The best presentation you ever saw.
August 26, 2010 1:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of great presentations, including visuals (PowerPoint or otherwise). I've been browsing and keep finding inspiring speeches but not necessarily examples of great supplemental visuals. I'm sure there are examples there and elsewhere. YouTube links or otherwise would be great.

I work at a university and we are revising an information session presentation we give monthly, if not weekly to prospective students. We would like to drastically change the presentation from the typical bullet-points and clip-art to something much more intriguing.

I'd like to show my colleagues some examples of where we can go. I don't need presentation advice, just examples.
posted by pithy comment to Education (15 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Anything by Lawrence Lessig. This presentation on copyright happens to be a TED talk, but you'll find that he uses the same style no matter where he's speaking.

I love the rapid-fire slides and polished presentation that force you to listen to his words. I don't have to choose between reading the slide and listening to him, because they're used to complement each other.
posted by chrisamiller at 1:08 PM on August 26, 2010

I'm fond of Wolfram's presentation style; the words coming out of his mouth are the focus of attention and the (often impressive) visuals serve only to emphasize and illustrate them. I think this is something you'll find common in those who have managed to avoid the stifling cognitive style of powerpoint: the visuals cannot stand on their own, they are only one element of the presentation.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:17 PM on August 26, 2010

Hans Rosling. Again, on TED.

He makes statistics dazzling. I had the pleasure of seeing him talk a couple of weeks ago, talk was amazing, graphics were brilliant, a truly engaging talk.
posted by wingless_angel at 1:49 PM on August 26, 2010

I've been very much enjoying the animated talks developed for the RSA. Especially good is David Harvey's talk, The Crises of Capitalism (Animated), and Daniel Pink's lecture, The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Animated).
posted by Enekk at 2:16 PM on August 26, 2010


Ok, just kidding, but this is such an awfsome presentation, just had to share.

Awfsome = awful + awesome. Know it, love it, use it!
posted by platinum at 2:17 PM on August 26, 2010 is my favourite - beats death by PowerPoint everytime (speaking from the vantage point of a jaded academic;)
posted by coffee_monster at 2:20 PM on August 26, 2010

I also came in here to suggest Hans Rosling.
posted by anderjen at 2:46 PM on August 26, 2010

Well, I suppose it's obvious but Steve Jobs.
posted by mattholomew at 2:48 PM on August 26, 2010

Similar to Lessig's style and also funny, though the content is a little dated: Dick Hardt on identity
posted by rouftop at 2:55 PM on August 26, 2010

MeFi's own Joey DeVilla walks you through his visual heavy, bullet-unfriendly presentation "Better Living Through Blogging" here. You can view it HUGE with notes or download it here.
posted by maudlin at 3:16 PM on August 26, 2010

Two PowerPoint-y ones. Though the presentor steals the show. Not sure if they are available online:
Al Gore's - An Inconvinent Truth,
Dave Gorman - Are you Dave Gorman.
posted by 92_elements at 3:48 PM on August 26, 2010

As a presentation after-the-fact, someone took Lessig's talk on copyright and shoved it into a flash presentation where the text is emphasized. I have loved this ever since I first saw it - I find it a powerful method to emphasize a talk. I will admit I am not sure I could watch many of these in this fashion.

I have to Nth the RSA talks but the level of work makes them one-off specials.
posted by fluffycreature at 5:29 PM on August 26, 2010

Presentation Zen is a blog about presentations (it covers the style, delivery, and visuals rather than the content) that should have some good examples of what you're after as well as some links to resources with more good information.

In particular the author, Garr Reynolds, has some great tips with examples on his personal website here.
posted by VTX at 6:02 PM on August 26, 2010

Lots of the above references are great. That said, the single most impressive presentation I've ever seen was given by Scott McCloud at UXWeek 2009. It was continuous, rapid, and often illustrated & animated imagery illustrating the concepts flowing out of his mouth, not offering any reading material unless deliberate text. I've found one from him at TED 2005 that's pretty good, but not as engrossing as the uxweek one.
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 11:50 PM on August 26, 2010

Note And Point is a collection of very pretty presentations. Can't vouch for the content of each one, but they do look great.
posted by harriet vane at 3:30 AM on August 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

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