5 Influential Presentations that Captured Audiences Worldwide


Influential presentations are inspirational and memorable, and they evoke emotion. However, their biggest achievement is that they influence their audience. They influence them to either try something new; or change their minds, their attitude and even their lives.

With this in mind, we’d like to show you five great examples of presentations that have influenced and captured audiences worldwide.

1. Smoke, The Convenient Truth.

About: This presentation powerfully showcases the dangers of smoking. It was created for the purpose of changing people’s lives and calling for more action to support global anti-smoking campaigns. It includes a lot of statistics about the cigarette industry, and it dramatically shows the impact of how smoking directly affects people and the environment worldwide.

Interesting fact: It won first prize in the “World’s Best Presentation Contest.”

Year: 2010
Platform used: PowerPoint
The Standouts for us: It included powerful visuals with only one message included per slide.

2. Steve Jobs Introducing iPhone to the world.

About: We didn’t know it at the time, but when Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs took to the stage to introduce the iPhone, he was about to introduce the world to one of the most game-changing and revolutionary products of all time. Through this product, Apple was established as the leading company in modern technology.

During his famous presentation, Steve Jobs described a futuristic handheld computer that could actually fit in our pockets! In his presentation, he referred to the iPhone as being a combination of the iPod, a revolutionary mobile phone and a breakthrough internet communicator. It’s fair to say that the audience that day was captivated not only by the amazing new product he was launching but also by Steve Jobs’ captivating presentation style.

Interesting fact: Steve Jobs spent two whole days of full-dress rehearsal (that’s right, in his black polo & jeans) before introducing the iPhone to the world.
Year: 2007
Platform used: Keynote
The Standouts for us: Steve Jobs’ presentation style and on-point visuals with minimal text.

3. An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore.

About: In his ongoing crusade to raise international public awareness of global warming, Former Vice President Al Gore gave this famous presentation on climate change during the Climate Reality Project’s annual three-day training in Pittsburgh.

The Climate Reality Project group was founded by Gore after his extremely popular 2006 documentary film called “An Inconvenient Truth” and this presentation was based on that documentary.

Interesting fact: The presentation was 90 minutes long and included around 500 slides, a few of which he added the morning of the actual presentation.

Presentation Created by: Duarte
Year: 2017
Platform used: Keynote
The standouts for us: The use of an abundance of powerful and confronting visuals (which included images of disaster, disease, and drought).

4. Elon Musk’s Mars Announcement.

About: Elon Musk’s presentation to an audience of astrophysicists was an epic one. The slide deck was 90 minutes long and his aim was to showcase and lay out clear plans of how he believed humanity could one day visit Mars. Even though his style of presenting is unique and untraditional, his slide deck and message were one that captured the world’s imagination.

Interesting fact: Musk’s opening sentence to his audience was “What I really want to achieve here is to make Mars seem possible.” 
Year: 2016
Platform used: PowerPoint  
The Standouts for us: The use of videos showcasing futuristic examples enabling audiences to expand their minds to what could be possible.      

5. The First ever PowerPoint Presentation!

About: Forethought Inc.(the creator of PowerPoint) decided that they would include a sample presentation within the first release of PowerPoint 1.0 for Macintosh. The presentation Forethought created was an amusing and fictitious “pitch presentation” in which Christopher Columbus presents his proposed expedition to Queen Isabella.  

Interesting fact: Three months after its launch, Microsoft purchased Forethought Inc for approximately 14 million dollars.
Year: 1987 
Platform used: PowerPoint (of course)
The standouts for us: Its mind blowing to see this pioneering PowerPoint 1.0 presentation today, as it shows just how much the presentation platform has evolved over the decades.


And so, there we have it. Five very different examples of influential presentations. All five have interesting backstories and are captivating for different reasons. We can take inspiration from each one of them and learn from their example.

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