scenes" ways I've done some of my more advanced animations.

Important: We do about 9-10 calls per year. It's about once per month, except for a break around the holidays.


"As part of the Praxis package, Echo also offered live video chats (coaching sessions). Thus far I have participated in four of these, each proving invaluable. I was able to see and hear other BOSS students as we progressed through the course. We celebrated, commiserated, and assisted each other with the steady guidance of Echo."

Becky Miller McGrath MS, Assistant Professor



Eight (8) 60-min co-working sessions/office hours


A private peer-learning online community!


Praxis (and Mentoring) students also gain access to a private online community for peer learning, support, and feedback. This is a place for students to share what they're working on, tech or design tips to help others, and more.

The community remains open between cohorts so students can continue to network and help each other with their presentations (or related materials, like conference posters).

The private online community takes place on Slack. It's moderated by me and has a code of conduct that does not allow harassment, bullying, or other harmful behaviors.

I'm also, of course, as active in the group as I can be. For example, I'm presenting a webinar this month (May 2019) to share the results of an evaluation project I recently finished, and will be showing behind-the-scenes of creating it from start to finish! This is my first post about it, from May 2, 2019 (image is blurred out as to not give away any secrets 😉).


Co-working sessions promote accountability and reduce isolation. During each active cohort, I host weekly 60-minute online co-working sessions in the private community (so, that's usually 8 weekly sessions for each cohort).

Plus, these work like online "office hours" with me: they double as a dedicated hour that I'm on Slack and available to answer your questions.

Important: There is no monthly fee for staying in the private community, and no monthly fee for joining the co-working sessions with future cohorts!

"I'm really really glad I went with the [Praxis] version of BOSS..."

I'm really really glad I went with the [Praxis] version of BOSS because it's really helped me with getting feedback from the folks or through office hours. It's an awesome, welcoming, safe space. If I have a question about whether my visual makes sense, or my storyboard flows well, I can post that to the group, and I’ll get several constructive responses. Being a part of the BOSS community has helped me create and deliver a kickass job talk, several conference talks, and everyday lectures. I also love seeing what my fellow BOSS students are doing. Seeing their work helps to ignite my own creativity, and I like being able to give encouragement and constructive feedback to them, too."

Dr. Kathryn Klement, Assistant Professor



“Yes, I learned several critical skills to create effective presentations, but what means even more to me than tangible skills is the confidence I gained as a presenter!”

I am an undergrad of the mid 90’s who stumbled into the world of Powerpoint without any formal instruction. I spent my career as a diabetes educator inheriting mediocre slides from predecessors and colleagues while convincing myself that my slides were “fine” and my good oral presentation skills would just make up for my not-so-stellar visuals. Fast forward to my PhD program…I started giving research presentations and teaching courses…and this is when I started to feel that my lack of effective and engaging visuals was affecting my confidence as a presenter and teacher. Instead of taking action, I quickly brushed those feelings aside with excuses…”too busy”, “too much work”,”too hard to learn”, etc. It took landing my first academic interview and job talk to really get honest with myself and admit that I needed help…and fast! Enter…Echo Rivera! I can’t begin to describe how relieved I was to discover Echo and tap into her services to coach me through my job talk presentation. I am now a proud graduate of several of Echo’s programs as well as her 1:1 private coaching. Yes, I learned several critical skills to create effective presentations, but what means even more to me than tangible skills is the confidence I gained as a presenter! And…I got the job!

Amy Morel L’Horset, University Lecturer



Everything in the Praxis Package

** AND **

Three (3) 90-min 1:1 sessions with me

** AND **
30 minutes of follow-up help via email!

Want individualized help with your presentation or presentations?

Want to ask me tons of questions or get detailed feedback about your unique presentation/s? Want me to edit your slides?

Then make sure you sign up for the MENTORING PACKAGE. In addition to the entire BOSS program AND everything in the PRAXIS PACKAGE, you'll get 90-minute 1:1 sessions with me.

What our 1:1 sessions will be like:

(1) We meet up on Zoom and you set the goals for the meeting,

(2) I'll design/re-design your slides while training, mentoring, and/or coaching you on why I'm making these changes,

(3) you respond with questions, concerns, or new ideas, and

(4) repeat until the time is up!

(5) I send your revised slides back to you.

(6) Within 24-48 business hours, I send a link to the replay so you can download it for your records.

We can work on anything related to presentations--which includes things like conference posters and handouts. Here are just some of the things we might talk about, but it's all directed by YOU and YOUR GOALS:

(1) Strategizing your content, storyboard, or organization.

(2) Decluttering and removing all elements that are getting in your way.

(3) Improving your text design.

(4) Improving the visuals you find, use, and/or create.

(5) Designing quality data visualizations (quant and qual) and telling a data story.

(6) Creating unique & advanced animation builds that help your audience focus.

