3 of the greatest presentations of all time to inspire your own [+ best practice advice]

Alice Taylor Oct 27, 2021 9:19:11 AM

Presentations are a powerful way to share ideas and communicate messages clearly and effectively. Whether it’s explaining something ground-breaking, entertaining a crowd, persuading people to buy into your idea, or just introducing yourself, presentations can make a real impact and leave your audience wanting more.

We’ve put together 3 of the greatest presentations of all time to offer you some inspiration along with ideas on how to get your audience hyped about your content.

1. How Google Works


'How Google Works' is a book written by Eric Schmidt, former CEO and Executive Chairman at Google, that shares the lessons learned from running Google over the course of a decade. This 54-slide visual preview gives insights into the book and presents the information in a simple yet engaging way (even without a live speaker). 

It reveals some of the best and most creative methods of repurposing hard copy content and presenting it effectively, using short paragraphs of text, a comic book style storyline, and simple outline illustrations. The presentation turns focus on the viewer by using phrases like “how do you do that?”, “plan your culture early”, and “don’t base your venture on a plan”. Using this phrasing makes the presentation more personal and memorable.

2. 22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling


Pixar’s ‘22 Rules to Phenomenal Storytelling’ has inspired writers and creatives all over the world with its mixed media approach of formal text and cheery illustrations. Originally presented by Emma Coats, a former Pixar Colleague, the presentation was created from 22 tweets she posted outlining the “rules” of successful storytelling. The tweets got so much traction that they were later transformed into this engaging presentation where each rule is shown individually with pixar graphics. 

This presentation is another great example of using existing content to re-engage audiences through a different format.The bold colors, silhouetted images and large font ensures each point is remembered - tapping into the influence of color on memory performance. Color is believed to be the most important visual experience to human beings and has been found to play a significant role in enhancing memory.

3. SMOKE – The Convenient Truth


‘Smoke, The Convenient Truth’ is an award-winning presentation from 2010 that highlighted statistics from the cigarette industry and how it affects the world. With it’s passionate purpose and active message, it became first place winner of the World’s Best Presentation Contest, so we had to include it in our top 3…

The presentation highlights real, yet mind-blowing, statistics about smoking and forcefully criticizes the cigarette industry. Unsurprisingly, the overall message reached millions of people, inspiring and supporting anti-smoking campaigns throughout the world. Each statistic is presented in big, bold text on each slide to highlight the importance of the message, accompanied by powerful visuals.

Presentation best practice

Whether you’re creating a sales presentation, showcasing event content, or sharing your travel video with your family, you’ll want to entice your audience and keep them engaged throughout your presentation, so here are our top tips to do just that. If it’s public speaking you want to brush up on, check out our 10 tips to help you WOW your audience.

Tell a story

Humans are programmed to respond to stories. They help us pay attention, remember key information and visualize the content to match our own needs. Just like Eric Schmidt’s ‘How Google Works’, putting the customer in the centre of the story will make your audience excited about your ideas and turn potentially boring information into through-provoking content that keeps them talking.

Add videos and music

Long presentations may lead to your audience zoning out, and if your story isn’t strong enough you’ll get glazed eyes staring back at you adding that extra pressure. Inserting a video into your slides will break up the text and reinvigorate your viewers. This could be a video clip from a recognizable show that illustrates your point or an animation to summarize what you’ve talked about so far.

Want to go to the next level? Add in some music! Music has the power to shift and enhance moods in your audience before, after, or even during your presentation. If you’re presenting digitally, you could use a backing track as you wait for your audience to join the session. If you’re presenting in person, it will give the room a buzz and make waiting for the presentation to start a little less awkward.

End on a meaningful note

You want your audience to leave having learned something valuable to ensure they remember your presentation, and most importantly, your brand. This could look like a meaningful quote that emphasizes your topic, or even a closing story to sum up the information you’ve shared to strengthen that all-important emotional connection.

Don't forget to include a strong call-to-action (CTA). If you’re presenting for your business, the purpose of your presentation will be to inspire the audience to take action, whether that’s sales, signups, or requesting a callback. Let the audience know what to do once you’ve wrapped up your content either by including a CTA like “begin your journey” or “join the fight” in your slide text, or, if it’s a digital presentation, you could share an easy-to-read link in the comments section for the viewers to click straight away.

Repurpose your content

If our top three presentations taught us anything it’s that sharing your slides is the key to amplifying your message and encouraging your audience to shout about your content months after the first release. This could look like sharing your slides to social media, along with a recording of your presentation, or linking to an audio file to listen along to.

According to Insivia, viewers retain 95% of a message when they see it in a video, but only 10% if they have to read on-screen text. Using a tool like VideoScribe or professional video creators like Sparkol Studio, you could repurpose your presentation in a whiteboard animation to share as a follow-up. This could look like one engaging animation, or you could break it down into short biteable sizes to tease statistics to your audience over time.

To discover what amazing videos Sparkol Studio can create for you, get in touch with our team now 👇

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