Speckle tracking echocardiography has emerged as a sensitive tool to analyze myocardial function with improved diagnostic accuracy and prognostic value. Left atrial strain assessment has become a novel imaging method in cardiology with superior prognostic value compared to conventional left atrial volume indices. Left atrial function is divided into three phases, reservoir function being the most important. This review summarizes the added value of speckle tracking echocardiography derived left atrial strain assessment in clinical practice. Recently published data suggest the prognostic value of left atrial reservoir function in heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and valvular heart disease. Furthermore, left atrial reservoir strain proved to be a predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the general population. Thus, routine assessment of left atrial function can be an optimal strategy to improve cardiovascular risk prediction and supplement the current risk prediction models.