Note: These sessions are not available to folks who use Prezi, and live edits to your slides are only guaranteed for PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides, and Impress.

“She…helped me storyboard my entire presentation and overall took the presentation a few levels higher than I thought my presentation could even go!”

I reached out to Echo about helping me out with my teaching demonstration presentation for a job talk interview for an assistant professor position. I felt decent about my slides but really wanted help in taking it to the next level… and boy did Echo deliver! She helped me really solidify a strong introduction that shifted focus from me to my audience, helped me storyboard my entire presentation, and overall took the presentation a few levels higher than I thought my presentation could even go! I ended up feeling much more confident about my presentation and, as a result, ended up doing a great presentation and getting a job offer! I will definitely be reaching out to Echo again in the future for any of my presentation needs.

Dana Linnell Wanzer, Evaluation consultant and Graduate Student // danawanzer.com // Note: Dana is a 1:1 session client and not a BOSS student





Tuition is for an individual license only. Account information cannot be shared with others. In addition, all BOSS lessons and materials are covered under copyright and cannot be used to train others. If you're interested in group or custom packages, or want an option that will build your team/organizational capacity, email me at echo@echorivera.com .



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Here is the 8-week drip schedule for BOSS course material, which is about 2-4 hours per week. But remember: it's a self-paced course and you can create your own schedule that works best for you!

This schedule also includes when Praxis events (optional package upgrade) will take place for this cohort. However, these times are subject to change based on group availability. All live Praxis events will take place during 9am-5pm US Mountain Time.

Instant Access (when you enroll) / Cohort begins (Week 1) May 28, 2019

Welcome Module
Module 1: Effective Presentation Foundations
BONUS WORKSHOP: Create Your Visual Database
BONUS MATERIAL: Resource Library
BONUS RESOURCE: PowerPoint and Keynote 101 Training Videos
Praxis // Welcome orientation, Wed May 29th @ 12pm Mountain Time
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Fri May 31 @ 1pm Mountain Time

[Week 2] June 3

Module 2: Storyboarding Basics
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Weds June 5 @ 12pm Mountain Time

[Week 3] June 10

Module 3: Decluttering
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Wed June 12 @ 12pm Mountain Time

[Week 4] June 17

Module 4: Effective Text Design
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Tues June 18 @ 12pm Mountain Time
Praxis // Group coaching call, Weds June 19 @ 12pm Mountain Time

[Week 5] June 24

Module 5: Effective Visuals
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Weds June 26 @ 12pm Mountain Time

[Week 6] July 1

Module 6: Presenting Data Effectively
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Tues July 2 @ 12pm Mountain Time

[Week 7] July 8

BONUS TRAINING: Data Visualization with Ann K. Emery
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Weds July 10 @ 1pm Mountain Time

[Week 8] July 15

BONUS WORKSHOP: Create Your Custom Handout/Infographic
Praxis // Online co-working session + office hours, Tues July 16 @ 12pm Mountain Time
Praxis // Group coaching call, Weds July 17 @ 12pm Mountain Time


Praxis // Group coaching call, August 2019
Praxis // Group coaching call, September 2019



"Public speaking isn't torture anymore"

A big part of my job is speaking to groups—presenting research at national conferences, conducting in-person trainings, and leading webinars. Until recently, though, my mindset toward public speaking was always "Ok, let’s just get this over with." I work in public health, and I’m very passionate about improving people’s lives, but every presentation I had was its own special kind of torture. I would stammer my way through a boring, info-heavy slide deck and watch my audience visibly lose interest, then sit back down feeling defeated and disappointed in myself for not being able to do justice to what I feel is a very important topic.

BOSS changed ALL OF THAT. I started digging around for PowerPoint tips after not being able to stand the thought of yet another awful conference session, and enrolled in BOSS thinking, "Hey, maybe I can learn how to make my slides better so that people pay attention!" And I definitely did learn how to do that. What I didn’t expect was the incredible effect the course would have on me as a presenter. Public speaking isn’t torture anymore—it’s becoming one of my favorite parts of the job. I’m excited to share my work, and I feel like I’m finally doing it justice.

And I don’t think I’m imagining that my audiences are much more engaged now. I recently spoke at a statewide conference, and one audience member enjoyed it so much that she requested I come do the same session for her local agency!

Sarah Hellesen, Research Associate

Want evidence that this program works? Check out these reviews & blog posts written by BOSS students:

And as a quick reminder...

"According to my boss, I have also set a new standard for presentation design in the organization."

