The Last Speech of Randy Pausch

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.

3 comments on “The Last Speech of Randy Pausch

  1. God Bless this amazing man, I thank him for sharing himself with us! He changed my outlook on life

  2. well done son, well done. can’t you just hear GOD saying that to Randy while he is generously giving his time to give us all pearls of wisdom to live by. his wife jai is a pillar of strength and love. randy and his adorable family will remain in my heart and will continue to lift them up in prayer. many blessings and many more precious memorable moments spent laughing, hugging, and loving enough to last the kids a lifetime. humbled and changed heart, T

  3. Some lessons from Randy Pausch’s last lecture that especially moved me:
    1. Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things.
    2. Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
    3. Never lose the child-like wonder.
    4. If we do something which is pioneering, we will get arrows in the back. But at the end of the day, a whole lot of people will have a whole lot of fun.
    5. Be good at something; it makes you valuable.
    6. If you live your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, and the dreams will come to you.
    Check out the tribute quiz on the lecture at http://www.mystudiyo.com : you can add your own questions at the end of the quiz.
    http://www.mystudiyo.com/activity.php?act=558