The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience

I’ve just come across a great new book: The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience.

And as usual I’ve summarised it myself here within the blog:

1.    Plan in Analog

Remember you’re telling a story so sketch it out first.

2.    Focus on Benefits

Remember the WIFM factor (What’s in it for me?) Steve Jobs sells the benefit behind every new product or feature.

3.    Sell Dreams, Not Products

Jobs presents the iPod as a tool to enrich people’s lives

4.    Create Twitter-Friendly Headlines

Steve described the MacBook Air as “The world’s thinnest notebook” and the same words appeared everywhere in adverts, press coverage, speeches and everything. The same principle as soundbites I suppose.

5.    Introduce the Antagonist

From childhood we learn about heroes slaying villains, so to be a hero explain how you’re slaying the villain. For Steve Jobs that was once IBM and is now Microsoft.

6.    Draw a Road Map

The old ‘Tell them what you’re going to tell them’ principle. Steve outlines the story he’s going to tell at the beginning of every presentation.

7.    Create Visual Slides

There are no bullet points in Steve’s presentations. He uses lots of photographs and images and averages less than one word per slide.

8.    Obey the 10-Minute Rule

Although he’s often on stage for 90 mins, Steve Jobs never speaks for more than 10 minutes without some interlude – a guest, a clip or anything really!

9.    Make Numbers Meaningful

220 million iPods sounds impressive, 73% of the market is stronger and pointing out that Microsoft is “pulling up the rear” with a 1% market share conveys a message. (See point 5 too)

10.    Use Zippy Words

Most business presenters use words that are too technical, vague, or confusing. Not Steve Jobs! He described new iPhone 3G simply as “amazingly zippy.”

11.    Share the Stage

Steve nearly always shares the stage with business partners, musicians, and employees.

12.    Use Props

Use props for show and tell.  Steve Jobs uses demos simple and very dramatic demos.

13.    Plan a Water Cooler Moment

Build into the presentation a key moment that everyone will talk about. When Jobs unveiled the MacBook Air, he removed the computer from an inter-office envelope to show just how thin it was. See point 4.

14.    Practice. A Lot.

Steve Jobs spends hours rehearsing every facet of his presentation.

15.    Dress Appropriately

Steve Jobs can get away with a lot. You may not be able to. If in doubt you can usually play safe by dressing a little better than everyone in your audience. But you may choose to be different as part of the show.

16.    One More Thing…Have Fun!

When he presents, Steve Jobs seems to be having fun. If he can why can’t you.

Bob Bradley

Bob is a specialist in running high value added service businesses, having run five such businesses as General Manager, Managing Director or Chief Executive. His last employed role was as Chief Executive of a £16M, 200 person family owned business having previously been Chief Executive of an AIM listed company for which he raised £5M funding and which he grew from £4M to £12M in three years through two acquisitions and organic growth, and a corporate PLC subsidiary where he was Managing Director responsible for delivering £10M profit on £45M turnover through 450 staff.

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