The Microsoft 2019 video, good presentation skills, and NASA junkie Kevin Schofield speaks at Convergence

Today I saw that NASA junkie Kevin Schofield, GM at Microsoft Research, spoke at Convergence 2009 this week and showed the now infamous view from MSR of the future in 2019 video…

“So let me bring this close to home because, you know, this is kind of ethereal a little bit. And we talked about exploration, we talked about science, a lot about science. Talked a little bit about how this applies to how we live and work.

“I actually look at this and say this has a lot of application to how we live and work. And, you know, we really need to think harder about that. In fact, within Microsoft, the Microsoft Business Division, Dynamics is part of that, has really been thinking about what the next generation of business productivity looks like. Not just Office productivity, but business productivity as a whole.

“And in fact, they asked us at Microsoft Research to work with them to put together some scenarios about what this would look like ten years from now, in the year 2019. And we worked with them and put together a video, just a few minutes long, really sort of exploring what those scenarios would look like.”.

To view the video, you can view it from Stephen Elop’s speech and fast forward to the 15:00 mark and available here (tip of the hat to Steve Clayton):

<a href=”” target=”_new” title=”Future Vision Montage”>Video: Future Vision Montage</a>


As Steve Clayton noted in his post

Predicting the future of technology is notoriously hard – but it didn’t stop our Business Division from coming up with a montage of how technology could be playing an even greater part in our lives in 2019. It was shown today for the first time when Stephen Elop presented at the Wharton Business Technology Conference.

You can also check out Stephen’s PowerPoint slides which are a welcome departure from the bullet point riddled slides you often see from Microsoft. Bravo Stephen.

I love these types of videos – all very Minority Report. When I look at some of the technology on display at Microsoft Research’s TechFest this week it makes me feel that this stuff is much closer than many of us expect and it’s great to see Microsoft continuing to invest in this type of research to build the future of technology.


Agree with Steve whole heartedly: good to see more human presentations and demos rather than the standard, boring PowerPoint presentation.  Microsoft UK has a helpful article on successful presentation skills.

As Seth Godin notes in his provocative post on really bad PowerPoint presentations, the hope was that with improved education and the effort to call out horrific presentations, we would see a dramatic reduction in dull presentations. (This post was the origin of Seth’s famous line, “Bullets Are For the NRA”.)  But they’re still a challenge, and I’m aware of the hours I’ll never get back sitting through these boring PowerPoint presentations, slides filled with bullet after bullet, each painfully read aloud by the presenter…

“I wrote this [post] about four years ago, originally as an ebook. I figured the idea might spread and then the problem would go away–we’d no longer see thousands of hours wasted, every single day, by boring PowerPoint presentations filled with bullets.

“Not only has it not gone away, it’s gotten a lot worse. Last week I got a template from a conference organizer. It seems they want every single presenter to not only use bullets for their presentations, but for all of us to use the same format! Shudder.

“So, for posterity, and in the vain hope it might work, here we go again…”

Note the following, and visit Seth’s post for his Four Components To A Great Presentation:

    1. Make yourself cue cards.
    2. Make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them.
    3. Create a written document.
    4. Create a feedback cycle.

“If your presentation is for a project approval, hand people a project approval form and get them to approve it, so there’s no ambiguity at all about what you’ve all agreed to. 

At Microsoft, we use RACI and OARPi (the ‘i’ stands for ‘inform’) to clearly define accountabilities.

And if you can get a kicker video like the one above, more power to you. 😉



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