Before & After: Microsoft's Presentation on The Future of AI

3 min readOct 7, 2020


James Whittaker is a distinguished engineer at Microsoft who had a presentation that focused on data, machine learning, AI, IoT, and Virtual Reality. We saw James presenting at TNW 2018 which is one of the biggest tech events in Europe. We were watching his presentation (you can also watch it on YouTube) and we were thinking:

“Wow, this guy is an outstanding speaker. However, if only his slides were better!”

So… we decided to reach out and ask him whether or not he will appreciate some help in that area.

The answer — not only did he agree but he was happy to collaborate very openly with the whole team!

The Solution

We decided to surprise James by sending him an updated version of his presentation by simply watching the talk and designing based on his unique speaking style.

What’s more, we recreated from scratch all of the screenshots and photos he was using in the second half of his presentation. People say every detail matters, right?

The Effects

The main part that influenced the motion in the presentation was the way James was speaking. All the effects were based on the moments where he raised his voice and the way he was switching his pace.

These animations definitely fit him and his style. They helped him convey his message even better!

Before & After

James’s initial slides were, let’s call it, far from optimal. Especially for a speaker on his level.

He was using a predefined Microsoft PowerPoint template and it wasn’t something that helped him differentiate. That’s why we started from scratch and asked ourselves:

“What can we do for him so that next time he delivers this presentation, everyone talks about it”?

The Results

His way of presenting was significantly elevated, and he was so happy at the end that he shared the kindest words we could hear:

“I loved working with 356labs on my presentation about the future of AI. Everywhere I present now I get compliments on the slides. Definitely increased my impact as a speaker.”

- James Whittaker

View the entire project here!




Boutique presentation agency on a single mission - truly effective presentations. We teach you how to present your business to win your audience.

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