Everyone has experienced it -- from the director of marketing for one of the largest firms in the country, to editors of publications like this one, to the buyer for a haystack factory in Kansas. Everyone has had to sit through a terrible PowerPoint presentation at one point or another.

Enter PowerPoint Live, a three-day conference for end-users of the product. Scheduled for October 12-15 in Tucson AZ, this conference addresses all three aspects of effective presentation-building: proficiency with the tools, clarity of the message, and taste and sensibility with the delivery of that message.

This international convention will include seminars, workshops, hands-on technical support, third-party developers, technology partners, and keynote addresses covering virtually every topic of interest to the software community. the conference will showcase world-renowned experts and artists who turn to PowerPoint to create professional presentations. "My staff reads like a who's who of PowerPoint authors and experts," says host Rick Altman, graphic expert and conference organizer of 14 years. "All I have to do to make this event a success is get out of the way."

The core of the conference team is comprised of members of Microsoft's Most Valued Professional team of volunteers, including Brian Reilly, Echo Swinford, Geetesh Bajaj, Sonia Coleman, and Steve Rindsberg. Also presenting are Nancy Duarte, whose client list includes dozens of the largest Silicon Valley firms, and Cliff Atkinson, president of Sociable Media Presentations.

Highlights of the event will include:

*Three concurrent tracks of presentations, focusing on more efficient and effective use of the software in all aspects.

*The Help Center, open all day every day, for immediate hands-on help with any problem or issue that patrons have.

*One of the first public showings of the next version of PowerPoint.

*Technology showcase for third-party partners and vendors.

*Breakfast each morning and lunch on two of the three days, included in the conference fee.

*Evening social functions, generous prize drawings, and an inescapable atmosphere of bonding among fellow users.

The registration fee of $795 covers all of the above features. For complete information about the event, visit www.pptlive.com or call conference headquarters at 925.398.6210. PowerPoint Live, 1423 Harvest Road, Pleasanton, CA 94566.