Ballmer Speech: A Kind of Microsoft Approach to Sort of Cloud Computing

By Andrew Ivey | Presentations

Mar 05
Steve Ballmer

Steve Ballmer, CEO Microsoft

A certain stage presence and style characterises the Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. Energetic, dynamic and loud! That style has proved useful as the CEO advances the Microsoft strategy around the world; not least since Bill Gates stood down from active Microsoft duties.

His most recent speech at the University of Washington was a big draw for the student body and teaching staff. Standing room only was the order of the day.

Steve got a great introduction and a very warm reception. And quite right to. He’s a charismatic and competent speaker. Who can remember the Longhorn speeches?

But on this occasion, despite the support of his team and their superb multimedia, there was an issue. Steve had gone native. Leaving all thought of syntax and language structure aside, the CEO of one of the most important businesses in the world approached his speech as if he was in his first year at college. For example his use of the phrase, “sort of” was continual:

“sort of a place…
sort of highlighting…
sort of is…
sort of recent…
sort of the sub-history…
sort of stimulated…
sort of describe…
sort of story…
sort of creative commons…
sort of PhotoSynth…
sort of information…
sort of me…
sort of natural gas…

Now this sort of sloppy approach to language is one thing for a, like,  industrious student. But for a man who heads up the world’s kind of leading software language coding businesses it’s different.

Let’s hope that the Microsoft approach to cloud computing is more rigorous than the language of this speech. Sort of.

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About the Author

The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+

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