PR Campaigns – The blog

October 5, 2008

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Filed under: Metis PR — letsgoblogging @ 3:13 pm
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Since our class has been focusing on the topic of effective presentations, there is one particular presentation that immediately stood out to me. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was told by his doctors that his time left to live was limited. Instead of dwelling on the terrible news, he created a now famous presentation, “Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.

While the presentation topic is not related to PR, it is worth watching and I suggest everyone take the time to do so. Pausch delivered a speech that was so effective, that it gained a large amount of media attention and is still being talked about today, a year after the presentation took place.

During his presentation, Pausch incorporates videos, photos, and props. He engages the audience by telling jokes and laughable childhood stories. He is active on stage, at one point he even does pushups. The slides that he used were simple yet still creative. His presentation is successful in telling a story, a story that also offers really great words of advice.

Pausch was faced with having to deliver an effective lecture during a very trying time in his life. In PR, if we are faced with a having to give a presentation on a topic that is not so audience friendly, or maybe we are representing a client that is going through some troubling times, how can we still create and deliver a presentation that doesn’t dwell on the negative? What are some ideas to make the dynamics of a presentation more engaging and interactive and how can we effectively deliver a positive outlook in our presentation during a crisis situation, just like Randy Pausch was able to do.



  1. I agree completely that Randy Pausch’s presentation was effective and incredibly positive, especially given the circumstances. I remember seeing it when he first did it and I was definitely struck by it. Also, I believe that most times when we are faced with a problem or crisis, it is important to find the positives while facing the negative, in life and PR, otherwise, nothing would ever change for the better.

    Comment by asbrooks04 — October 6, 2008 @ 3:25 pm | Reply

  2. I totally remember Randy Pausch’s speech! I was hooked from beginning to the end. His speech was inspiring and motivating at the same time. I think effective speeches and presentations require practice, however, I also believe it requires passion. Passion is definitely something you feel from watching Randy. I think alot of speeches fail due to lack of interest in their own topic. If you’re not buying what you’re saying, why would others?

    Comment by ambrewe1 — October 7, 2008 @ 9:01 am | Reply

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