World's Best Powerpoint Presentations

Some people would say “Best” and “Powerpoint Presentation” are oxymoronic in combination.  But I disagree.  Powerpoint and its digital slideshow ilk (e.g. Keynote) are a relatively new medium, and it is the job of the slideshow creator and the presenter to make the presentation kick ass.  Al Gore proved this point with his slideshow that was so compelling that it was turned into an Oscar-winning movie.  One could argue that his was more about the presenter than the slideshow, but there are examples of amazing stand-alone slideshows, like this one:

The medium is just starting to come into its own, and what I really like is when the slideshow and the presenter work together to make a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts.  Larry Lessig delivered such a talk.  And this one by Siegfried Woldhek on the true face of Leonardo da Vinci might blow you away.   If so, you should also go here and search for past talks by Rives and talks by Ze Frank.  Upcoming, look out for one by Amy Tan and one by Rives.

So, what are your favorite slideshow presentations, either speakerless or presented by a speaker?

  • joe

    overall, i love the PPT style that includes lots of nice, hi-res images, limited text, and strong emotional thru line.

    i wanted the ShiftHappens deck to portray more multivariate interactions, rather than a lot of numbers with implied relationships.

    as a couterpoint, it’s probably also good to present data but not necessarily draw the conclusions too forcibly, since, if people feel as though they are finding the conclusions themselves, they feel more ownership and passion for them.