You might have heard of Randy Pausch this week. He just gave his last speech - he is a Carnegie Mellon computer professor (and founder of Virtual Reality) - and it is one that all should see. It is funny, insightful, engaging, profound - and a great example of fantastic communicating. Not at all what you would expect from a young guy losing the battle with pancreatic cancer.
I point it out here for a few reasons - first, it is a great example of how to move and inspire people. That alone is enough - take a look and be moved.
But it is also another example of the great power of video today, that we didn't have yesterday.
- It was shown on the Wall Street Journal's online website - which is a high quality video site that has many excellent examples of communicators - a few doing it well and most rather badly. We can learn from both. And this site has good narrative and editing - as you can see from Randy's clip.
- It was of course in a more complete form on YouTube (you can see the entire speech in several segments there.) No editing, lesser quality.
- Other blogs and sites distribute other versions, such as this high quality example from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- The compression and portability of video have given the opportunity for millions to see and hear this funny and engaging human being. And share a bit of his life - as he enlarges ours.
After seeing the communication experience that Randy Pausch created in his last lecture, I feel I know him. And so do millions of others now, through the power of video today.