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25+ Best Design & Development Keynote Presentation Talks

I believe one of the most important ways to share information, inspiration, and ideas today are through keynotes, talks, & speeches. Some of the most eye opening realizations and life changing moments I have experienced were while watching a well put together, thorough talk that presented valid and mind blowingly efficient information that either taught me how to use a new skill, or to realize a particular way of thinking is “the way to go”. I am sure all of you have seen speakers, or have been to a conference where someone talked – but what exactly is a keynote? Well…

What is a Keynote?

This post doesn’t just have keynotes, it has lots of other talks and presentations, but a lot of people ask about this, so our friend wiki is here to help us out.

A keynote in literature, music, or public speaking establishes the principal underlying theme. In corporate or commercial settings, greater importance is attached to the delivery of a keynote speech or keynote address. The keynote will lay down the framework for the following programme of events or convention agenda; frequently the role of keynote speaker will also include the role of convention moderator. It will also flag up a larger idea — a literary story, an individual musical piece or event.

At political or industrial conventions and expositions and at academic conferences, the keynote address or keynote speech is delivered to set the underlying tone and summarize the core message or most important revelation of the event. Some of the more famous keynote speeches in the United States are those made at the party conventions during Democratic and Republican presidential campaigns. Keynote speakers at these events have often gained nationwide fame (or notoriety); for example, Barack Obama at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and have occasionally influenced the course of the election. In the commercial arena, Steve Jobs delivered some of the most influential keynote speeches at Apple product, system and service launches.

Keynote speeches are also given at the graduation and commencement ceremonies of colleges, universities, and major high schools, usually by accomplished academics or celebrities invited by the student body.

Keynote speakers are often selected to raise interest in a particular event, such as a conference or large meeting sponsored by a corporation or association, and draw attendees to attend that program. Selecting a keynote speaker who is well known for his or her expertise in a particular field, or who has wide name recognition due to other accomplishments, will probably raise enthusiasm among prospective attendees for a meeting or conference.

As wiki mentioned, Steve Jobs was an amazing speaker – if you haven’t had the privilege of hearing one of that mans talks, I suggest you go google his harvard speech right meow. Completely Inspirational! So Lets get to it – I have collected some of my favorite talks, presentations, keynotes, and webcasts from the past year (2012) and these are the best (so far). I hope that they open your eyes to new skills, techniques, and ways of thinking. Whatever you are working on I hope that they bring inspiration and focus so that you can master the things you need to master to reach your goals and accomplish your dreams! Enjoy!

Bret Victor – Inventing on Principle

Incredible. This blew my mind to pieces, I loved every second of it. This is a must watch, if you don’t watch anything else, watch this. The Ideas presented here by Bret are insanely awesome. The IDE Technique and structure he is using has got to be the future, it has to be, it is too brilliant not to be. Also, this guy used to be an interface designer at Apple. If you want to see more of Bret’s awesome ideas and projects check him out at

Broken promises of HTML5 – HTML5DevCon San Francisco

I really enjoyed this talk, it brings up some great points about what HTML5 is trying to do, and why it is failing, and how we can go about helping to assure its success (not just its success, but all of our successes by working together and building a standardized web that works).

Google I/O 2012 – The Web Can Do That!?

Some stuff you probably already know, but its Nice to get an overview of the current things we can do on the web with the current landscape of technologies we are using.

Introduction to Game Development

Really great overview of getting into game development with Python (a good programming language that might not be as widely used as others) – if nothing else it will inspire you to learn to make a game or learn a new programming language! Learning new things and experiences is what its all about, Connecting the Dots as Steve Jobs calls it :).

Google Developers SXSW Lightning Talks

Great talk from earlier in 2012 at SXSW Highlighting some of the latest stuff google has for developers to tinker with, and also how to speed up development and be more efficient.

Advanced HTML5 JavaScript: Down ‘n Dirty

This is a good solid talk with good code examples – its nice to see someone walk you through advanced javascript if you have never seen it before, really helps you to understand it – Especially when you add HTML5 and CSS3 into the mix.

Fluent 2012: Paul Irish, “Javascript Development Workflow of 2013”

Fantastic talk. So many tools and resources. if you are one of those designers that only uses jQuery and you have never used Javascript by itself before, I urge you, please watch this and other javascript only videos and learn the basics, it will make you a better jQuery developer!!

David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence

I think that a lot of beginning designers have problems in this area (some veteran designers as well but not as much I don’t believe). Once you gain your creative confidence, you really can do almost anything that you set your mind to.

Google I/O 2012 – How we Make JavaScript Widgets Scream

Really good insight on how they build their Javascript Widgets (which can be a job with a lot of users like they have). So if you are a javascript developer or front-end engineer this talk is really helpful and is definitely a good resource.

John Maeda: How art, technology and design inform creative leaders

This is a really good talk and expounds on an idea that I’ve been entertaining more and more as I’ve seen it from different people like Jacques Fresco (if you haven’t seen him speak, google it. its great.) that you can change the world with your designs and creative ideas (not just now, but in the future especially).

Kent Larson: Brilliant designs to fit more people in every city

Another good talk with some good insights and creative ideas in regards to design.

CSS preprocessors with Jonathan Verrecchia

If you haven’t used a CSS Preprocessor like LESS or SASS yet then check out this presentation that gives you the low down on stuff like that.

Designing a Beautiful REST+JSON API

If you are a web developer or programmer building web applications then this is definitely for you. Even if you know about it but haven’t read up on it in a while, this is a good refresher.

Matt Mills: Image recognition that triggers augmented reality

This is more about creativity, ideas and the future if nothing else, but its a really inspirational and thrilling presentation that really gets you excited about what crazy stuff we will be designing in the (not so distant) future!

Prototyping Responsive HTML5 Web Apps with Matt Kelly

It is no secret that Responsive Web Design has been growing in popularity on the web due to the rising usage of mobile devices and devices of all different sizes – so if you have no idea what this trend is – this talk is for you.

Michael Hansmeyer: Building unimaginable shapes

Another good presentation that inspires, and gives you more creative ideas. In this particular case, with Unimaginable Shapes! Maybe go draw some 4th dimensional tesseracts!

Scott Wilson | Bill’s Design Talks

Really nice, informative and Interesting talk with a design industry great – Scott Wilson.

Mark Zuckerberg Interviewed by Michael Arrington – #TCDisrupt TechCrunch Disrupt 2012

You don’t necessarily learn much from this as you do the others BUT I always find interviews like this with people like Mark Zuckerberg extremely interesting and enlightening.

PHP UK Conference 2012 – Keynote: A look at PHP in 2012, by Rasmus Lerdo

Really great look at PHP in 2012 – with some PHP history! (LOVE Geeky computer history!) Any Programmer Geek can enjoy this one!

Google I/O 2012 – High Performance HTML5

After seeing all the wrongs of HTML5 – this is a good presentation to help you get the most out of it!

Responsive Web Design Bootcamp

Not really a keynote presentation in front of an audience, but still an awesome resource if you are looking into Responsive Web Design and want to see some great advice and tips on the subject.

James Victore: Your Work Is A Gift

Its true, what you create is a complete gift – and lots of people appreciate it! Don’t treat your work any different!

What was your favorite Webcast, Talk or Presentation? Did we miss a good one? Let us know in the comments below! Thanks For Reading…er.. Watching? 😀

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