If you’ve ever watched Steve Jobs do a product launch, you know you’ve watched a master communicator. And if you’ve ever wondered if you could ever communicate as effectively as Steve, there’s good news for you. Business Week Small Biz columnist, Carmine Gallo, has just published a book on “The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.” And BW, has just run a photo gallery outlining the 15 major lessons from the book.
The ones I found most interesting and can probably help you the most were as follows.
- Plan in Analog – In other words, before Steve and his team move to Keynote (the Mac version of Powerpoint) and other digital options, he starts by creating/writing a storyboard, similar to a movie. And just like any good story teller, he builds anticipation and plans for surprises. When was the last time you did that?
- Focus on Benefits – Even though Steve is usually revealing updates to products, he doesn’t focus on the product. Instead, he focuses his comments on the benefits that come from using that product. Similar to the old adage, “No one needs a drill, everyone needs holes,” Steve keeps drilling down on benefits, as you can see in the following image for why developers should create Apps for the iPhone.
- Create Twitter Friendly Headlines - I love this one. If you look at the number of words on a typical PPT slide, vs. a Jobs’ slide, it’s almost humorous. Steve is notorious for minimalism. So, for example, when he introduced the MacBook Air, the title slide simply said, “World’s thinnest notebook.” Can you position your products with just three to five words?
- Create Visual Slides – I actually watched the webcast when Steve was introducing the MacBook Air and I can remember this slide. The image of a laptop inside an envelope was powerful. Not much more needed to be said. Note also how uncluttered the image is. Take a look at your last Powerpoint presentation. How many words were on your average slide?
- Use Props – Another common feature of most of Jobs’ presentations is that he always does some kind of demonstration. Frequently he sits down at his Mac and then you watch the screen to see in real time something that he’s doing. It might be to demonstrate the ease of creating a movie in iMovie or retrieving a lost file in Time Machine or playing around with new cool app on the iPhone. What can you use besides your voice and PPT slides?
- Practice a Lot – This is one of my favorites. I’m forever telling speakers they need to practice more before they get up to speak. While Steve’s presentations may come off very relaxed and unrehearsed, they’re anything but. He prepares for days for every moment of the presentation. Now, while you may not have days, you should at least run through your talk two or three times before presenting it.
Well, those were my favorite six. But you can see the whole presentation at BW by clicking here. However, don’t forget to print this list of six things out and use it the next time you have to give a presentation. Taking your cues from Steve Jobs isn’t a bad model to follow!
To your accelerated success!