• open panel

Kelly Vandever’s Top 3 Favorite Presentations of 2011


We all know what happens in December, right?  The “LISTS” come out.  I don’t mean Santa’s lists of naughty and nice.  But the media generated lists of the “Best of 2011.”


I thought I’d come up with my own list “Best Presentations of 2011.”


Now of course I’ve not seen all the presentations there were to see in 2011!  So the caveat will have to be that these are the “Top 3 Best Presentations of 2011 – that Kelly Vandever Has Seen.”  I’ve included links so you can see that particular speaker doing that speech.  I’ll also add what I liked about it that you and I can use in our future presentations!


Notice one other thing too.  None of these speakers were “perfect.”  You can find places where they misspoke or a habit that may annoy you.  But I think, the best presentations come from the heart.  And these all did.


So here we go…



Gary Vaynerchuk – The Thank You Economy

Digital Summit – Atlanta, Georgia



Gary is passionate about his message.  He’s strongly opinionated and doesn’t hold back.  He’s frank about the Social Media – and personally I loved the message so maybe that makes me prejudice.


He uses personal stories and humor that Gary makes relatable to the audience, regardless of background.  (If you know me and you know my laugh, you’ll hear me; I was at one of the front tables.)  He speaks as if he’s having a conversation not “giving a speech.”  The time flew by.  He gave specifics and build his credibility but without being obnoxious (or at least not so much so that you wanted to stop listening).


Caution – I was once a sailor and while I’ve pretty much given it up now, I used to curse like a sailor.  Gary hasn’t given cursing up.  So if you get offended by cursing, you won’t want to listen to this message.


The presentation was broken into three parts when posted on YouTube so the videos below are all part of the same speech.


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3



Steve Jobs – Apple Keynote Address

WWDC 2011, San Francisco, California


I wrote a blog post after called How Apple Caught my Attention for Two Hours at #WWDC.  In that post I wrote…


When I saw Steve Jobs, I thought (1) he’s gotten so skinny, I hope his health is OK.  And (2) as a presentation coach, I really should watch the presentation so I know what folks will be saying about Steve and Apple’s latest speech.


I’m glad I watched the video of his speech.  I’m sorry that we lost Steve this year.


What Steve always did well in his speeches was, he spoke with passion – you just knew he really believed in Apple’s products and what they were doing.  His slides showed simple, beautiful graphics, that complimented his presentation, making his message easier to understand.  Steve used humor and including self-effacing, vulnerability-based humor.  He was relatable about what it was like trying to keep things synced on devises, something that those who use his products had experienced themselves.  Steve used a key phrase “It Just Works” throughout his presentation to reinforce his message.  And he used the magic of threes — introducing pieces of information in chunks of three at a time, making the information more easily digestible.  Lessons that we can all learn from Steve Jobs.


Here’s the link to Steve Jobs’ portion of his speech at Apple WWDC.



Michael Ouweleen – The Day I Became Funny





Michael tells a powerful story, much of which he delivered with humor while we as the audience didn’t laugh because we were horrified by the tragedy within the story.  Yet as I reflected over my favorite presentations this years, I remember Michael’s speech and the way it made me feel.  It was uncomfortable, yes.  But it had an impact.  So I’ve included him on my list.


Here’s what I wrote about his presentation the day after the event.


Michael Ouweleen – His speech perhaps gave me the most laugher and yet at the same time rattled my cage more than any of the other speakers.  His delivery of course was brilliant – but when I think about the messages of the day, I almost can’t touch his, yet it seemed to linger with me the most.  Throughout his speech, just when I thought I knew where he was going – bamo – off he went and I was disturbed – but in a good way.  When a speaker can twist up my reality, I appreciated being disturbed.  I’d have to say he was my favorite of the day.


Caution – Fewer swear words than in Gary’s presentation, but one or two so you know.


Here’s the link to Michael’s speech.




There were tons of other great presentations this year.  Presentations of clients.  Others at some of the events mentioned above.  Dare I say, some of my own presentations.  So I ask you…


What Were Your Favorite Presentations of the Year?


Tell us about the presentation, what you liked about it and give us a link if you have one!


Thanks and here’s to even more great presentations in 2012!!!