The noninvasive evaluation of cardiac morphology and function by echocardiography is an essential part of modern intensive care therapy. However, this procedure can be challenging and beginners often lack the ability to objectively state the correct global and regional myocardial function. Recent developments allow a semi-automatic deformation (strain) analysis by a couple of more objective respective parametric techniques. Strain describes the change in length of a myocardial segment during the cardiac cycle. While this is primarily a regional analysis, an insight into the global left ventricular deformation is possible by averaging all relevant segments. Speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) is actually the only clinically relevant technique and is well scientifically and clinically approved. The advantages of STE are the angle-independency, the ease and fastness of its use, the availability at the bedside and low costs. Through proven good reproducibility it should be a good method for repeated analysis even by different echocardiographers. However, actually the greatest disadvantage is the variation of measures between different vendors of ultrasound machines and software-packages. At the moment, a task force of leading echocardiography experts and industry personal is working on a solution. Normal values have been published for healthy collectives and STE has been in use in the majority of cardiac diseases. Besides from a few research studies, the usage in critically ill patients actually is still limited.