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Steve Jobs Presentation Skills - VIDEO Business English

St Georges     November 17, 2013

Steve Jobs Presentation Skills - something to marvel at. His keynote speeches were like a concert or a show, rather than the CEO of a big corporation speaking at an AGM. He elevated the art of public speaking to a new level with his own unique style. Can you imagine any other CEO else receiving applause in a big keynote speech - Jeff Bazos of Amazon knows how difficult it is to get the audience on your side… even when you have got some genuinely interesting information to say.

Here is an analysis of the characteristics of Steve's presentations to help you learn how to become a back belt presenter! There is a transcription below the video of everything that is said (to help with your listening skills)

Video Transcription

To make a presentation in front of a live audience that people are going to remember - learn from the master, Steve Jobs. Here are the secrets of Steve's presenting style

TIGHT THEME - Hit your audience with a headline - This is a clear, concise theme that should run through your talk. It should be short enough to be memorable…. AND tweetable - so less than 140 characters - At the iPhone launch of 2007, Steve's headline that you can see on screen now is 52 characters long - perfect for Twitter.

STUNNING STORIES - If you can describe the customer's emotions or how the user feels - it's more like a story - and it's much more engaging for your audience. At a party or in a bar, think about the person telling a story - they have the attention of people around them and the crowd is listening. Humans have been telling stories for thousands of years because it works!

If you can't tell a story, at least limit your information to 3 things - tops! That's all that anybody is likely to remember.

SIMPLE STATS - When you have big numbers, simplify them so that people can understand them better. 2 million iPods - that's a big number. 'Sold in the first 59 days' - that's impressive. Steve Jobs would then say "That's nearly 34,000 iPods sold EVERY DAY - which is an incredible amount". Here he is talking about the number of songs sold on iTunes - again it would be a big number - but Steve puts it into perspective - 82% of the American market for mp3s.

In February 2013, Apple reached 25 billion songs downloaded from iTunes. Steve Jobs would have said it in a way that's easy to understand - "On average, that's 15,000 songs that have been downloaded EVERY minute since iTunes opened - an extraordinary figure".

INCREDIBLE IMAGES - Steve Jobs used big, bold, clear, simple images. He almost never used more than 2 images on a presentation slide. At the 2007 launch of the iPhone, unusually he used 3 images - as you can see. But this was to highlight that the iPhone could do all 3 things of music player, phone and internet access. Then he quickly moved on again to his normal procedure of one striking image.

TINY TEXT - This doesn't mean text that is too small to see. It means reduce and edit your text to only the essential words that clearly communicate your message. Nobody wants to see lines and lines of boring text.

Works like magic - is kind of a headline again. The full grammatically correct sentence would be 'It works like magic' - just delete the small grammar words.

The second line, No stylus (BTW, a stylus was the small pen that people used to tap on phones and palm pilots to write messages) - Perfect grammar would be 'It has no stylus' or, even longer 'It does not have a stylus' - We only need the message - BANG - 'No stylus' And then the third line: 'Far more accurate' - Correct sentence would be 'It is far more accurate than other methods' - it's way too long. 'Far more accurate' is all the audience needs. Edit your text to the smallest amount possible. It looks so much more powerful and allows the audience to hear, to focus on and to understand key messages.

SUPER SMILE - Steve Jobs used to smile all the time during his keynote speeches. When you send out a smile it comes back to you. If you physically engage with your audience, you will also engage them mentally. If you look like you're having fun, your audience probably will too. This is a famous moment when Steve Jobs was having fun and playing with the brand new iPhone. He called Starbucks to order 4,000 coffees to go. Look at his smile - he's only making a phone call - but he's enjoying it… and so did his audience. It's a little story that's easy to remember. As well as showing enthusiasm with exaggerated body language, Steve Jobs showed massive enthusiasm with the language he used - fantastic, amazing, incredible, extraordinary. When you are excited, it's difficult for your audience to resist.

MAGIC MOMENT - In your presentation you should have one magic moment that you build up to - it's your climax. Put on a show - and amaze your audience. Here's Steve with a normal, boring, brown office envelope. He slowly opens it up. And out slides something shiny and beautiful. It's an incredible new, super thin computer - the Macbook Air. And there is the famous smile again - a truly magic moment that's difficult to forget.

MOVING, NOT LOSING - Even if you can present like Steve Jobs, in a long presentation, your listeners might lose focus for a minute here or there. So, it's incredibly important to have informative transitions that tell your audience what you are going to talk about. And then just after, summarise the important information that you want them to remember.

Here is an Apple slide with quite a lot of text, but Steve Jobs would have used an informative transition to start, for example… "Now I'm going to tell you about some of the amazing features of the iPod" After this section of his talk, he summarised… So that's the iPod - it's beautiful, it's fast; it's your whole music library in your pocket" Before you continue and move on, don't lose that key information.

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