There have been many great speakers in the corporate world, but none have been as enigmatic and dynamic as the late Steve Jobs. Regarded as a master storyteller and a presenter extraordinaire, Jobs left audiences mesmerized with his brilliant keynote presentations, weaving magic with his words as he sold them an experience that inspired and informed, rather than peddling some tedious spiel.
Till date, Jobs’ presentations (especially the iPhone one in 2007) are considered as the standard of excellence regarding how corporate leaders need to communicate. Indeed, the success of Apple can be largely attributed to the brand value Steve Jobs created for the company through his keynotes, ensuring a reception akin to a rock concert and establishing a legacy for years to come.
How to present like Steve Jobs? Can you hope to achieve that level of excellence? Indeed you can! There are several ways, such as:
Learning how to conclude your speech effectively
Controlling your nerves before delivering a public speech
Knowing the important body language tips for public speaking
However, more germane to the topic are these important tips, derived and analyzed from the style of Steve Jobs’ presentation. Take note!
7. Have a catchy, memorable headline
Jobs had one simple sentence for the historic launch of the iPhone in 2007 – “Apple reinvents the phone”. As he proceeded to explain the benefits the iPhone would have over existing smartphones, everything he said was in sync with the main catchphrase of his keynote i.e. reinventing the phone with cutting-edge technology to create a device that would be leagues ahead of any competition.
6. Be passionate about your topic
It is no secret that Jobs was extremely passionate about design. Any Apple product to be sold had to have amazing design and this was evident from his gushing through the presentation.
“It looks pretty doggone gorgeous,” he said with a wide smile while presenting the iPhone. He was enthusiastic about his idea and the audience loved him for it.
5. Make an emotional connection
Build empathy and connect on a personal level with the audience. Even though the ultimate goal of Steve Jobs was to sell technology to people, he made an emotional connection with them by stressing how beneficial and easy their lives would be with the iPhone. For instance, the only stylus any iPhone user would require would be his/her own hand. By expounding on the benefits through human touch, Jobs made the users feel powerful.
4. Your presentation should be in the palm of your hand
In case you think Jobs just went to the stage without any preparation, then boy, are you in a world of misconception or what. Jobs did not become the best presenter just like that. Endless hours of practice and rehearsals went into making his presentation delivery perfect.
According to Brent Schlender, the co-author of ‘Becoming Steve Jobs’, Jobs would prepare and rehearse for months for public appearances.
“I once spent an entire day watching him run through multiple rehearsals of a single presentation, tweaking everything from the color and angle of certain spotlights, to editing and rearranging the order of the keynote presentation slides to improve his pacing,” said Schlender.
3. Tell a story
Your presentation slides must have minimal words and all the focus of the audience should be on you. Narrate a story that grips the imagination of the audience like Jobs did.
During the iPhone launch, he said: “In 1984, Apple introduced the first Macintosh. It didn’t just change Apple. It changed the whole computer industry. In 2001, we introduced the first iPod. It didn’t just change the way we all listen to music. It changed the entire music industry.”
This indicated that some really revolutionary product was going to be released, amping up the excitement of the crowd manifolds. A story ensures that the audience stays invested in your topic
2. Avoid using notes
During the introduction of the iPhone, Jobs only referred to a very short list of bullet points while the demo videos were going on, and these points were hidden from the audience’s view. Rest of the time, he never looked at any note or took the help of a teleprompter, because he had very effectively internalized the content so that everything was smooth as butter.
1. Enjoy and inspire!
Jobs had a whale of a time during the keynote. He was not stiff or serious but enjoyed the entire experience. For example, when first introducing the iPhone, he displayed a pic of an iPod with an old-fashioned rotary dial on it. Another instance was when Jobs demonstrated the maps feature to call a Starbucks and said “I’d like to order 4,000 lattes to go, please. No, just kidding. Wrong number. Bye bye.” The audience responded with uproarious applause and laughter and Jobs enjoyed every moment of it. He also ended his presentation with an inspiring quote from Wayne Gretzky, indicating his excitement over what was a revolutionary product like no other.
In the same way, if you consider your presentation as an opportunity to have a great time with your topic as well as the audience, it will be an instant hit with people. Along with injecting humor, make sure you also include something uplifting that will leave your audience awed and inspired.