Dr. Hirah Mir, Educational Psychologist, New York State Government Administration

Your Instructor

Echo Rivera, PhD
Echo Rivera, PhD

You need to make a lasting impact when you present your research and educational information--not hit a dead end with overwhelmed or distracted audiences. I'm here to help you transform your approach to slide-based presentations, so you can make the type of impact you want. My PhD is in community psychology and I have over 12 years of research & evaluation experience. I've tested these strategies on multiple audiences--college students, service providers, non-researchers, academics, scientists, and policymakers--so I know they work across settings. I've led conference workshops on these ideas since 2014, and I'm now bringing the strategies straight to you with my online courses.



"Most surprisingly, the class unleashed a creative energy within me I didn't know was suppressed."

As an interdisciplinary scholar I truly appreciate how Echo blends together different areas of study and expertise to craft a creatively engaging course. Most surprisingly, the class unleashed a creative energy within me I didn’t know was suppressed. In addition to making the visual components of my presentations more effective, Echo’s course ultimately changed my life. Echo’s class enabled me to embrace my artist self, I’ve integrated drawing and comics into my life and presentations in ways I never imagined before, and know with her guidance and support I will continue to make meaningful graphics for much more impactful presentations for the rest of my life.

Dr. Kandace Creel Falcón, Associate Professor

When you enroll, you will have INSTANT ACCESS to the key modules you need to get started and see what you think of BOSS:

  • The Create Your Visual Database Masterclass
  • The Welcome Module
  • Module 1: Foundations of Effective Presentations

If you aren't thrilled with BOSS, simply email me within 14 days of your enrollment to receive a FULL refund. No hassle, no questions asked (except maybe what I could have done better!).

Want to stay updated about BOSS enrollment for 2019 (or in the future?) Want presentation tips and other exclusive professional development invites? Join the Communication Café (it's free):

Join the BOSS 2019 list + Get the Communication Café newsletter!

...for event invites & resources about effective & creative communication delivered to your inbox :)

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Tuition is for an individual license only. Account information cannot be shared with others. In addition, all BOSS lessons and materials are covered under copyright and cannot be used to train others. If you're interested in group or custom packages, or want an option that will build your team/organizational capacity, email me at echo@echorivera.com .

