Play is good for you (and it's good for business)
Beautiful example of the visualization of a story

Whiteboard presentation: T. Boone Pickens on reducing America's dependency on foreign oil

T.boone_whiteboard Perhaps you've heard by now, but billionaire oil man T. Boone Pickens is on a mission to make sure the USA has an actual energy strategy under the new US president. He has a plan — The Pickens Plan — and he's been talking about it to anyone who will listen (watch this behind-the-scenes clip from The Daily Show), and he's put together a nice little four-minute presentation outlining the plan. Slides were added to this whiteboard overview presentation (below) with good results. The combination of the whiteboard, the actual map, and animated slides worked well and is something that is easily replicated live in a typical conference room or classroom. Some of the best presentations I have seen were by people who moved from using slides and video to whiteboard to using hands-on visuals such as maps or prototypes, etc. and then smoothly back to slides and so on. Now, Pickens does not get into great detail, but he gives you the story of the plan. In a live setting what would follow from this is lots of discussion, elaboration, and good Q & A, but in the first four minutes you got the story...and you want to hear more. That's how leaders communicate.

The slides
The slides were well done and introduced rather smoothly. They look very similar to the kinds of slides Duarte Design creates for Al Gore's presentations. The simple slides did a good job of supporting his narrative. Below are a few of the slides from his talk above.

Pickens gets right to the problem: "...we're importing almost 70%."

Slide in mid-transition. The yearly cost of the dependence = 700 billion/year. Next slide: 750 out of 1000 Americans have cars. In China 44 people out of 1000 have cars.

Pickens: "...we consume 25% of the world's oil..."

"...and have 4% of the people — that's a problem."

Pickens goes analog and brings out a map on poster board. "The United States is the Saudi Arabia of wind power."

Pickens's idea: take natural gas from power generation and use it for transportation, replace it with wind for power generation.

Case in point: Clearwater was a town in decline (slide with subtle Ken Burns effect).

"...but because of wind..."

"'s a booming community.."

"...this can all be accomplished in ten years if you have the right leadership."

The Pickens Plan website
Same whiteboard presentation on YouTube
"Green T. Boone" talks to Larry King

H/T Brandon Mullins



Oh damn he's going for the water, this is like Quantum of Solace all over again!

Heh, kidding aside, this was a very powerful presentation. A concrete message and powerful visuals. He got me, thats for sure!

On a related question: is there a way to do animated graphs from PP or keynote? The ability to present the data progressively seems very useful.


Hey Garr,
Using your blog to push a particular political viewpoint perhaps? While I agree with your politics, it would be nice to see some presentation analysis on things you don't agree with.
Why don't you start with why Triumph of the Will is a brilliant (and influential) piece of work and work your way down?

Gary Smith

Thanks for putting up this presentation.

I had no idea we were importing this much oil. It's rediculous. And I applaud anyone that is working on the solutions instead of the problem.

I loved the presentation style...slides, pictures, graphs, and whiteboard. Still trying to figure out how to do all that cool stuff myself.

The whiteboard was a good touch as it was more personal...more like a professor would teach.

The comments to this entry are closed.