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
Anytime, really! It's a self-paced online course. Once you enroll, you'll have instant access to the first set of lessons, and more will unlock every week until they're all unlocked. However, it is a self-paced course and you can start whenever you want and take the course on your own schedule.
How long do I have access to the course?
You will have access to this course (and future updates to the core material) for as long as this course is online. Whoo hoo! That's as close to "lifetime access" as I can guarantee. I LOVE running this course and it's been around since May 2017. I fully expect that I'll be doing this for at least another year, so you can assume at least 12-months of access, but it will more likely be years and years :)
Can't I just learn presentation skills by taking your free courses, reading your blog, or watching your YouTube channel?
My free material is less than 5% of what's waiting for you in this course. The content I create for the public will always be limited to the very basics. The purpose of my free resources is to get you excited about presentation training and to give you an opportunity to see if you like my style. Once you have those two things, then it's time to take the next step and invest in formal training with me :)
Ok fine...Can't I just find this info online or figure out other ways to train myself, like buying books?
Soooooo here's the thing. That's pretty much what I did and how I got to this point. Wanna know how long it took me? 10 years! So, "can" you? Probably. But if you already feel short on time, then why would you? Because the DIY route, and the route to try reading about presentations and applying that to your actual slides...well that's going to take you TONS of time (and a lot will be wasted on trial and error). Simply put: this course is the shortcut and the only way to guarantee that (1) you don't waste ANY time, at all and (2) you actually learn what you need to design effective presentations.
What makes this course unique?
(1) This is a course for people who share information to educate or train other adults. Our titles may vary: academic, scientist, evaluator, practitioner, researcher etc...but our goals are the same: use slides to inform and educate. A lot of presentation design resources are created by corporate or tech folks. I've had to do a lot of translation to take their tips and apply it to research, evaluation, and teaching. This is NOT a course on using slides for marketing. It's about communicating effectively when you need to use slides. (2) This course teaches you a problem-solving framework -- it's not just a bunch of scattered videos, leaving you to still figure out how to apply it all together. This means you're going to learn more than just data visualization -- it's about your presentation as a whole, so that your presentation is fantastic from START to FINISH. (3) This course is delivered through short videos so you can see the principles in action. Trying to learn from books only gets you so far because you still have to figure out how to apply written, static information from a book to dynamic, visual presentations. This course is for people who want to SEE the lessons in action.
Who is this course for?
This is a course for people who share information to educate or train other adults. Our titles may vary: academic, scientist, evaluator, practitioner, researcher etc...but our goals are the same: use slides to inform and educate. This course was not made for folks in corporate. Also, this course content was made with gender and sexual minorities in mind. What does that mean, exactly? It means that I am constantly striving to create materials that are empowering, non-shaming, and free of microaggressions. No need to worry about a casual "joke" that puts women down, sounds TERFy, or reinforces stereotypes of people of color. It also means I have REALLY STRICT policies for my community (NO harassment, Tr*mp support, denial of gender/racial bias, mansplaining, TERFs, whitesplaining, racism, sexism, nazis, etc). If you are cool with those policies, I'm cool with you :D
Can I take BOSS and then use the information to help train others at my organization, my students, clients we work with, etc?
BOSS is for you and you only. It's so that YOU can learn strategies to make your presentations more compelling and effective. The training materials are copyrighted and cannot be shared or used to create trainings or educate others who are not enrolled in the course. Good news, though! If you are interested in organizational capacity (group) training, I have a 3-part workshop series that I know your group will love. Email me at echo@echorivera.com for more details.
I'm part of an organization. Can just one of us sign up for BOSS and share the login information?
Not by default. BOSS is for you and you only. It's so that you can learn strategies to make your presentations more compelling and effective. The training materials are copyrighted and cannot be shared, so you cannot share your login with anyone, even at your organization. Good news, though! If you are interested in organizational capacity (group) training, I offer bulk enrollment into BOSS. I also have a 3-part workshop series that I know your group will love. Email me at echo@echorivera.com for more details.
How do I know if your teaching style and/or this course is right for me?
Be sure to check out #StellarSlidesin5 because you'll get a sense of my teaching style, but also some things to consider before taking an advanced course like this.
What presentation software do I need to use? Is this just for PowerPoint?
Effective presentations can be made using ANY basic slide software. I recommend PowerPoint (Office 365) or Keynote (Apple), but you can use LibreOffice Impress or Google Slides, too. I do not train on Prezi (because I don't recommend that you use Prezi). Course material comes in two categories: (1) content and (2) tech training. The content is software-neutral and will work for any basic slide software. Very few of the strategies require anything beyond basic tech skills and, those that do, come with a tech training video to walk you through it, in PowerPoint. Plus, the course comes with a bonus set of PowerPoint and Keynote 101 training videos.
I've already been using PowerPoint for years, can this course really make a difference in my presentations?
YES! Effective presentations are MUCH more than just technical tricks or slide design skills. They are NOT interchangeable. This is a course about how to effectively communicate and educate others, when you happen to be using slides. That's not something PowerPoint features can teach you, or do for you.
What if I have questions about my specific presentation?
If you enroll in the Praxis Package, then you'll have the chance to get feedback from other students (who continue to impress me with how well they've been able to apply BOSS lessons!) and have your questions answered in a group setting. If you want 1:1 help -- or your question is so specific that it wouldn't be helpful in a group setting -- then enroll in the Mentoring Package (which includes 3 90-minute sessions with me) or, in the future, you can sign up for a single 1:1 session with me at any time.
Do I already need to have advanced PowerPoint skills?
Nope! Chances are, if you're an academic (including grad students!), scientist, evaluator, and researcher then you already have plenty of experience to be successful in this program. If you've never used slide software before, or it's been 5-10 years since you have, then this course is likely too advanced. But if you've been using it at least a few times/year -- even for really basic slides -- then you'll be just fine :)
What if I am unhappy with the course?
I certainly hope that is never the case! But, if you are unsatisfied with your purchase, email me within the first 14 days of your purchase for a full refund--no questions asked.
Is it worth it to enroll in the Praxis package? What value does that add above the independent study option?
Be sure to check out the reviews from current Praxis/Mentoring students about the value of our online community and the group coaching calls, so you can hear it from them :) Here's the value add in a nutshell: BOSS is based on years of experience and learning, but is still only 12-15 hours (or so) long. That means it's the shortcut and includes the most generalizable & widely applicable strategies I've tested and found to work. If you watch a video and aren't 100% sure how it applies to YOUR unique topic, it will be valuable to have a community to share your slides with and get feedback on how well you applied the strategy. Or, you can ask me directly during a group call! Having your questions answered not only helps you in a practical sense, but it also brings you added confidence that your slides are effective. PLUS, the group coaching calls have been referred to as "invaluable" by BOSS students because it's a chance to ask me questions directly and we often do activities together: slide makeovers, building our visual database, etc. Opportunities to practice your skills in a community while learning new material not in the pre-recorded videos is valuable for many students.
Is it worth it to enroll in the Mentoring package? What value does that add above the Independent Study or Praxis option?
Mentoring students have everything included in the Praxis option, so you still get the community and the group coaching calls. The value add for this package is that you get 3 intense (90-minutes) of 1:1 calls with me + help via email feedback. This option is not for everyone, and is ideal for people who have a high stakes presentation coming up (e.g., job talk, defense, workshop, keynote) or really want intense accountability and a lot of extra support from me. Chances are, you already know if you're that person :) This is also for people who want me to do some design work to their slides, because during the 1:1 sessions I do live edits to your slides and then send you back whatever I did. In other words, this is for people who want a lot of tailored, customized, individualized attention and help.